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Critic: Le Blumenthal Keeps Things Simple But Does It Right

While Leméac fumbles a critic’s visit on a busy night

Le Blumenthal
Patricia Brochu

Marie-Claude Lortie is the second critic to take on big newcomer to Place des Arts, Le Blumenthal (Lesley Chesterman approved last week), and its quest to win over locals who might have frowned on its predecessor Balmoral appears to be working. Lortie finds it a “haven of calm” amidst the festival hype. The bright, green space gets compliments (though Lortie wishes the plants weren’t fake). Ex-Leméac chef Rémi Brunelle might not be trying to win creativity competitions with a straightforward menu, she writes (one exception is a candy cap mushroom crème brûlée) but the food hits all the right notes. Starter salads — in both caprese and endive form are well balanced, with creamy cheeses and aromatic herbs. The salmon tartare is also in familiar territory, but bagel chips and horseradish add some kick and intrigue. Lortie would definitely go back. [La Presse]

Le Journal de Montréal’s Thierry Daraize visits Outremont French mainstay Leméac this week, and while his final star rating weirdly doesn’t show it, he finds it a bit disappointing (although he seems to excuse the problems on the restaurant having a particularly busy night). It starts well with an escargot ragout demonstrating the kitchen’s skills. But things go downhill from there: the mushroom part of Daraize’s ravioli could do with more cooking, and Icelandic cod with fennel puree is far too simple. On the dessert side, a maple-caramel sauced brioche isn’t as fluffy as in the past, although a baba fares better. It’s still three stars — only half a star lower than many of Daraize’s positive write-ups this year. [Le Journal de Montréal]

It’s another Quebec City week for Le Devoir, and critic Catherine Ferland is falling in love at Corsican restaurant Petits Creux & Grands Crus. She’s a big fan of the restaurant’s love of board-like platters, allowing for small bites of everything — full bodies imported Corsican cheese show off the island’s terroir, and fried zucchini and migliacciu (a cheese doughnut) are firmly evocative of the Meditteranean. Ferland notes a great deal of respect for traditional Corsican receipes in what is overall a glowing review (although there’s no star rating). [Le Devoir]


1045 Avenue Laurier Ouest, Outremont, QC H2V 2L1 (514) 270-0999 Visit Website

Le Blumenthal

305 Rue Sainte-Catherine Ouest, Montréal, QC H2X 2A3