A week after Thierry Daraize gave La Petite-Patrie's La Récolte four stars on five, the critic for Le Devoir has his say on the market-to-table restaurant that introduced dinner services a year ago, after cultivating a reputation as one of Montreal's best addresses for non-traditional brunches. Jean-Philippe Tastet does not award stars, but you quickly get the sense from his review today that he's in the same camp as his Le Journal de Montréal confrère when it comes to chef Étienne Huot's food.
All the more impressive when you consider that Tastet enters La Récolte in a foul mood. After a hot new Griffintown spot "loses" his reservation, made under an assumed name, the rue Bélanger restaurant, close to Marché Jean-Talon, emerges as plan B. One restaurant's loss proves to be another's gain, however. Big time: "Dans chaque plat, on sent beaucoup d’application, de respect du produit et d’amour aussi, un ingrédient qui change tout."
The vibe at La Récolte is simple, but civilised. Two starters—a delicate squash soup, garnished with celeriac crumble, sunflower seeds, and sunflower oil, and a trout tartare with diced apple, celeriac, and daisy buds—prove wildly successful. A triumphant quartet of larger plates follows. There's butternut, acorn, and spaghetti squash with fried Brussels sprouts (the vegetable crowd-pleaser of the year, arguably) and dollops of sour cream; mussels and lardons in tomato sauce; trout with tomato compote, smoked kelp, and sunflower oil; and a flawless duck magret, much-improved upon since Daraize's visit, Tastet observes. Desserts disappear in a flash; there's no need to elaborate further, declares the critic. A "bonheur de petit restaurant." This is the third excellent review for La Récolte this year.