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Ma'tine Nabs More Accolades, Plus Laurels for Laurea, Sumac, Code Ambiance, June Rose

The week that was in Montreal restaurant reviews.

Code Ambiance has potential but needs to sharpen up, writes Lesley Chesterman
Code Ambiance has potential but needs to sharpen up, writes Lesley Chesterman
Code Ambiance

With two more solid reviews, this time from Sarah Musgrave and Thierry Daraize, Ma'tine has to be considered one of the newcomers of the year, despite the daytime-only hours.

The casual critic for The Gazette gives it a 'Great Bet' and writes: "Sweet and savoury get equal and thoughtful treatment at Ma’tine, always with attention to textures and contrasts. It’s not surprising that there are lineups, so know that before going. Ordering a coffee and a cannelé while you wait sweetens the deal. I read something a few years ago touting 'daylife' as the new 'nightlife.' I think you could just call this place the good life." [Gazette]

Daraize (behind the paywall) concurs in Le Journal de Montréal and gives Ma'tine his "coup de coeur" stamp of approval: "Sans tambour ni trompette, les frères Jérémy et Maxime Daniel-Six sont en train de se tailler une belle petite place à Montréal." [Le Journal de Montréal]

Marie-Claude Lortie files an early review of Sumac, the Middle Eastern restaurant which recently opened in Saint-Henri. Coup de coeur: "Ce petit restaurant propose un regard résolument moderne sur la cuisine de toute une région et ne se gêne pas pour ratisser large. Tant mieux. L'exercice est réussi. Surtout que les prix sont très raisonnables. Et le tout s'améliorera sûrement, si on lui laisse un peu de temps. À suivre." [La Presse]

Lesley Chesterman, for her part, dines in Griffintown at Code Ambiance, where chef Bastien Gérard has taken a risk with upscale fare on competitive Notre-Dame Ouest. Two stars: "As much as I enjoyed the meat dishes, the foie gras and that terrific soup, my night at Code Ambiance fell just short of expectations. The vegetables need customizing, the presentations must be relaxed, and the dessert course must be worth the calories. As mentioned above, in a town like Lake Placid, this restaurant would probably be the toast of the scene. But in Montreal, where the cooking level is so high and the competition for customers is so fierce right now, Code Ambiance needs to sharpen the cooking and service to fill those seats. I have hope for this swish little restaurant, but there’s still work to be done." [Gazette]

Not every dish is a hit but Erik Leijon seems confident that Big in Japan's June Rose has done well to resuscitate à volonté Chinese in Montreal: "June Rose is packed with little flourishes. The orange slices are more than meets the eye – I’ll save you the spoiler. Even the washroom sinks, which look like they were built with mahjong pieces, were memorable. It’s a place with personality, and hopefully a revolving menu." [CultMTL]

Finally, Laurea, the revamp of the old Laurier BBQ from partners Rebecca BourqueJeff StincoÉric Le François and Cindy Simardgets a behind the paywall look from Jean-Philippe Tastet: "Chez Laurea, à Montréal, on n’est pas passé à table que déjà on est de bonne humeur. La cuisine ouverte permet d’observer la fébrilité de la brigade, Hakim Chajar dans le rôle du chef de meute. Et on n’a pas encore passé commande qu’on est déjà en appétit." [Le Devoir]


1310 Maisonneuve East, Montreal, Quebec H2L 2A5 (514) 439-9969 Visit Website

Code Ambiance

1874 rue Notre-Dame Ouest, Montreal, QC H3J 1M6 514-939-2609


381 avenue Laurier Ouest, Montreal, Quebec H2V 2K3 (514) 507-4997 Visit Website