Journal de Montréal critic Thierry Daraize hits up Boca Iberica, that Portuguese restaurant just off St-Laurent with the slick signage that sticks out amongst the various other more low-key Portuguese bistros in the area. It hasn’t seen a critic in a few years, and Daraize is mostly stoked on the Portuguese fare — he bestows compliments on the restaurant’s offerings of various olive oils to taste, as well as a tripe dish with borlotti beans, especially since badly-done tripe could be nightmarish. But sautéed pork with clams and potato is the plat du jour: “Mon Dieu, quel délice!” he writes. Not all is perfect though — a sweetbread entrée is a little too firm, but overall, it’s four stars.
The Gazette has shifted into “best of 2016” mode, and is unveiling critic Lesley Chesterman’s top picks in a number of categories, day-by-day. First up is the top salads of 2016 — grill fans Foxy get accolades for a winter salad of grilled cauliflower, celery leaves, shredded duck and parmesan, which Chesterman’s early two-and-a-half star review deemed “superb”. The second salad of note was at Le Boating Club, the summery Laval restaurant from the Philémon team — their autumn salad “excited” Chesterman in September in a two-and-a-half star review, with parsnip, pumpkin seeds, iceberg, arugula and a miso dressing.
Finally, Le Devoir’s Jean-Philippe Tastet drops by oyster shucker extraordinaire Daniel Notkin’s self-titled restaurant. He’s the last big critic to visit and is much more positive about Notkins than some past critics. It’s a good sign that the oysters (at a restaurant known for just that) extract pleasurable “ohs” and “ahs” from Tastet and co., but the menu excels beyond the shellfish realm. Tastet has two particularly rave-inducing plates — perfectly-grilled Icelandic char, and beef tartare with albacore tuna, roast pepper compote, parmesan, harissa, and a lightly cooked egg is in total harmony. The downside? Pedestrian desserts straddling the line of neither good nor bad so much that Tastet can’t really describe them. Four stars. [Le Devoir]
- La cuisine ibérique à son meilleur! [Le Journal de Montréal]
- Fine Dining: Boca Iberica [Montreal Gazette]
- Lesley Chesterman's best dishes of 2016, Day 1: best salads [Montreal Gazette]
- Foxy Could Be Great But Has Some Kinks to Iron Out First [EMTL]
- Is This the Worst Restaurant Review of the Year? [EMTL]
- Des huîtres et plus encore [Le Devoir]
- Critic Faults Notkins for Lack of Professionalism [EMTL]