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Masson BYOB Bounces Back From Last Week’s No-Star Review

And more praise for a Laval wine bar

Niçoise salad
Gaston

Gaston, the latest BYOB from of Georges Blais and Marc-André Paradis, had a no-good time when Lesley Chesterman threw them no stars last week. But Journal de Montréal critic Thierry Daraize redeems them somewhat (although notably, Daraize very rarely dips into the one- and two- star zone). He doesn’t love the ambiance (“austere”) and questions the choice of gangster rap for a soundtrack, and worries about the apparently short-staffed kitchen. But the “perfectly-fried” boudin is “one of the best in Montreal”, and a duck dish with dauphinois gratin was in need of a tiny bit more cooking, though its cabbage accompaniment is “perfect”. Desserts (possibly not made in-house), and a “bland” shrimp dish all merit shrugs, though. Three stars. [Le Journal de Montréal]

Oregon

Laval wine bar Oregon is hitting its stride, with its second glowing review this month — Le Devoir’s Jean-Philippe Tastet questions the strip mall location (like others before), but he bubbles with praise once inside. Oysters are “impeccably” prepared, and pork dumplings with shimeji mushrooms and Chinese cabbage (“some of the best I’ve had in a while”) are an “ecstatic moment”. The hanger steak with chimichurri and confit potatoes earns a similar reaction. The only downside is a yawn-inducing sweetbread plate (even if its accompanying caponata is good), and desserts like a Paris-Brest with raspberry sorbet more than make up for it. Four stars. [Le Devoir]

Duck for two
Hopkins

Also hitting the sweet spot is NDG newcomer Hopkins, from chef Liam Hopkins. Iris Gagnon-Paradis is on critic duty at La Presse this week, and enjoys the pastel “chic, but not snobby” restaurant. A revisited niçoise with confit potatoes has mouth-melting tuna, but the signature duck ravioli (“divine”, and “rich”) take the cake. A few tweaks could be made: braised octopus gets lost amongst beets and other elements, and a bone marrow “brûlée”, while good, lacks a crunch that would help it live up to its name. But Gagnon-Paradis would happily go back for a special occasion. [La Presse]

Step Inside Chez Tousignant, the New Little Italy Snack Bar From Impasto
Chez Tousignant
Randall Brodeur

On the casual beat, Cult MTL’s JP Karwacki is at Petite-Patrie’s Chez Tousignant, Michele Forgione and Stefano Faita of Impasto’s take on a casse-croûte. Karwacki questions whether it’s worth travelling for, given that such fare is available pretty much all over the city, but the hot dog certainly impresses: “wonderfully constructed and flavourful” with “snap” to the sausage balanced by toasted potato buns. The cheeseburger is neat, although could do with a slightly crispier patty, and the poutine has a just-right consistency to the gravy. [Cult MTL]

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Finally, Lesley Chesterman doesn’t have a Gazette review this week, but instead a round-up of dining tips for Ottawa. On the casual side, Hintonburg gets plenty of props: bakery Art Is In, doughnut store SuzyQ and brewery Beyond The Pale are all hot tips. For dining, Riviera and its stunning converted-bank location, southern eats at Union 613 and café/brunchery Edgar and wine bar Soif on the Gatineau side all get nods. [Montreal Gazette]

Gaston

2666 Rue Masson, Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC H1Y 1W2 (514) 524-0002 Visit Website

Chez Tousignant

6956 Rue Drolet, Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC H2S 2T3 (438) 386-6368 Visit Website

Union 613

315 Somerset Street West, , ON K2P 0J8 (613) 231-1010 Visit Website

Soif

105 Walnut Avenue, , CA 95060 (831) 423-2020 Visit Website

Edgar

60 Rue Bégin, Hull, QC J9A 1C8 (819) 205-1110 Visit Website

Riviera

62 Sparks St, Ottawa, ON K1P 5A8 (613) 233-6262 Visit Website

Hopkins

5626 Avenue de Monkland, Côte-Des-Neiges—Notre-Dame-De-Grâce, QC H4A 1E3 (514) 379-1275 Visit Website

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