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Reviewer Skeptical of W Hotel’s Arty-Resto Project

And Tastet spends time with the normals

Ê.A.T.’s gritty-art-meets-hotel-restaurant interior

La Presse reviewer Marie-Claude Lortie popped into the W Hotel restaurant Ê.A.T. (Être Avec Toi), apparently with one eyebrow cocked. Quoting the restaurant’s manifesto from the website at length, Lortie appears skeptical of the restaurant’s claims of being a revolutionary experience and an art gallery, and certainly seeks to hold them to their claims of reaching a degustatory “summum” (or “pinnacle”) — rightfully so, given the big money behind it from American company BCP. Art-wise, Lortie says you’re better off visiting the Montreal Biennale. She tried both lunch and dinner, and mostly writes off the $24.90, 30-minutes-max lunch, partly due to an insipid and viscous avocado flan. She has a bit more praise for the dinner, particularly a black cod caesar salad, but is undoubtedly holding Ê.A.T. to high standards, given its high concept attitude. Other dishes such as grilled octopus and a lobster roll seem passable to Lortie, if not for the hefty price tags. [La Presse]

Over at Le Devoir, Jean-Philippe Tastet takes his orders from a colleague who apparently complained that he doesn’t visit enough “normal” restaurants. If you were hoping Tastet would review a Wendy’s, you’re wrong — he checks out Ahuntsic BYOB spot Le Millen. He’s very positive but doesn’t get anywhere near rave territory like Daraize last week: maybe the plates were too normal, or “globalement satisfaisantes”, in Tastet’s words? Pork belly and bison carpaccio are his stand-outs, but the desserts don’t pack much punch. Three stars. [Le Devoir]

Elsewhere, other reviewers are finally getting around to more recent openings. Lesley Chesterman has finally found the high-end Mexican eats she’s been craving at summer arrival Emiliano’s, declaring the Old Port restaurant could mark the birth of a decent Mexican food scene. From guacamole to tacos and grilled queso fresco, Chesterman is borderline raving, although she takes issue with some tough pork and overcooked chicken, and the beer selection — one Mexican beer on offer is “about as exciting as a Molson Canadian”. Two and a half stars. [Montreal Gazette]

At Le Journal de Montréal, Thierry Daraize is in full “bravo!” mode as he visits the equally new pizzeria Stella on Laurier, in a zone he says was in need of a decent slice. It’s another classically simple Daraize take: did you know if you share a communal table, you may end up befriending your neighbours? Thierry does now, thanks to Stella! Not all is perfect despite Daraize’s chipper tone — Stella is strangely still serving all-cold entrées in mid-fall, and one of those, the tune tartare, disappoints, being dominated with capers and with large chunks of FADE tuna. The beet salad seems to be the standout, alongside Stella’s pizzas, even if Daraize sends it back because he likes it crunchier. Three stars. [Le Journal de Montréal]


901 Rue du Square Victoria, Montréal, QC H2Z 1R1 (514) 395-3180 Visit Website

Le Millen

1185 Rue Fleury Est, Ahuntsic-Cartierville, QC H2C 1P9 (514) 903-0636 Visit Website


260 Rue Notre-Dame Ouest, Ville-Marie, QC H2Y 1T3 (514) 316-8017 Visit Website