Kelly Ripa, in Montreal for the Grand Prix with husband Mark Consuelos, raved about Jatoba on her show this week. As far as endorsements go, not too shabby. Well, the restaurant from Marco Benatar (Flyjin), Antonio Park (Park, Lavenderia), Alexandre Besnar, Patrick Hétu (A5 Management), and Nicolas Urli (Hà, Flyjin) just got another boost thanks to a four star review in Le Journal de Montréal.
Everyone's talking about this place, writes Thierry Daraize. The critic is duly impressed with the magnificent décor, the terrasse, and the successful marriage of Japanese and French culinary techniques. Chef Olivier Vigneault, who first won plaudits at Yuzu in Quebec City, executes Antonio Park's curated menu well and, natch, the quality of the fish and seafood is superb. The kitchen's few missteps are quickly forgiven, thanks to standouts like oyster mushrooms with miso gratin ("étonnant et savoureux"), shrimp gyozas ("petits nuages de douces saveurs"), and chicken karaage ("très bon").
Two desserts score too, though curiously, Daraize fails to describe them. Ditto for the wines and cocktails, which the critic barely glances. Word count constraints, perhaps. No matter. The verdict is very good for the relatively new downtown restaurant: four stars on five.