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Critic Snubs TripAdvisor's #1 Montreal Restaurant

Also: reviews for Le Pier 66 and La Bête à Pain in Ahuntsic

La Bête à Pain by Randall Brodeur
La Bête à Pain by Randall Brodeur

"No doubt this restaurant lacks strong cooking, yet I can see why it is so popular"

— Ten years after her original two-star review, Lesley Chesterman takes on Les Deux Singes de Montarvie. After sharing a few bad experiences using TripAdvisor abroad — the restaurant is, after all, Montreal's number one restaurant on TripAdvisor — Chesterman dives in. The establishment’s affordable-but-not-so-interesting wine list falls short in a city where the new-normal consists of a wide selection of natural wines, notes the Gazette writer. Beautifully assembled dishes like lamb tartare with octopus and pea coulis fail to impress Mrs. Chesterman. "No doubt this restaurant lacks strong cooking, yet I can see why it is so popular," she writes. "I can see how burgeoning foodies, on a first date, perhaps, can have a lot of fun here comparing notes on each dish." The verdict? Two stars.

— Meanwhile, Marie-Claude Lortie pays a visit to Le Pier 66, a fish and seafood restaurant on Bernard street in Outremont where the chef has already changed since the March opening. Current chef Antony Plante (Accords) perfectly sears scallops served with crispy sweetbreads, shoots, and celery root puree, making Lortie wish she didn’t have to share with her companions. "La prochaine fois, on en prendra chacun un," she adds. "Parce qu'il y aura une prochaine fois." She will return, but next time she’ll get her own plate.

— Le Journal de Montréal’s Thierry Daraize tackles the $22 brunch at La Bête à Pain in Ahuntsic. Back in 2014, the same five-course brunch left the Gazette’s Sarah Musgrave perplexed: "Of all the brunches in town, this one was a touch weird, yet really well done," she wrote. Daraize too notes a few missteps along the way, but the overall meal — warm cereal, asparagus, chickpea salad, mackerel and lemon cake, stamped with a budget-friendly price tag — leaves him feeling satisfied.

— Stephanie Mercier Voyer