The Fairmont Queen Elizabeth opened less than a month ago, bringing new restaurant Rosélys with it — this week, Le Devoir critic Jean-Philippe Tastet is first to visit. While the exquisite décor makes him fear an all-style, no-substance gastronomic let-down (hey, hotel restaurants haven’t fared too well lately), it’s a major success. Heirloom tomatoes with rosewater (“intriguing”, Tastet notes) and roast octopus with curry cauliflower are good starts, then on more challenging dishes like poached cod with artichokes and fennel, the kitchen is faultless. Tastet writes that the menu appeals to a wide range of tastes — mission accomplished, it seems. Four stars. [Le Devoir]
Speaking of hotels, La Presse critic Marie-Claude Lortie is on the William Gray Hotel rooftop restaurant, Terrasse William Gray. It fares a touch better than the hotel’s main restaurant, Maggie Oakes, where Lortie found faults in the past — for one, the view is spectacular, and some of summery plates land particularly well — notably, a Matane shrimp salad with lime mayo, and grilled octopus with an impeccable salad. The freshness of the produce is a standout, but Lortie takes issue with other dish components at times — a caprese salad-esque dish has a confusing strawberry dressing and the fish part of a gravlax is light on flavour. No points for a yoghurt parfait dessert either, but Lortie would still go back. [La Presse]
At Le Journal de Montréal, Thierry Daraize is at Jean Talon Market-adjacent Kitchen Galerie — chef Mathieu Cloutier copped a warning last year from a critic but Daraize has no qualms. French but without going too classical, a foie gras parfait with caramelized onions is “exquisite”, and a braised pork loin with shrimp, chorizo lentils, and a bisque is a major success (although he notes it’s more of a fall dish). A steak-frites adjacent flap sirloin does lean on the salty side, though. Four stars, nonetheless. [Le Journal de Montréal]
For the Gazette, Lesley Chesterman is in Quebec City with a two-for-one write up. First is new-ish Italian restaurant Battuto, and it’s one of Chesterman’s top critiques of the year — arancini balls are “bliss”, ricotta-stuffed zucchini flowers are light ‘n’ bright. Amongst the mains, the pastas are a feat of using rich ingredients (read: Parmesan cream sauce) while still managing to keep things suitably light. And amongst the desserts, straightforward gelato “puts all those overcomplicated desserts to shame.” Three and a half stars.
Chesterman also visits wine bar Buvette Scott. Duck hearts with fried beluga lentils, peas, and baby carrots are the highlight (primarily thanks to the heart), and the flaws are minor — slightly hard bread in the panzanella salad, for example. Two and a half stars.
- Grand tralala chez Sa Majesté [Le Devoir]
- Terrasse du William Gray: une très belle terrasse sur tout Montréal [La Presse]
- Steak-Dropping Hotel Restaurant Maggie Oakes Misfires For A Critic [EMTL]
- La «balade» des gens heureux [Le Journal de Montréal]
- The New Kitchen Galerie Feels Dated, Warns Lesley Chesterman [EMTL]
- Battuto, Buvette Scott enhance a Quebec City visit [Montreal Gazette]