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Monarque Stuns Critic in Near-Perfect First Review

“A new standard for elegance”

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The first review for big deal Old Montreal restaurant Monarque is in — and the restaurant, from father and son Richard and Jérémie Bastien (see also: Leméac), their large team, is reportedly excellent, finds Gazette critic Lesley Chesterman.

No doubt expectations were high for Monarque — it was first announced some five years ago, with promises of a luxuriant dining room and classy all-day brasserie being added over time. With so much anticipation, Monarque could have a long way to fall if it were to get things wrong — but that’s not the case. “Even in a bigger and richer city, Monarque would be a showstopper,” Chesterman writes.

Chesterman reviews the high-end dining room’s dinner service (it offers a lunch-time table d’hôte too) — after admiring the marble tiling, she gives nods to a “superb” rabbit rillette and “luxurious yet restrained” tuna tartare beefed up with foie gras among the appetizers; every meaty main gets a stamp of approval, from tender short rib to rosy and moist rabbit. Wine, cocktails, and the washrooms (yes, really) all get the thumbs-up treatment too. Chesterman notes that her few criticisms are in “splitting-hair” territory, but still outlines a few: there’s slightly undercooked halibut among the appetizers; desserts, while earning some tenuous props, are not as complex and stunning as the other dishes. Chesterman almost never hands out a perfect four stars, but this one comes close: three and a half stars.


In other reviews:

Monarque

406 Rue Saint-Jacques, Ville-Marie, QC H2Y 1S1 (514) 875-3896 Visit Website

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