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Critic Uses All the Exclamation Marks to Remind Us That Bouillon Bilk Rules

Here's a roundup of the week's reviews:

Bouillon Bilk is as good as ever, trumpets critic
Bouillon Bilk is as good as ever, trumpets critic
Bouillon Bilk

— Thierry Daraize re-reviews the consistently excellent Bouillon Bilk this week, and reminds us all that Mélanie Blanchette and François Nadon helm one of the best restaurants in the city. With his trademark treacly, effusive enthusiasm, the Le Journal de Montréal critic gives the Quartier des Spectacles restaurant all the stars (five), but does his readers a disservice by failing to mention Cadet, Bouillon Bilk's fetching new restaurant that recently opened down the street, next to métro Saint-Laurent. A strange omission, but not much of a surprise from Daraize, a critic with an aversion for context and substance. Daraize's sole criticism of Bouillon Bilk? "Quelques points ­d’attraction visuelle, comme des fleurs, seraient agréables à l’œil."

— Over at Le Devoir, Jean-Philippe Tastet gets the jump on everyone with a very early review of Moleskine. Pullman's new, adjacent sister restaurant has barely been open a week, but the critic cannot resist the opportunity to sample Frédéric St-Aubin's food now that the chef has departed the private, exclusive Club 357C to feed the rank and file. Tastet's write-up examines the casual, wood-fired pizza-inflected, rez-de-chaussée level of the hybrid restaurant. (The more refined, upper floor of Moleskine will have to wait for critical scrutiny.) Kudos go to partner Bruno Braën's décor, the price-quality ratio, and the non-pizza elements on the menu. St-Aubin is a "très bon chef à défaut d’un pizzaïolo émérite." "Petite cuisine chaleureuse et service impeccable," concludes Tastet.

— The makeover of the long-derelict Tour de Ville restaurant in the former Delta hotel downtown gets a look from Lesley Chesterman this week. Helena Loureiro's relocated Portus Calle, now Portus 360, opened at the end of April. The decision to move her flagship restaurant from the Plateau to Montreal's 200-seat, revolving, 360-degree panoramic restaurant was a risk, writes Chesterman, but on balance the critic has faith that the chef-restaurateur can pull it off. Chesterman gives Portus 360 three stars on five, on the strength of Loureiro's seafood-heavy Portuguese cuisine. Both a weak wine list and the parking situation need to be corrected, however.

— Marie-Claude Lortie takes on Bar Henrietta, another recent Portuguese makeover, in La Presse this week. The tavern rebrand of Baldwin Barmacie, from the same principals, "est un bar d'abord et avant tout, donc les plats servis sont de format 'snack'," the critic warns. "Les assiettes sont petites. Mais on se surprend toutefois à se sentir repu plus rapidement que prévu." With that, Lortie enjoys most of the Iberian inspired menu, and extols the bar's cocktails. The volume inside, however, can be oppressive. Happily, it's terrasse season, and Bar Henrietta just so happens to have one of the nicest patios in Mile End.

Bar Henrietta

115 Avenue Laurier Ouest, Le Plateau-Mont-Royal, QC H2T 2N6 (514) 276-4282 Visit Website

Moleskine

3412 Avenue du Parc, Le Plateau-Mont-Royal, QC H2X 2H5 (514) 903-6939 Visit Website

BOUILLON BILK

1595 Boulevard Saint-Laurent, Ville-Marie, QC H2X 2S9 (514) 845-1595 Visit Website

Portus360

777 Boulevard Robert-Bourassa, Montréal, QC (514) 849-2070

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