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Critic: Fried Chicken Game Strong At Le Bird Bar

Also — a delicious new neighbourhood favourite in Rosemont

Le Bird Bar

— Jean-Philippe Tastet at Le Devoir is the first big critic to get to Griffintown fried chicken ‘n’ champagne spot Le Bird Bar, where it appears that owner Kimberly Lallouz’s months of workshopping chicken-frying strategies has paid off. Tastet has a caveat though, it’s a raucous place, not a low-key, whispery, formal restaurant setting. The wagyu pogo is distracting, says Tastet: “it’s ‘Bird Bar’, not ‘Beef Bar’”, but the main event — fried chicken — is a knockout. Juicy, tender, and fleshy, with sauces like sriracha-maple, chimichurri, and spicy mango that complement it perfectly. Also good — a baked bone-marrow appetizer with candied onion. Three-and-a-half stars. [Le Devoir]

Rose Ross’ onion carbonara
Rose Ross

— At La Presse, Ariane Krol is also first out of the blocks for Rose Ross, a Rosemont bistro that opened later in 2016. She frames it as an ideal neighbourhood spot: homey, but with culinary chops due to chef-owner Myriam Pelletier’s experience in France and at Toqué!. It’s both creative — for example, a carbonara dish with onion petals in place of pasta — and made with finesse (perfectly-seared scallops with silky cauliflower purée, a hint of citrus, and bacon). A labneh-caramel-cardamom pudding is also impressive in its simplicity, writes Krol, but dessert also brought the night’s only flop, a dry chou pastry entity with kefir lime crème anglaise — the dry pastry is the catastrophe here, but overall, Krol says Rose Ross is a restaurant she’d love to have at her doorstep. [La Presse]

— The Montreal Gazette’s Lesley Chesterman, historically much more a fine dining critic, has been killing it on the casual front this year — this week, it’s a double-feature brunch review. First is Mile End German-slash-Scandinavian spot Le Butterblume, open since mid-2016. It’s adventurous fare — Chesterman approves of a fresh, perfectly seasoned salmon and lentil salad, ditto königsberger meatballs with celery root cream, although she worries they might be too rich. On the flipside, pork-and-spinach ravioli in chicken dashi swings to the bland side, but it’s two-and-a-half stars.

Outside Arthurs, in St-Henri
Randall Brodeur

— Second up for Chesterman is Saint-Henri’s Sephardic Jewish-inspired dinette Arthurs, also open since mid-2016. Their excessive $14 caesar, served with a bagel, lox, and cream cheese in it, is delicious (perhaps in spite of the gimmick). Also delicious: syrniki (cottage cheese pancakes), and winning dish, Moroccan toast. In Chesterman’s words, though, the shakshuka needs “zuzzing” in the form of spice. Two-and-a-half stars. [Montreal Gazette]

— Finally, Thierry Daraize at Le Journal de Montréal is at Stefano Faita and Michele Forgione’s original Little Italy restaurant Impasto, indulging his previously-documented love of all things Italian. There’s nothing groundbreaking here: a few years in, Impasto’s northern Italian options are still strong, with Daraize calling the restaurant “warm, friendly, and joyful.” The “fantastic” veal osso bucco falls off the bone, and dessert, particularly a chocolate, fromage blanc, lemon, and rum dessert, is impressive. There’s no major complaints, although a buckwheat pasta dish with potato, speck, bitto cheese, and cabbage is a touch heavy. Three-and-a-half stars. [Le Journal de Montréal]

Le Butterblume

5836 Boulevard Saint-Laurent, Le Plateau-Mont-Royal, QC H2T 1T3 (514) 903-9115 Visit Website

Impasto

373 Waverly Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11238 (718) 789-1520 Visit Website

Bird Bar

1800 Rue Notre-Dame Ouest, Le Sud-Ouest, QC H3J 1M5 (514) 938-4343 Visit Website

Rose Ross

3017 Rue Masson, Montréal, QC H1Y 1X7 (514) 379-1900 Visit Website

Arthurs

4621 Notre-Dame Ouest, Montreal, Quebec H4C 1S5

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