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The Critics Take on Otto Yakitori, Chambre à Part, Bocata, and La Tannerie

The week that was in Montreal restaurant reviews

The staff at yakitori standout, Otto
The staff at yakitori standout, Otto
Otto Yakitori Izakaya

— Ariane Krol is the first food critic to weigh in on Montreal's first authentic yakitori restaurant. Otto recently opened downtown, close to Concordia University, and features an array of skewered meats, and assorted sides and larger dishes, cooked over Japanese charcoal. The restaurant "offre une diversité de plats remarquable," writes the La Presse critic, and is a welcome departure from the city's usual izakaya fare. And while Krol isn't overly enthused by everything (the chicken skin yakitori is not crispy enough for her liking, and some items are underseasoned), she'll return to try the rest of the menu.

— The newest restaurant from the La Fabrique team in the Plateau gets a review from Lesley Chesterman in the Gazette this week. Chambre à Part has been a hit-and-miss affair for the city's other critics. A meal at the Saint-Denis spot fell apart for Jean-Philippe Tastet; Thierry Daraize, however, thought the restaurant was "pretty and feminine." If only all of Chesterman's meal lived up to the kitchen's pâté en croûte: "I loved all of it — the way the golden crust hugged the terrine, the perfect seasoning of the pâté, the bull's eye of foie gras in the centre, the bracing little accompaniments. Full marks." Alas, that's pretty much the sole highlight. "The rest, with all the pomp, left me wanting," Chesterman concludes. Two stars on four.

— Tastet, for his part, heads to Old Montreal this week to see what Bocata, Barroco's more muted sister restaurant, has been up to under new chef Jean-Philippe Miron. After stints at the likes of La Société and Globe, "son arrivée chez Bocata mérite de vous être signalée," writes the Le Devoir critic. Tastet enjoys Bocata's warm ambiance and his meal — cavatelli, tagliatelle with lobster, côte de veau with mozzarella — to the tune of three stars on five.

— Finally, a new HoMa BYOW, La Tannerie, from popular grilled cheese food truck P.A. & Gargantua, earns a solid review from Thierry Daraize in Le Journal de Montréal. Winners from Paul-André Piché's kitchen include a steak tartare, a boudin Scotch egg, mushrooms with herbs and white wine, and, despite its slapdash appearance, cod with smoked squash purée. There are some missteps along the way, but La Tannerie's service is warm and welcoming, and the food is a notch above most BYOWs. Three and a half stars on five.


310, rue Saint-Paul Ouest, Montreal, QC H2Y 2A3 (514) 507-8727 Visit Website

Chambre à Part

3619 Rue Saint-Denis, Le Plateau-Mont-Royal, QC H2X 3L6 (438) 386-3619 Visit Website

Otto Japanese Yakitori

Maisonneuve ouest, Montréal, QC (514) 507-8886

La Tannerie

4255 Ontario Est, Montreal, Quebec H1V 1K3 (438) 387-3877 Visit Website