Critic Thierry Daraize, always keen to compliment and reluctant to rebuke, nevertheless finds cause to blast veteran restaurant Rodos this week. The Mile End Greek kitchen has been open for four decades. In a rare indictment, the critic for Le Journal de Montréal infers that it may be time to call it quits.
This brutal paragraph (translated, with bold added for emphasis) sums up Daraize's experience: "I've been in the restaurant industry a long time, as the son of a hotelier and restaurateur, and as a cook and chef for 26 years in a number of restaurants. I therefore understood very quickly that the couple [who run Rodos] had years and years of work and dedication to satisfy increasingly demanding clients on their faces. I surmised in two seconds that they were tired, that the fire had gone out, and that this demanding work, often thankless, no longer made them smile. I sincerely understand. But if I'm well-placed to understand them, I'm also a client who didn't have any pleasure in their restaurant."
All this before Daraize even gets to the food. Rodos is empty, save for a few tourists, and aside from a lone standout—the octopus—the food is "very unpleasant" and a "disappointment." Nothing can save the meal. Daraize's waitress holds a wine bottle with her thighs as leverage to open it; this pretty much sets the service tone for the night. The critic takes great pains not to reproach Rodos further but you get the sense the restaurant is fortunate to have eked out two stars on five.