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It's Unanimous: The New Lili Co. Is a Hit

All of Montreal's critics have had their say now.

Lortie likes Lili
Lortie likes Lili
Randall Brodeur

The verdicts are in. The relocated Lili Co. is one of the best new restaurants in Montreal. With this review today from the critic for La Presse, Lili Co. partners Catherine Draws and David Pellizzari are four for four with the city's major food critics.

Marie-Claude Lortie writes that if you were a fan of the old Lili Co. on Bienville and Mentana, prepare to love version 2.0 in Mile End: "[I]ls nous proposent encore et toujours une cuisine moderne qui fait une jolie place aux abats sans en faire une religion." The new space is open, inviting, and refreshingly unpretentious. But on to the food. Lortie starts with urchin in its shell with dashi and pronounces the dish "une petite oeuvre d'art." Wild mushrooms are perfectly cooked umami bombs; smoked herring nestled in cold cucumber soup is a "plat pour terminer l'été." An heirloom tomato salad with a tomato vinaigrette hits the mark, but edamame croquettes are less successful, declares Lortie—"dommage que le goût de la friture soit si prononcé."

Off-cuts famously star at Lili Co., and so it's no surprise that the critic's favourite dish is chef Pellizzari's salad of confit lamb's tongue. The offal is "absolument fondante en bouche, toute douce, servie avec des algues, de l'oignon et une vinaigrette ponctuée d'huile de sésame."

Lortie "cherche le parfum, la poésie" in her grilled peaches dessert, but, that miss aside, Lili Co. merits a strong recommend from the critic. Especially with the restaurant's strong, well-priced wine list, and excellent service. It's not a perfect review but it's more in line with raves from Thierry Daraize, Jean-Philippe Tastet, and Lesley Chesterman than not. "Bref, des hauts et des bas dans ce repas qui a un immense mérite, celui d'être préparé avec des produits de grande qualité, soigneusement choisis, par des gens qui prennent soin de leurs convives et de leur travail."