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Critics Clap for Chic Saint-Henri Brunch, Laval Strip Mall Sushi

The week in reviews.

Torii

This week, a tale of two very different restaurant reviews from La Presse and Le Devoir. Ariane Krol extols Place-Saint-Henri's elegant Le H4C for the former. The critic's write-up is brunch-based: while not explicitly named, Krol is a fan of chef Dany Bolduc. Brunch at H4C borders on soigné, Krol warns—"on est ici dans le rapport qualité-prix, et non quantité-prix." Winners range from eggs Benedict with confit guinea hen, to brioche French toast with foie gras, to a magical (Krol's word) plate of ricotta gnudi with fresh artichoke segments, sautéed chanterelles, and a sunny-side up egg. Verdict: "Des brunchs raffinés servis dans un cadre élégant."

Over at Le Devoir, critic Jean-Philippe Tastet dines on sushi, sashimi, and maki at Torii. The restaurant is nestled in a strip mall in Laval. Tastet's reticence subsides, however, when he enters the premises. "La salle est élégante, avec beaucoup de boiseries, de très beaux volumes et de superbes appliques lumineuses d’un rouge impérial sorties de l’imagination de Richard Morin et Claude Choinière, créateurs d’objets d’art décoratifs. On entre ici dans une autre dimension et ce portail augure bien."

Indeed, there's much to enjoy on Torii's menu, declares Tastet. The food may not be authentic Japanese, but chef Vu Huy gets the critic's notice with starters like tempura baby octopus, and salmon with leeks, cucumber, and ginger mayo. Of the larger plates sampled, Tastet reserves his kindest words for cubed scallops with a citrus sauce, and a tomato-cucumber-shallot salsa; a small scallop-foie gras mousse sandwich with balsamic pearls and a small citrus salad; and, lastly, a squid ink pasta with Alaskan crab and urchin, which renders the critic and his table-mates "extatiques." Less taken with the looks of the dessert menu, Tastet exits Torii satiated.

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