Food critic Thierry Daraize has filed some humdingers for Le Journal de Montréal this year, but none quite like this week's rave for Le Mousso, the widely praised tasting menu restaurant in the Village from chef Antonin Mousseau-Rivard. "Paradise," declares the headline in Le Journal. "I waited for the right moment to go," Daraize begins. "I did well to wait, as the chef and his team are currently offering their third menu since opening [last fall]."
Mousseau-Rivard is described by the critic as an iconoclast, a wonderful culinary thinker, and an artist who leaves nobody indifferent. The chef's seven-course, $60 prix fixe kicks off with a caviar and black garlic amuse. "A strong start!," Daraize exclaims. "We're already in his world and we won't come out until the last bite of the meal." One quickly senses where the review is going. It's hit after hit from the kitchen, basically, from scallops and daikon, to gently-cooked char with beet powder. There are beets with trout roe and caramelised onions, and a plate of snow crab with green strawberry slices that elicits an "I want more!" from Daraize. Coquelet, with thin slices of mushrooms, is "a rare delicacy," and lamb tataki is "soft as a caress." The critic fails to write about Le Mousso's desserts in detail, but does describe them as fabulous.
In a review pretty much devoid of criticisms, Daraize concludes with this: "In ten years as a critic at Le Journal, this is one of my best meals at a Montreal restaurant." A meal, Daraize remarks, that is "three times less expensive than the equivalent in Europe or the United States." Le Mousso earns a perfect five stars on five, Daraize's first such write-up since La Table des Gourmets last August. Candide earned four and a half stars in January.