Antonio Park's ode to the parrillas of his youth is unlike any restaurant in Montreal. This, the takeaway from a blockbuster review of Lavanderia in the Gazette from Lesley Chesterman. The almost criticism-free write-up is about as good as it gets from the critic: "Sipping not one but two of my favourite South American cocktails, a caipirinha and a pisco sour, I soaked it all up. How great to have a new restaurant on the scene that’s so … so … different!"
Starters score thanks to a trio of empanadas ("what a treat"), two ceviches and a "scrumptious tamale." Though carne rules at Lavanderia, Chesterman likes the jicama salad and "a luscious rendition of the classic Caesar." But how about the star of the show, the parrillada completa? Applause: "And then the grill, laden with lamb shanks, short ribs, chicken, a sea bream and a large head of cauliflower, broccoli and grilled lemons, was set on the table. What to say? It was all fabulous, with extra marks going to the succulent chicken and delectable fish. Oh, and I forgot to mention the side dish of homemade chorizo and chorizo verde sausages made — like everything — in-house. The vegetables were good fun, but frankly, this is the ultimate carnivore dream spread. Delicious."
Desserts, wines and service maintain the momentum. Chesterman sums it all up with this compliment: "Thanks to chef Park for taking us on this trip into his childhood. I can’t wait to go back."