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Critic: Soupesoup Founder’s New Bistro is Simply Great

And a creative Mile End newcomer also shapes up

Clams at Bloomfield
Alexia Dumas-Malouf

New Outremont bistro Bloomfield earns its first write-up this week, as La Presse critic Marie-Claude Lortie pays a visit. The neighbourhood spot from Soupesoup founder Caroline Dumas (who has since left the company) gets a hard recommend — Lortie says she’d be a regular if she lived nearby. Dumas keeps it simple with dishes like a green bean-roast tomato-grelot potato salad, allowing ingredients to shine. Grilled octopus with hints of the Middle East (yogurt, sumac, mint, cauliflower) is a highlight, with tentacles that melt in the mouth; a straightforward clam dish cooked in white wine and cream, and pouding chômeur fancied up with maple syrup are other no-nonsense stars. One black rice dish with a coconut sauce falls a little flat, but Lortie would otherwise easily return. [La Presse]

Chicken and cassava
Fieldstone

Also hosting its first critic is Mile End newcomer Fieldstone, with a visit from Le Devoir’s Jean-Philippe Tastet. Tastet only visited for lunch (although Fieldstone just added dinner service), noting that it’s not every day a lunch impresses him like this. Tastet shrugs a little at the desserts, and skips the foie gras ice cream on offer, but his words are rife with praise for the other dishes — a pumpkin soup with curry oil, lemongrass, espelette peppers and coconut is worth a detour alone. The follow-up shrimp dish with avocado, egg, and sourdough is brought to life by the cilantro-adjacent huacatay salsa, and a chicken dish is tender and succulent, further enhanced with zucchini flowers, turmeric, and a wood-smoked turnip mousse. Three and a half stars. [Le Devoir]

Beets and mascarpone
Les Cons Servent

The Gazette’s Lesley Chesterman is at Plateau French bistro Les Cons Servent (known as one of the city’s early adopters for a natural wine list). It’s a “good ol’ neighbourhood bistro” in her words, with both a few hits and misses. The wine shines, and while the food is “nothing earth-shattering”, and dishes like a venison tartare (silky and well-spiced), and jumbo shrimp with a tomato-horseradish salsa on the side of entrées. Mains don’t do as well: duck pappardalle features clumpy pasta, and its accompanying broccoli pesto just isn’t a great idea. Duck confit fares far better, although Chesterman leaves worried that the restaurant “might already have passed its best-before date”. Two stars. [Montreal Gazette]

Pad thai
Pamika

On the other side of the Plateau, Le Journal de Montréal critic Thierry Daraize is at established Thai spot Pamika. He seems a fraction disappointed, although the rating doesn’t reflect it. Tom kha kai soup with chicken, galanga, lemongrass, and coconut is a comforting highlight, while “Bangkok rolls” (chicken spring rolls) are a little lacking in punch, ditto for a yellow chicken curry oddly cooked in stock and not a sauce, with a solid layer of grease on top. A kha prao pork-and-basil stir fry is too spicy to be assessed (and it only had three chilis out of a possible four on its menu listing), yet Daraize still gives three stars all up.

Otto Yakitori

Lastly, Cult Montreal’s casual critic JP Karwacki is at downtown izakaya Otto Yakitori. Deep-fried options seem to have some issues with heavy, starchy coatings (both a squid dish and karaage chicken demonstrate this), but the char-grilled skewers implied in the restaurant’s name shape up fantastically, both crispy and soft. Also worthy is an albacore tuna rice bowl, where “simplicity” is not synonymous with “boring”, courtesy of a great cut of buttery fish. [Cult MTL]

Pamika Brasserie Thai

901, rue Sherbrooke Est, Montréal, QC H2L 1L3 (514) 508-9444 Visit Website

Les Cons Servent

5064 Ave. Papineau, Montreal, QC H2H 1V8 (514) 523-8999 Visit Website

Bloomfield

1199 Avenue Van Horne, Outremont, QC H2V 1K1 (514) 277-1001 Visit Website

Cantine Teré

5427 Boulevard Saint-Laurent, Montreal, QC H2T 1S5 (438) 387-7197 Visit Website

Otto Yakitori Izakaya

1441 Rue Saint Mathieu, Ville-Marie, QC H3H 2M4 (514) 507-8886 Visit Website

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