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Brïz Needs Work But Shows Promise, Writes Lesley Chesterman

Critic weighs in on new Little Italy restaurant.

The Brïz crew
The Brïz crew
Charles Mercier

Brïz, the relatively new restaurant from Kitchen Galerie and chef Fabrizia Rollo, garnered a another review this past week. Lesley Chesterman, the critic for the Montreal Gazette has the honour and, on the whole, finds much to like about the Jean-Talon Market-adjacent spot. The cocktails, for one, wow. "Seated in the small dining room at Brïz on a recent Friday night, I’m sipping two delicious cocktails. One, the 'Pamplegin' is made with gin, grapefruit, Apérol, basil and ginger ale. The other, the 'Arak spritz' consists of Arak and Campari topped with Prosecco. I sip them slowly on this steamy night and revel in the mix of flavours."

The strong kick-off for the Italo-Mediterranean restaurant is boosted by a conscientious server who knows the menu inside out. At first taste, Chesterman is impressed by Rollo and company's food. Of the "few nibbles to start", winners include "golden-fried zucchini flowers stuffed with smoked cacciacavallo and romanesco broccoli, and crisp arancino filled with pulled pork (yum!) served with a lemon and sumac emulsion. What a treat, and every bite was ideally grease-free and shattering. Gorgeous." Two of three starters, a tomato tart, and squid, fried and grilled with chickpeas and yogurt, hit the mark. The bone marrow, however, is humdrum.

Alas, Brïz's mains and desserts elicit more criticism than praise. A plate of cavatelli is "timid" and the porchetta, while tender, has too many dull, superfluous accompaniments. Desserts could use a seasonal touch, too. "I’m not sure why restaurants serve chocolate desserts in the height of our local berry season; instead of coffee with that ice cream, how about a few Canadian peaches?," observes Chesterman. Still, you get the sense that the critic is behind Rollo and her crew at Brïz. The final verdict: two and half stars on four.

Brïz

6950 Saint-Denis, Montreal, QC H2S 2S4

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