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The Revamped Deux Singes de Montarvie Shines Bright in First Review

Also, five stars for a French classic

Pineapple compressed with chili syrup, meringue, chocolate ganache with pineapple and spices, tonka bean syrup
Île Flottante

Île Flottante, the reincarnation of beloved Mile End restaurant Les Deux Singes de Montarvie (under the same owners, Sean Murray Smith and Nada Abou Younes), earns its first review this week, and it’s a good one. Le Devoir’s Jean-Philippe Tastet dropped by the beautifully renovated St-Viateur locale (and the new interior gets props, too), declaring that chef Smith’s talent “has never been clearer”. The start is a little wobbly — a duck confit ravioli with mushroom tapenade “won’t win a contest for the prettiest plate, or the finest pasta in town”, it picks up from there: a roast squash and nori terrine is a “model of precision”, ditto for grilled veal fillet with béchamel, a mole sauce, and roasted vegetables: “impeccable”. Desserts like the pineapple popsicle (pictured above) fare just as well, with potential to drive diners to tears of joy, in Tastet’s words. A cheery four stars to start the year. [Le Devoir]

Red snapper

Le Devoir was the only outlet to run a review this week, but Le Journal de Montréal has a slightly late best-of-2017 list from critic Thierry Daraize. OK, it’s actually closer to a recap of many of Daraize’s reviews from the year, since it includes a whopping 32 restaurants. Anyhow, Junichi Ikematsu’s Mile End sushi hub Juni earns meal of the year accolades (it earned five stars back in May), and French mainstay La Chronique, just a few doors along, earns restaurant of the year, from its five-star review just a week ago. Other notable shout-outs go to Montréal Plaza for its four and a half star review, and Le St-Urbain, which has inexplicably been bumped from four stars (given in May) up to four and a half. [Le Journal de Montréal]

La Chronique

Speaking of La Chronique, Week in Reviews took a week off last week, and that’s when Thierry Daraize dropped by the 25-year-old Laurier Avenue restaurant to shower it with stars. He declares the restaurant to have mastered classic French cuisine, with the grand prize going to a duck foie gras dish with apple, pecan, and brioche — but everything is such a success, it earned five stars. [Le Journal de Montréal]

Also during the week off, Cult Montreal’s JP Karwacki visited Mile End cuisine-fusers Fieldstone, and has lots of compliments, noting that the restaurant will likely get even better with time.

L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon Montréal/Official

During the hiatus, Jean-Philippe Tastet of Le Devoir and Lesley Chesterman of the Gazette dropped best-of lists for 2017. Tastet names 12 establishments — some, like L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon (which earned his only five star review for the year) and perennial favourite Le Vin Papillon, are fairly obvious. But he also gives props to some more under-the-radar spots such as Aaron Langille’s playful Mile Ex resto Le Diplomate, or the SAT’s long-running Labo Culinaire (currently helmed by young chef Adrien Renaud). Fast-casual salad newcomer Foodchain also gets a shout-out, easily the least formal place on his list. [Le Devoir]

Chesterman already put her best restaurants guide out a few weeks back, but also had a best dishes of 2017 list during the holidays. Many of them line up with her best reviews of the year (Laurie Raphaël, Tiradito, Hopkins), although modern Jewish brunch spot Arthurs gets double-recognition, for both its caesar and its Moroccan toast, while LOV’s burger earns the title of best vegetarian dish. [Montreal Gazette]

Île Flottante

Rue Saint- Viateur Ouest, Le Plateau-Mont-Royal, QC H2T 2L3 (514) 278-6854 Visit Website

La Chronique

104 Avenue Laurier Ouest, Le Plateau-Mont-Royal, QC H2T 2N7 (514) 271-3095 Visit Website