"It's not always easy for young restaurateurs to follow an institution, it takes courage and I suspect that the youngsters who took over the defunct Paris Beurre have their hearts in the right place." So begins, translated, the first critical take for Les Fillettes from a Montreal food crtiic. Thierry Daraize has a soft spot for the Outremont newcomer, open less than two months, from the get-go; in his youth, the Journal de Montréal critic used to serve 375ml 'fillette' format wine bottles at his parents' restaurant. The emphasis at Les Fillettes is indeed on wine, as well as "cuisine de petits plats à partager, des plats malins réalisés par une équipe jeune qui a un bagage de cuisiniers-traiteurs et même de camions de rue (Pas de cochon dans mon salon)."
Before he dives into the kitchen's small plate format menu, Daraize takes stock of the scene inside Les Fillettes. Paris Beurre's facelift offers a nice, casual atmosphere. There's no trace of stress—the restaurant's young charges seem genuinely happy and passionate about their work. It's easy to unplug as a customer.
On to the food. Daraize begins with a duck gizzard salad; the off-cuts are a bit too firm for the critic's taste but the seasoning is right. Merguez with Israeli couscous, raisins, and cumin is "parfaitement cuite." A hefty calf's liver with bourguignonne garnish and mashed potatoes in mustard is totally in Daraize's wheelhouse. "On se délecte d’un plat bien réconfortant." The star, however, is bass with gnocchi and roasted pepper. "Sûrement le meilleur plat de la soirée!"
Desserts fall a bit flat but not enough to spoil Daraize's regard for the restaurant. With an ace wine list, well-executed plates, and superb service, Les Fillettes charms: "Une belle cuisine, une belle formule, un bon format !" Three stars on five from the Journal de Montréal critic.