Montreal's sophisticated wine bar scene just got a boost thanks to Rouge Gorge. This, the takeaway from the latest restaurant review by Lesley Chesterman for the Gazette. The critic describes the wine bar from Laurent Farre and Alain Rochard (owners of the bygone Le Continental) as extraordinarily cool and a bonus for Plateau residents. Rouge Gorge's wine list is not yet on par with the likes of Pullman but "a wine list is a work in progress and I’m sure Rochard is in building mode. There’s still plenty here for those looking for some unique vinos."
Wine is the star but for Chesterman the "most welcome surprise at Rouge Gorge is the food prepared by Rochard’s son Julien." Standout plates include "a luscious asparagus, walnut and spinach salad with a chèvre vinaigrette. I polished that one off and was tempted to lick the plate." Rochard's take on a lobster roll is delicious, as is a blood sausage parmentier which, alas, is too piggy to finish. The critic is less enthused by a lifeless octopus tempura and way-too-sweet ribs with fingerling potatoes. Overall, however, there's a lot to like about the hot new wine bar. The signature Zébulon Perron room is abuzz, service is sharp, and the wine list is full of affordable, intriguing gems that complement the modest food menu. Chesterman's verdict: two and a half stars on four.