The critic for Le Devoir decides to have more than his usual fun with a write-up of Plateau pub Maison Publique this week. Jean-Philippe Tastet brushes aside his usual structure in order to "destroy five myths" and, in the process, applaud chef Derek Dammann's restaurant.
Tastet explains to his largely francophone, Québécois readers that since the start of the year he's eaten indigenous, Chinese, Spanish, Japanese, Italian and Middle Eastern food. It's worth translating what he writes next (and feel free to substitute 'English' for 'Anglophone' here): "Today I propose a trip to an even more exotic place. Indeed, today, we eat English."
"While frolicking in these different places, we now take advantage of the opportunity to destroy some myths, starting with the following five: 1. 'The Englishman is deaf by nature.' 2. 'The English do not understand French.' 3. 'The English eat badly.' 4. 'English pub food is disgusting.' 5. 'The English don't grasp non-English humour.'"
The droll critic proceeds to surgically debunk these "myths", one at a time, and simultaneously serves up a rave review of Maison Publique. Spin it another way and the review is as much a primer for the segment of Le Devoir's largely pro-sovereigntist audience that may not have considered the successful restaurant run by the British Columbia-born Dammann. The final word: "La fin de semaine, les foules se pressent pour de gargantuesques brunchs. Le reste du temps, achalandage constant de connaisseurs appréciateurs. On comprend pourquoi."