Tying in the imminent Olympics in South Korea, Le Devoir critic Jean-Philippe Tastet visits Mile End newcomer Le Petit Seoul, giving the affordable restaurant a warm reception. While he notes that the restaurant isn’t conceptually earth-shattering, on the flipside, it’s executed with flair: at his lunch visit, the beef broth in a noodle dish is “perfectly made” and complemented by marinated, grilled beef. Tastet returns for dinner, with props for the tartare-like yukhoe and seafood pancake. A spicy pork bone stew is slurped up by one of Tastet’s dining partners with such speed that he doesn’t get to taste, with the critic excusing the few flaws on account of the restaurant only being open a few weeks. Three stars. [Le Devoir]
At the Gazette, Lesley Chesterman is at the Habs-affiliated mega restaurant Taverne Moderne 1909, open since last fall. The restaurant was at the centre of a racism scandal over the (still unresolved) firing of three servers last week, so it’s worth noting that Instagram posts indicate that Chesterman dined before the racism accusations, so the review was likely in the bag (at least partially) before that — and Chesterman makes mention of the scandal, too.
In any case, the restaurant is not the most Chesterman place ever (“I’m just hoping to come out of this alive,” she writes). She notes that the restaurant’s corporate connection to fast casual monolith Cara is evident in the menu offerings, but admits that the “sports bar on steroids” approach does translate into an infectious atmosphere, at least during a Habs game. Chesterman goes for mostly sports-bar type options on the menu, with mixed results: nachos come out not hot enough and as a result, congealed, while the poutine is “insipid”. But buffalo wings shine as the apparent highlight, and a cheese burger is “perfectly respectable”. Chesterman isn’t exactly sold on the food but says the venue is still kind of worth it for the spectacle. Two stars. [Montreal Gazette]
At La Presse, Marie-Claude Lortie is at Bistro Rosie, from two owners of the former Ma’tine (also, an Eater Award-winning chef). The low-key bistro has now earned a clean sweep of positive reviews from the critics — Lortie appreciates the creativity of dishes like a chestnut and Jerusalem artichoke soup with galanga and a Caesar-like salad but with a ginger-lime dressing, which gets its bowl wholly cleaned. Mouth-melting Arctic char and a capon (rooster) main also get nods, and it’s rounded out with a wild-sounding Sichuan pepper meringue dessert. The wines from co-owner Sophie Duchastel de Montrouge accompany everything well — and there are pretty much no complaints whatsoever. [La Presse]
Meanwhile, there haven’t been any reviews from Thierry Daraize at Le Journal de Montréal since late December — mysterious.
- Petit Séoul, grands délices [Le Devoir]
- Oh-So-Affordable Korean Fusion Touches Down in Mile End [EMTL]
- Prime seats for game night at 1909 Taverne Moderne [Montreal Gazette]
- 3 Servers Accuse Habs’ Restaurant of Racism over Firings [EMTL]
- Sophie, Jérémy et leur super Bistro Rosie [La Presse]