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The Critics: Yes to Heavenly Hvor, No to Messy Mezcla

And Thierry Daraize finds a Little Italy classic is still great

At Hvor, Chef S'Arto Chartier-Otis Has a Stunning Griffintown Home
Hvor in Griffintown
Randall Brodeur

The reviewers took this week to catch up on their to-do lists. Marie-Claude Lortie at La Presse is the only critic to visit a new-ish restaurant, taking on the Danish-named but not-actually-Danish Hvor in Griffintown. It’s received glowing reviews before and Lortie is generally positive too, although she doesn’t breathlessly rave about it. Given Hvor’s constantly changing tasting menus, it’s a tricky review since any reader is unlikely to encounter the same dishes. In any case, she finds a salmon mousse appetizer a little overwhelming and (justifiably) questions why a restaurant so heavily oriented towards local produce would source fish from New Zealand. Lortie’s biggest props go to the desserts and sommelier Fred Fortin, formerly of Laurea. [La Presse]

Breathless may not be Lortie’s style, but Thierry Daraize at Le Journal de Montréal is happy to take that tone this week, as he drops into Inferno, on The Most Italian Corner in Montreal. While the longstanding Little Italy resto may have been overshadowed by nearby Impasto and Salmigondis in recent times, Daraize says the Italian classic undoubtedly still has it going on—the nornmally risotto-avoidant Daraize praises Inferno’s take on the dish (although confusingly offers no description whatsoever), while his only criticism is the overly simple desserts, a rhubarb-fig panna cotta and peach tartelette. Four and a half stars. [Le Journal de Montréal]

Lesley Chesterman wishes she could have enjoyed an old favourite as much as Daraize this week: she visits Mezcla in the Village, which she deemed a “faultless” “orgy of tastes” an eon ago. Since chef Marcel Larrea moved on (to work on Peruvian-Japanese fusion spot Tiradito) Chesterman writes that Mezcla has gone off the rails. Chesterman encounters some of the same dishes as her last visit, but this time she gets the evil twin version of those plates: while the shrimp with yucca ribbons is still good, the tuna salad is “dull”, pork chops “greasy” and while the bison ribs were a plus, the accompanying vegetables were overcooked and unseasonal. And the kicker? The prices have gone through the roof since her 2012 visit. One and a half stars. [Montreal Gazette]

Lastly, Jean-Philippe Tastet is off this week at Le Devoir, so his much less verbose colleague Catherine Ferland checks out the Quebec City fine art museum restaurant Témpera Québécor and after throwing in a few fine art analogies, concludes that it’s pretty good. [Le Devoir]


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