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Olive & Gourmando’s Latest Is a Delightful Slice of Italy, Find Critics

And the Maison Publique-Joe Beef double act gets its first write-up

Stephane Lavoie/Eater Montreal

The new kind-of-café, kind-of-wine-bar from Olive & Gourmando and Foxy owners Dyan Solomon and Eric Girard is in the critics’ spotlight this week. With two warm reviews (one a total rave), Un Po’ di Più is evidently a solid spot.

At the Gazette, Lesley Chesterman starts by noting that Montreal’s food scene greatness isn’t limited to the fine dining institutions — casual spots have it too, and Un Po di Più is one of those. It adds class to an Old Port strip arguably ruined by touristy traps, with “elegant” design from Zebulon Perron (see: “stunning” mosaic floors), and the food meets the level of the design. Burrata and roasted carrots, mushroom bruschetta — a perfectly fresh Niçoise-adjacent tuna salad — everything shines. Bigger dishes of chicken gnocchi and rigatoni with meatballs gets props too, even if the meatballs were a fraction dry — excellent service, wine, and cocktails cap it off for a near-perfect three and a half stars. [Montreal Gazette]

Then at Le Devoir, Jean-Philippe Tastet also takes a spin, dubbing Un Po’ di Più to be “un peu plus” — it’s not as much of a rave but it’s still a good review. Tastet also notes the design and service as high points, and he approves of the food although notes that his dining companions (who are “glass half empty” types) weren’t always as warm with dishes like delicata squash with pesto, apple, and hazelnuts. But the antipasti “tower” laden with charcuterie, burrata, olives, and focaccia is a major success, and that same tuna salad Chesterman loved comes across as a big winner. Three stars. [Le Devoir]

Meanwhile at La Presse, Marie-Claude Lortie is first to visit McKiernan Luncheonette, the casual joint venture from owners of Joe Beef and Maison Publique. It’s unsurprisingly positive — Lortie’s only real complaint is that the Côte-St-Paul location is a little tricky to get to, as she ponders if it might prompt gentrification in the area. But what’s on offer is good — calling it a “bright, hipstery business cafeteria”. The rotisserie chicken staple is juicy with crisp skin, a dill-heavy quinoa salad is a great vehicle for showcasing a range of local produce, yet her favourite is roasted cauliflower stracciatella, richened up with breadcrumbs and mozzarella. [La Presse]

General Jiao chicken

At Cult MTL, JP Karwacki visits Old Montreal dim sum bar Jiao, and while he has some appreciation for its attempts to push dim sum into some creative new territory, he’s not totally sold. The drinks are good, and while some dishes, like a song sao fish soup fare well, it’s uneven. Dumplings are a mix — pork siu mai are “meaty pockets” with a spicy mayo, while a pho broth and brisket-filled soup option is a “mess”. The “General Jiao” take on a Chinese-American classic also flops, heavy on barbecue sauce and light on reinvention. The verdict? They need to push the envelope more, or pull back to classics. [Cult MTL]

McKiernan Luncheonette

5524 Rue Saint-Patrick, Le Sud-Ouest, QC H4E 1A8 (514) 759-6677 Visit Website


399 Rue Notre-Dame Ouest, Ville-Marie, QC H2Y 1V2 (514) 543-3148 Visit Website

Un Po' Di Piu

3 Rue de la Commune E, Montreal, QC H2Y 0B1 Visit Website