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Critic Endorses Ahuntsic Restaurant L'Alexia, With Caveats

Food gets a thumbs up from Thierry Daraize.

L'Alexia

Monick Gilles left the now-defunct Scarpetta last June to take over the kitchen at Ahuntsic's L'Alexia. Thierry Daraize ventures to the chef's new haunt and likes what Gilles has done at the Mediterranean restaurant, for the most part. In a three-and-a-half-star review yesterday (on five), the Journal de Montréal critic writes: "En y imprimant non seulement son amour de la cuisine de tout le bassin méditerranéen, mais aussi son amour de la cuisine bien faite. Cela me rassure beaucoup."

L'Alexia is loud and could use a designer's touch, infers Daraize. There are service concerns as well. "À la lumière­­ de ce que j’ai constaté à ma dernière visite, je crains qu’il y ait débordement..." The critic orders à la carte after a waiter fumbles his explanation of the dégustation formula and, thankfully, Gilles' initial plates impress. Winners include a feta croquette; scallops and Israeli couscous ("Un très bon plat!"); saddle of rabbit stuffed with sausage; and, finally, a Portuguese-style chicken. For dessert, peach clafoutis and pear cake both score. "Un pur délice!"

Daraize concludes his review with plaudits for Gilles and her kitchen, and with the hope that the front-of-house stumbles at L'Alexia will not sabotage her fine efforts. "Je me disais: une chance que ce n’est pas complet, car comment feraient-ils? De mauvaises soirées, cela arrive et je suis compréhensif, surtout lorsque la bonne volonté et la gentillesse prévalent... Et dans ce registre, rien à dire­­ ici."

L'Alexia

1021, rue Fleury E, Montreal, QC H2C 1R8 (514) 383-9009

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