— Dosas and thali plates at Petite-Patrie Indian snack bar Le Super Qualité (open since last summer) continue to quietly rack up stamps of approval — first from Le Devoir, and now from La Presse critic Marie-Claude Lortie. She does make note that the spot is run by, well, white people, but says the three-person team (two of who worked on Mile Ex pan-Asian catering operation Cook Caravan) “show passion for a cuisine of richness and diversity”. A cabbage salad doesn’t succumb to any of the sadness sometimes associated with the vegetable: with yogurt, cumin, mustard seeds, cilantro, and peanuts, it’s a crunchy explosion of fresh flavour. The restaurant’s southern Indian specialties also excel, from the thali plate to crispy, rolled-up dosa. Lortie has zero qualms with the food; the only issue is some weird kitchen ventilation may leave you smelling like the apparently delicious food.
— Old Montreal’s newest upscale vegan-vegetarian spot LOV has had mixed luck with the critics, but is now two-for-three after Le Journal de Montréal’s Thierry Daraize stops by. He likes the décor, but is back into his old habit of gendering restaurants, calling the design “very feminine” — it probably doesn’t help that LOV doesn’t serve meat, which is stereotypically associated with men and masculinity (fittingly, he also notes that the clientele is mostly women, along with a few men he determines are their boyfriends). Anyway, his top dish is the grilled oyster mushroom with Jerusalem artichoke, mace chips, raifort, and zucchini, which he likens to haute gastronomy. A few minor tweaks would help — more salt on the mushroom carpaccio, less curry on the roasted cauliflower, but it’s a three and a half star experience. [Le Journal de Montréal]
— At Le Devoir, Quebec City critic Catherine Ferland is on duty this week, at specialist in meaty AF Saguenay-Lac-St-Jean culinary specialist Là Là. It wouldn’t be a real Lac-St-Jean affair without tourtière — and its golden, slightly salted crust stuffed with meat and potatoes leaves Ferland salivating for days after. The menu could do with some more local specialties out of the Saguenay area on the booze front, but it’s still four stars. [Le Devoir]
— Gazette critic Lesley Chesterman doesn’t have a review this week, instead it’s a round-up of the city’s 15 best burgers. Some will undoubtedly gripe about the absence of mainstays like Dilallo and Dic-Ann’s but it’s a solid list, with plenty of usual suspects: Mr. Steer, Nouveau Palais, Burger de Ville, Uniburger, and so on. She also singles out a few top patties at other restos not necessarily synonymous with burgers: Brasserie Harricana, Maison Boulud, and Brasserie T to name just a few. Only one chain fast-food burger makes the cut, and that’s Five Guys. [Montreal Gazette]
— Week in Reviews bonus! CNN has a travel special on Montreal’s most interesting neighbourhoods, and while a little geographically confused, it’s not nearly as ham-fisted as some American takes on the city (looking at you, Vogue’s trendpiece about Mile-Ex. Some notes on it:
- Telling tourists to go to Old Montreal: innovative!
- The number of patisseries in the Plateau is apparently correlated with gentrification
- Writer Joe Yogerst highlights the Petite-Patrie area as best for interesting food, from Hispanic offerings in its east to “craft beer joints in Mile-Ex”. Too bad there are actually no craft beer bars in Mile-Ex, though.
- “Historic Jewish Quarter” is not really a neighbourhood, moreover it’s also part of the Plateau, which Yogerst also highlights as a neighbourhood to consider.
- Habitat 67 is cool, but the islands in the St. Lawrence and Cité-du-Havre are neither neighbourhoods, nor are they particularly exciting.
- What’s with all the love for Plaza St-Hubert? Montréal Plaza is a great restaurant there, but for the most part, it’s a large open-air wig emporium.
- Le Super Qualité... en effet [La Presse]
- Le Super Qualité Supplies Indian Snacks and Fun Cocktails [EMTL]
- Orange Rouge Has Got Its Mojo Back, Writes Critic [EMTL]
- Un amour de restaurant [Le Journal de Montréal]
- Critic Finds “Granola-tarian” Veggie Restaurant LOV A Little Confused [EMTL]
- Un beau rendez-vous Là Là [EMTL]
- The best hamburgers in Montreal [Montreal Gazette]
- 12 of Montreal's best neighborhoods [CNN]
- Mile-Ex: The Hidden Montreal Neighborhood That’s Winning Over the Creative Set [Vogue]