What a week for Jeff Stinco. The Simple Plan guitarist poached a major chef for Mimi la Nuit, threw a media dinner at his reboot of the old Laurier BBQ and, amid controversy, shuttered the underperforming Rufus Rockhead to ostensibly make way for an expansion of Le Shinji.
Probably a smart move, especially in light of this rave for Shinji Nagai's sushi from Gazette critic Lesley Chesterman. Three enthusiastic stars: "And yet when you begin tasting your way through Shinji’s sushi, you just can’t hold back, seduced by the exciting mouth feel and fresh taste of every morsel. I’m often skeptical when it comes to flashy sushi, as so much of it is made with sub-par fish along with an excess of add-ins to distract from that fact. Here, though, every piece is an experience unto itself." [Gazette]
Sarah Musgrave tries stunt franks over at Dirty Dogs in the Plateau. The verdict? Fair to good and this sobering conclusion: "I realize we’re not dealing with pre-cooked frankenfurters here, but I spent more time waiting for my meal than I did actually eating it. And as we waited, my friends and I had plenty of time to reminisce about how satisfying a regular old hot dog with mustard, ketchup and onions can be." [Gazette]
GEMA, the new Little Italy pizzeria from Impasto, gets a visit from Marie-Claude Lortie. The La Presse critic doesn't explain why Stefano Faita and Michele Forgione's pizzas are different from, say, Bottega or Magpie and doesn't delve into specifics about the duo's pioneering frozen custard either. Still, praise all-around: "Le menu n'est pas très long. Des antipasti très classiques. Des pizzas. Mais tout est simplement bon, sans faux pas." [La Presse]
Cult reports on the revivial of the cult AA diner in Saint-Henri: "We’re talking about poutines and burgers here — the best review I can give here is that AA Restaurant is back and while the ambience is lighter, the goods are as heavy, delicious and affordable as you remember them. I am pleased to report that not a damn thing has changed." [CultMTL]
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