The casual restaurant critic for the Montreal Gazette gives food truck Landry & Filles' brick-and-mortar spot a huge bump today with this rave review. The 32-seater on Papineau from Marc Landry, Josée-Ann Landry and Lisa-Marie Veillette wins the coveted 'Great bet' endorsement from Sarah Musgrave. The critic cops to being an unabashed fan of the trio's street food: "What that roving kitchen did, this new sit-down spot does even more so. I’ll admit that I walked in wanting to love it, but I didn’t leave disappointed. There’s a touch of grand-mère about the place that gets you in a warm embrace."
The Brayon-New Brunswick inflected plates are flatteringly described as "smart and striking." Few items fail to impress the critic: "An appetizer of fried Parmesan and melon salad was also vivid, although less contained as a concept, for a strange marriage of crisped cheese croquette with the wetness of watermelon, mingled with shards of marinated melon and the crunch of sunflower seeds. I find the cooking in general to be quite playful: There’s a Scotch egg done with crabmeat, and there are cabbage rolls stuffed with offal."
The hits roll on with the kitchen's specials, which Musgrave terms as "cheffier" and "more elaborate." This is a far cry from the food truck's ploye, or buckwheat pancake, creations: "We got a salmon nage, the delicate veggie and herb broth used for cooking poured atop tableside so that the fish was quite literally swimming in it. An elegant and mild preparation, it was up to technique to successfully show off the ingredients: the interior of the salmon was still luscious, deepest pink and barely cooked, crisped skin set apart, atop plump fennel, radish and leek, with splots of paprika oil for some prickle."
Sides, cocktails and rotisserie items star as well. Even a carrot cake, which Musgrave barely tolerates at the best of times, manages to coax words of praise. When the weather warms up and the original Landry & Filles food truck that started it all parks outside — look out.