— Outremont's Provisions hasn't polarized Montreal's food critics quite like another relatively new restaurant, but it has provoked divergent takes. In a not altogether negative review last October, Lesley Chesterman wrote that "despite the effort, the technique, the plethora of ideas and the sharp service, Provisions just didn’t do it for me." That same month, Thierry Daraize gave the market-driven restaurant a rare four and a half stars on five. "Une table formidable. Un de mes coups de cœur de l’année!," exclaimed the Le Journal de Montréal critic. La Presse restaurant columnist Iris Paradis-Gagnon told Eater, in a roundup of last year's food scene, that her best meal of 2015 was at the Van Horne restaurant. Her colleague at La Presse, critic Ariane Krol, was less enthused but conceded that the kitchen's free-wheeling formula occasioned some flashes of brilliance.
Amid this background of mixed critical consensus, Jean-Philippe Tastet files his long-awaited review of Provisions this week. The Le Devoir critic doesn't mince words: he loves the restaurant's surprise menu formula, unreservedly. “Dans ce local un peu exigu, occupé autrefois par le très apprécié Van Horne, tout, vraiment tout est réjouissant.” Like Daraize, Tastet bestows an impressive four and a half stars on five on Provisions. It's a review with few quibbles. “La dizaine de plats testés ont non seulement tous été satisfaisants mais ont suscité des émotions inattendues,” beams Tastet.
— A very different restaurant elicits a quasi rave from Thierry Daraize this week. Velvet-roped supper club Soubois depends less on food sales than bottle service for survival, but has a crack chef in the kitchen in Guillaume Bélisle-Daly. The chef “a beaucoup de talent et met tout son cœur à l’ouvrage,” remarks Daraize. While the ambiance is “phénoménale”, Soubois' club vibe is not for everyone. Come early and get out before the d.j. cranks the volume, the critic warns. Not every plate from Bélisle-Daly and company hits the mark, and servers seem overwhelmed, but the kitchen manages to coax the likes of “Bravo!” and “Parfait!” from Daraize. Three and a half stars on five.
— Over in the Plateau, Ariane Krol samples vegan sushi in the former Les Trois Petits Bouchons wine bar. The menu at the relocated Sushi Momo probably won't appeal to sushi purists, admits the critic, but for others “c'est une solution de rechange originale qui mérite le détour.” Krol writes that she'd return with vegan and vegetarian friends in a heartbeat.