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The Critics Debate: is Foiegwa’s Shepherd’s Pie Good?

And Lesley Chesterman delivers a burn over Parm’s wine prices

Foiegwa’s Duck Parmentier (Shepherd’s Pie)

Two papers took on summer newcomer Foiegwa in their reviews this week; both Marie-Claude Lortie (La Presse) and Thierry Daraize (Le Journal de Montréal) fixate maybe a little too much on the name. Yes, we get it, it’s a joke about Anglophone pronunciation and it fits Foiegwa’s French bistro with a dash of New York style, but a proverb about dead horses comes to mind. Fortunately they review more than just the restaurant’s name — Lortie praises the salade niçoise and the “perfectly balanced” beef tartare, but finds the duck confit shepherd’s pie dry, boring and potato-heavy. While Lortie’s review is definitely on the positive side some of the comments seem a little backhanded: given Foiegwa’s late hours, she writes that it would merit a second visit if she was looking for someplace to eat at 1 a.m, which comes a little close to saying “it’s good if you’re looking for food at a time when Belle Province is your only other option”. [La Presse]

Intriguingly, while Daraize is full of praise and exclamation points for Foiegwa, he inadvertently highlights the arbitrary nature of food reviewing with compliments and criticisms that are opposite to Lortie. He loves the shepherd’s pie, and while Lortie loved it, he finds the Paris Brest with doughnuts in place of chou pastry a heavy mess. “Dommage!” he writes, but almost everything else earns a “Bravo!” and “!!!!!!!!”. [Le Journal de Montréal]

Elsewhere, the Gazette’s Lesley Chesterman empties her wallet on another summer newcomer, Westmount’s Parm. After a fable about how food doesn’t need to be authentic to be good that effectively boils down to “Chesterman uses milk in spaghetti alla carbonara and some chefs think that’s gross” she then applies that logic, finding the beef carpaccio and not-really-Italian-in-the-slightest chicken parm to be the tastiest. She also plates up a well-deserved burn for Parm marking up a $19 bottle of SAQ wine to over triple the price. Two and a half stars. [Montreal Gazette]

Lastly, Jean-Philippe Tastet is in a far better mood this week as he visits Foxy, the grill-heavy restaurant from the Olive and Gourmando crew. Last time they lost his reservation; things are smoother this time and Tastet approves wholeheartedly of the ribs and chicken mains. Four stars. [Le Devoir]


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