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Restaurant Critic Orders You To Eat At Moleskine’s Upstairs Level

Tastet breaks out the quarter-star

Looking up from Moleskine’s ground floor casual restaurant
Moleskine

Somehow, Plateau pizzeria Moleskine is five for five on the major reviews front — even when there’s only four critics in town. That’s because Le Devoir’s Jean-Philippe Tastet only visited the casual lower level last time, and now he’s back to sample chef Frédéric St-Aubin’s upscale eats on the upper level. Calling it his first Christmas present, Tastet puts forward a total rave. His guinea hen in bouillabaisse main is likened to high art, an da roast lamb plate with lentil stew causes “un moment d’extase” for one of Tastet’s companions. Moleskine falls only an eyelash short of perfection with four and three-quarter stars. Where that quarter star was lost is a mystery — though it could be the desserts, which, while also drawing raves, didn’t get the same at-length treatment. Regardless, Tastet demands that you eat at Moleskine, stat. [Le Devoir]

Now that Gazette critic Lesley Chesterman has visited Ahuntsic BYOW restaurant Le Millen, there’s something of a critical consensus around the French spot. Like Tastet, Chesterman is modestly approving of Le Millen, although she encounters a few more flaws that previous reviewers. A quail entrée is overcooked and came with mushy foie gras, and some plates just had too many competing elements. Case in point, a main plate of pork belly with chorizo, garnished with “pickled melon, hazelnuts, orange supremes, and...a handful of chopped chives," Chesterman lists. “Why distract with all the doodads?” But a sirloin steak with pepper sauce and pistachio crème brûlée are successes. And as Chesterman points out, Millen’s comes at a steep price, which doesn’t help given the flaws. Two stars. [Montreal Gazette]

Over at the journal of the masses, Thierry Daraize dropped by Bistrorante Boccone, a classic Italian restaurant which opened up around a year ago but seems to have dodged the critical radar. It doesn’t get the rave treatment that nearby Inferno received recently from Daraize, but it’s pleasant. They do best on classics — cavatelli with a tomato basic sauce earns praise for keeping it simple, and an “impeccable” minestrone. A veal cutlet could have done without the flour, though. Three stars. [Le Journal de Montréal]

Finally, La Presse is publishing reviews again after a two-week hiatus, with critic Ariane Krol visiting earthy and gamey Quebec City restaurant Légende. The outcome? Near-faultless terroir-oriented food in a pleasantly airy space. [La Presse]

Moleskine

3412 Avenue du Parc, Le Plateau-Mont-Royal, QC H2X 2H5 (514) 903-6939 Visit Website

Le Millen

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

Bistrorante Boccone

170 Rue Jean-Talon, Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC H2R 1S7 (514) 272-2886 Visit Website

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