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Critic: Prince is Montreal’s Finest New BYOB Restaurant

And Montréal Plaza is still close to perfection

Caviar with blinis and crème fraîche
Prince

— Prince, a new Plateau BYOB taking up the former Les Infidèles space, gets its first critical treatment since opening in November. It’s a good one — the Gazette’s Lesley Chesterman declares the French-with-glances-at-Asia spot from BYOB kingpins Georges Blais and Marc-André Paradis to be a cut above their other (also good) restaurants like O’Thym and Lannes et Pacifique. Out of the gate, a blood pudding app with marinated salmon, apple brunoise, hazelnuts and sour cream is declared “scrumptious”, and a très French veal filet is “a pretty straightforward dish, done flawlessly.” Not all is perfect: a puréed shrimp spring roll with a mayo sauce is “cloying”, and dessert such as doughnuts seem a little ratchet in contrast with the otherwise refined menu. A previous suspicion — that Chesterman really, really likes her cheese plates — is confirmed here, as Prince’s only-OK collection of fromage dents the review’s shine a little. Three stars. [Montreal Gazette]

Montréal Plaza
Randall Brodeur

— The best thing on the wig-and-prom dress hub that is the St-Hubert Plaza, Charles-Antoine Crête’s Montréal Plaza received its first visit from Le Journal de Montréal critic Thierry Daraize, the last of the big reviewers to get around to New York Times-approved 2015 opener. Only one reviewer hasn’t loved Plaza, and it wasn’t Daraize, who declares it spectacular: “we weren’t bored for a second”. Beyond the praise for the restaurant’s clever and creative décor, Daraize has compliments across the board for chef Cheryl Johnson’s vegetable and seafood-leaning creations. Red snapper nigiri with green onion oil and a chickpea vinaigrette is “exquisite”, and sardines with spicy mayo, and tomato caramel and dust deserve over five stars in Daraize’s view. On the meatier side, a venison tongue and octopus skewer with jus is perfectly textured. The only foibles are small elements of dishes — a too-salty ponzu sauce on a monkfish liver dish, for example, but it’s still four-and-a-half stars. [Le Journal de Montréal]

— At La Presse, Marie-Claude Lortie visits Antonio Park flagship Park, the hook being that the restaurant re-opened after its November fire — although it was only closed for a month, and there was no big shake-up. In any case, La Presse’s last visit was in 2012, so it was probably time for a revisit; no biggie. It’s business as usual: Lortie recommends omakase as the best approach. Since those tiny fish plates rotate frequently, there’s little value in recapping them, but Lortie deems it a “feast”, with particular admiration for Park’s ability to stick to a theme (fusion grounded in cultures he has lived with) while creation variations around it. As a possible preview of Park’s upcoming joint venture with patissier Bertrand Bazin (who is new-ish to the pastry chef at Park), Lortie’s high points is are the dessert offerings, such as tapioca with mango-passionfruit sorbet and crispy sweet potato vermicelli. [La Presse]

— Finally, Le Devoir’s Quebec City critic Catherine Ferland is on duty this week, taking on old school fondue restaurant La Tyrolienne. Perhaps a little weirdly for a Swiss restaurant, Ferland opts for seafood in the form of a scallop feuilleté, because that’s what she’s feeling, and it’s masterful (and she does try the fondue and summarily praises it). Also of note — Tyrolienne’s in-house accordion player: a nice touch. Four-and-a-half stars. [Le Devoir]

Montréal Plaza

6230 Rue Saint-Hubert, Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC H2S 2M2 (514) 903-6230 Visit Website

Park Restaurant

378 Avenue Victoria, Westmount, QC H3Z 2N4 514 750 7534 Visit Website

Prince

771 Rue Rachel E, Montreal, Quebec H2J 2H4 514-528-8555 Visit Website

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