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Gildas Meneu Files His Last Review and More

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Gildas Meneu files his last review for Voir, after well over a decade on the job. Code Ambiance in Griffintown has the honour and the bistro earns what seems like a generous three stars: "Les plats sont présentés de manière très simple, on apprécierait une touche de verdure par ci, de couleur par là, pour égayer les assiettes." [Voir]

Lesley Chesterman (behind the paywall) doles two and a half stars (out of four) to Bistro Piquillo. The Verdun restaurant has a chef, José Rodríguez, whose mentors include Claude Pelletier, Normand Laprise, Gordon Ramsay and Juan Mari Arzak: "It's fun to see Rodríguez in action cooking and plating every dish that ends up in front of you. I'm happy this team decided to honour the cuisines they know best. Rodríguez is Spanish and his dishes fall into the more traditional style than molecular cuisine, for which Spain — and to a certain extent Portugal — are renowned. Some dishes lack pizzazz, but generally, our food was very good." [Gazette]

The wildly popular brunch hub La Récolte scores a rare 'Great Bet' from Sarah Musgrave (behind the paywall): "When they opened La Récolte almost a year ago, Étienne Huot, Denis Vukmirovic and Lyssa Barrera made the somewhat audacious — and kind of thrilling — move of being open exclusively for brunch. At least for the time being, their year-old restaurant is for the most part a weekends-only operation, which gives their fans a limited window to enjoy what this team does so well." [Gazette]

Ariane Krol saunters to boulettes emporium Ballpark on the border of Mile-Ex and Little Italy. Despite a lack of consistency with some plates, the critic vows to return: "Il est vrai qu'il y a beaucoup de nostalgie dans la boulette. Elle nous ramène au spaghetti, ragoût de pattes ou autre plat en sauce familial, et aux moments de bonheur associés à ces festins tout simples. La nostalgie, toutefois, est un ingrédient délicat à manipuler, qui suscite des attentes souvent impossibles à satisfaire. Ballpark évite habilement cet écueil en proposant des versions très actuelles." [La Presse]

Thierry Daraize (behind the paywall) visits the relatively new restaurant L'Alexia on Fleury Est, and, strangely, levels criticism at the Mediterranean bistro-tavern on this very score: "Certains plats sont très heureux et très réussis, d'autres moins. C'est un peu le lot, trop souvent constaté, des restaurants qui viennent d'ouvrir." [Journal de Montréal]

In "Burger Royal Deserves the Crown" Lorraine Carpenter applauds the burger spot on the Main for a commitment to quality ingredients and local beef and encounters a memorable vegetarian slider: "The veggie version of the Mac Attack, with a generous topping of mac 'n' cheese and a deep-fried pickle (in place of bacon), definitely blew me away. The veggie patty was not 100 per cent structurally sound — a quarter of it fell out of the burger and onto the floor, but if the joy being emitted from my tastebuds weren't enough of a quality indicator, the degree to which I mourned that lost piece really clinched it." [CultMTL]

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Code Ambiance

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