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Café Bazin Goes for Classics Over Trends, and One Critic Likes That

And a Westmount favourite is “reborn”

Bertrand Bazin
Randall Brodeur

Café Bazin, the new coproduction between Antonio Park and pastry chef Bertrand Bazin, gets a visit from La Presse critic Marie-Claude Lortie (and her dad) — and she finds it both finessed and unpretentious. It’s all very classical (no fusion attempts here), and still a lunch-only affair. A foie gras Paris-Brest is “just perfect”, with a light mousse and “irreproachable” choux pastry; and while dishes like vol-au-vents may seem retro-’70s, a creamy chicken one excels for Lortie. The presence of a beef bourguignon also goes to show that Bazin and co are focused on quality over trendiness. Unsurprisingly, given Bazin’s expertise, desserts like a café-chocolate tart also fare exceedingly well, in one of Lortie’s best reviews of the year. [La Presse]

Tavern on the Square / Jon Cercone

Westmount favourite Tavern on the Square had a makeover earlier this year, and for Thierry Daraize at Le Journal de Montréal, it’s a “rebirth” — an albacore tartare is a rocky start (too lemony, possibly marinated too far in advance), but it picks up: an unctuous mushroom ravioli dish is “high-class Italian cuisine”, and pappardelle with braised veal prompt the reaction of “my God, another delight!”. Rich desserts like a lemon tart-cake seal the deal. Four stars. [Le Journal de Montréal]

Rosélys

At the Gazette, Lesley Chesterman visits the renovated Fairmont Queen Elizabeth hotel’s new restaurant Rosélys and is a bit more lukewarm on it than the first critic to visit a few weeks back. Just in terms of design, Rosélys causes Chesterman to gasp: “This is one whale of a restaurant.“ The wine list (with SAQ bottles heavily marked up) and spotty service don’t quite meet hit the same heights, but Chesterman notes that the food is a strength. A herby green bean salad with egg and pecans is perfectly seasonal, and oxtail-foie gras terrine is “rich and delicious”. On the mains, Arctic Char does well with a Provençal feel to it, if a little dominated by sun-dried tomatoes; but desserts disappointingly don’t make use of the late-summer harvest for the most part, leaning on chocolate and citrus. Two stars. [Montreal Gazette]

Landry et Filles

On the casual beat, JP Karwacki is at the restaurant side of snacky food truck Landry et Filles. It’s homey and has family vibes: stuffing fritters manage not to be overbearingly greasy, even if their accompanying ranch dressing could be more lemony; grilled eggplant with tomato confit is a solid mix of fatty, sweet, and acidic tones. Roasted chicken is a better bet than the hefty fried option, writes Karwacki, and dessert (a tout simple poached pear with dark chocolate sauce) is a highlight of this warm, although not raving review.

La Ferme

Lastly, Le Devoir critic Catherine Ferland is at riverside farm-to-table bistro La Ferme, halfway between Quebec City and Trois-Rivières. Highland beef (raised by La Ferme’s owners) figures prominently — a tataki (with chimichurri and kimchi) highlights the beef’s flavour, while a burger both looks and tastes great, rounded out with Fromagerie des Grondines cheese and caramelized onion. Three stars. [Le Devoir]

Landry & Filles

4764 Papineau, Montreal, QC (514) 419-7766 Visit Website

Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth

900 Boulevard René-Lévesque Ouest, Ville-Marie, QC H3B 4A5 (514) 861-3511 Visit Website

Café Bazin

380 Avenue Victoria, , QC H3Z 1C3 (438) 387-3070 Visit Website

Tavern On The Square

1 Carré Westmount (ground floor), Westmount, QC H3Z 2P9 (514) 989-9779

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