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One More Critic Showers Stars All Over Montreal’s Expensive Robuchon Restaurant

And more props for a cozy Outremont bistro

The Red Room from Twin Peaks, no, sorry, it’s L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon, Montreal

Le Devoir critic Jean-Philippe Tastet is a little late to the party for L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon: he finally grants it a review almost a full year after the famed French chef’s Montreal outlet opened. And just like the previous critics (BUT NOT LESLEY CHESTERMAN), he declares the very expensive, very publicly-funded restaurant to be pretty much flawless. Elements like the presentation, which Tastet finds stunning, and the “irreproachable” service are on point, and the food itself “close to perfection”. Tastet notes a clear interest in working with Quebec products on the part of the restaurant, and perhaps most interestingly, that it doesn’t quite feel like he’s in a House of Robuchon (“Chez JoJo”, in his words) — of course, while the menu is very Robuchon, he’s not exactly present at the restaurant, and Éric Gonzalez serves as executive chef.

The bar is set at the beginning of the meal with foie gras with a Maury wine reduction and parmesan emulsion, and doesn’t get lowered: Tastet raves about mains like marinated and caramelized black cod with wasabi spinach, and “masterful” Boileau venison with sous-vide foie gras and cranberry “elixir”. Pastry chef Benjamin Oddo keeps the quality up with delicate desserts, and the wine selection is dubbed “impeccable”. Tastet’s sole gripe is the inconvenient Casino location — but that doesn’t stop him from awarding his first five stars for the year. [Le Devoir]

Clams at Bloomfield

Journal de Montréal critic Thierry Daraize’s opinion of Outremont bistro Bloomfield is pretty clear from his one-word headline: “adorable!” The new project from “Madame Soupesoup” Caroline Dumas is “charming” and has “room for development” (figuratively, not literally — the space is pretty tiny). Daraize appreciates the absence of chichi and flafla, and finds that Dumas still has her soup skills, as demonstrated by a “delicious” cream of parsnip entrée. Pizza-like socca (made with chickpea flour) also succeeds (Daraize tries the fig-prosciutto version); in fact, Daraize has no complaints about any dish from grilled octopus with lentils, sumac, mint, and parsley, to the high-quality meat in Dumas’ chicken adobo. Three and a half stars. [Le Journal de Montréal]

Inside Rosélys’ dining room

Finally, new restaurant Rosélys at Montreal’s Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth welcomes La Presse critic Marie-Claude Lortie, who isn’t as jazzed with the newbie’s bistronomique fare as the previous critics to visit. The offerings from former Château Montebello chef Maxime Delmont are uneven, Lortie writes: a “classic” beef-mushroom-bean braise is decent but could be more tender, and that exemplifies many of the dishes: “not bad, but not exactly impeccable”. A red curry coconut sweet potato soup starts well, but things falter elsewhere, as Lortie takes particular issue with the temperature of certain dishes: roast octopus occupies a weird middle zone between hot and cold, Arctic char comes too cold, while a trout escabeche could be cooler. Elsewhere, a chicken tagine with almost creamy risotto-style couscous and prosciutto strays too far from what a tagine should do. Dessert like rum baba and chocolate mousse are far better, although Lortie ends up seeming ambivalent about whether she’d return. [La Presse]

Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth

900 Boulevard René-Lévesque Ouest, Ville-Marie, QC H3B 4A5 (514) 861-3511 Visit Website


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

Casino de Montréal

1 ave. du Casino, Montreal, QC H3C 4W7 (514) 392-2709 Visit Website