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Critic Lavishes Five Stars on a Quebec City Restaurant’s Foresty Fare

While another critic lambasts a popular Korean eatery

Chez Boulay

It’s time for Le Devoir’s monthly Quebec City restaurant review from Catherine Ferland, and this one is a major rave. She’s at Chez Boulay, the Nordic bistro from doyen of the food scene Jean-Luc Boulay (perhaps best known for his old Quebec City restaurant Le Saint Amour). It’s one of the best “gourmet missions” of Ferland’s life: the food harks back to Quebec’s colonial era, with high-level refinement. A pork belly croquette with braised and roasted oyster mushrooms is delicate and bursting with character; roast deer with juniper juice and a liver-potato “bread” is a feastworthy delight. Ferland finds the foresty character is exceptionally consistent, right through dessert — the crème brûlée isn’t like the pedestrian stuff served up on many dessert menus. Ferland finds the use of sweet clove and blackcurrent perfumed, and it “makes [her] taste buds sing”. It’s a perfect five stars — the first for Le Devoir this year. [Le Devoir]


Le Blumenthal
Patricia Brochu

Back in Montreal, Gazette critic Lesley Chesterman gives new Place-des-Arts restaurant Le Blumenthal its first write up, and the efforts from chef Rémi Brunelle and others to turn a former tourist-only spot into something locals can like seems to be working. She notes that Brunelle’s menu consists of various “greatest hits from the bistro/brasserie canon”, done with flair. A kale Caesar salad dolled up with shrimp, and salmon tartare both succeed amongst the apps, and tenderly brined roast chicken, lamb sirloin roasted to the “ideal rosiness”, and a burger all get various iterations of the classic Chesterman “nice!”. Duck poutine with squeak-free cheese is a bit of a flop, and desserts need work, but it’s two and a half stars. [Montreal Gazette]


License IV
Patricia Brochu

Also getting its first critical visit is classic French spot in Griffintown License IV, open since April. France-trained chef-turned-reviewer Thierry Daraize is there for Le Journal de Montréal, and it mostly meets expectations (his tip: simple menu items are best). Onion soup earns a positive “Mon Dieu”, and mussels (a dish Daraize says he avoids because it’s often a miss) are perfectly cooked, with onion, celery, tomato, white wine, arugula, and butter. But the bouillabaisse is most successful, drawing an “Oh là là!”. Dessert shape up too, and the flaws are minor — a flank steak is a touch thick is the only major complaint, but it’s enough to bring it down to a still good three and a half stars. [Le Journal de Montréal]


Lastly, La Presse critic Marie-Claude Lortie is at Concordia-adjacent Korean restaurant Ganadara, known for its lengthy line-ups for comfort food. But it’s not worth the wait, Lortie writes. She gives credit for offering something modern beyond the standard kimbap and jigae, but finds that generally speaking, the restaurant’s offerings lean heavily on heat (the spicy kind), but in a one-dimensional way that doesn’t allow anything beyond chilis to shine through. Fried chicken is good, beef bulgogi is hot but without zing, and tokochi (rice cakes in a sauce) are too heavy. The presentation and atmosphere is nice, and the fried chicken is a successful dish, but it doesn’t save the review. [La Presse]

Le Blumenthal

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

Chez Boulay

1110 Rue Saint-Jean, Quebec City, QC G1R 1S4 (418) 380-8166 Visit Website

License IV

1524 Rue Notre-Dame O, Montréal, QC H3C 1L1 (514) 938-8084 Visit Website

Bar Ganadara

1900 Rue Sainte-Catherine Ouest, Ville-Marie, QC H3H 1M4 (514) 379-3009 Visit Website

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