The critic for the Montreal Gazette was a self-professed regular at Le Paris Beurre. When word came last December that the Outremont standby was shuttering, ostensibly due to a lack of youthful customer interest and intensifying competition from newer restaurants on Bernard, Lesley Chesterman "wondered what would become of this beloved bistro of mine."
Good things, as it turns out. With former Paris Beurre sommelier Carl Champagne at the helm, the restaurant's replacement, the wine bar-cum-bistro Les Fillettes, does the old neighbourhood favourite proud. Seated on the restaurant's still-fabulous terrasse, it's hard not to be impressed. "I love what they did with the space, sprucing it up without destroying the perfect floor plan," admires the critic.
The meal starts off well, and with a surprising emphasis on vegetables, thanks to a radish salad with homemade ranch dressing, and roasted cauliflower topped with béarnaise sauce. Mains prove less successful but "the cost-to-portion size is generous." Chesterman likes the kitchen's take on linguine with meatballs but enjoys liver with mustard-laced smashed potatoes even more. A steak "is shoe-leather tough" and summarily dismissed. Salmon, however, is "a nice filet of fish flesh, moist, perfectly cooked and set on top of a tasty flan made of squash." Happily, desserts are better than expected—try the dense chocolate mousse, and deconstructed key lime pie.
The end result is positive. "It’s sad to see a restaurant close due to lack of interest by young diners. Yet it would have been even worse to see the faithful customers lose their old haunt. Looks like Les Fillettes has found a winning formula for all." Two and a half stars on four for the newcomer.