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Critic: Hôtel Herman Crew Shine Bright at Their Plateau Brewpub

Also, a South Shore restaurant delivers tasty French-Moroccan plates

Facebook/Réservoir

It’s been a little over a year since beloved Mile End restaurant Hôtel Herman was closed after being forced out of its premises, and the same amount of time since those owners took over Duluth Avenue microbrewery Réservoir — and this week, Le Devoir critic Jean-Philippe Tastet finds that chef Marc-Alexandre Mercier and his team are upholding their culinary reputation. There are no “gastronomic pirouettes” here, just beautiful plates adapted perfectly to the casual setting, writes the critic. None of the dishes leave Tastet wanting: a parsnip soup with al dente nuggets of the root vegetable and hits of bacon is perfect, while fried maitake mushrooms and chestnuts with Jerusalem artichoke mash yields “triple ecstasy”. Even the dishes that might seem less interesting on paper, such as a végépâté sandwich, are still distinguished. And despite the brewery setting, even the wine list gets a nod from Le Devoir’s go-to wine man, Jean Aubry. For Tastet, Hôtel Herman’s prowess has made a flawless crossover to the new casual setting — four and a half stars. [Le Devoir]

Official/Kozu

Following a mini-string of one-star reviews, things are slightly better for critic Lesley Chesterman at the Gazette this week, as she visits shiny Plateau Asian fusion spot Kozu, open since mid-2017. Noting that it’s well cut-out for group dining, Chesterman digs right into the booze options. Cocktails “all taste as good as they look”, particularly Chesterman’s sour, although the wine list is dubbed rather pricey. The small plates menu is a little hit or miss — a green papaya slaw-salad needs “a good toss”, while pork-shrimp dumplings lack flavour (although Chesterman tries to hoard the more-delicious chicken-vegetable ones). Dry chicken satay skewers with a gummy peanut sauce also flop. But things pick up, with a salmon-tuna tataki with “vibrant” ponzu sauce. And perhaps in the most unlikely Chesterman recommendation ever, the tempura-based sushi pizza is deemed “quite delicious”. Two stars. [Montreal Gazette]

Facebook/Le Tire-Bouchon

At La Presse, critic Marie-Claude Lortie is at Boucherville French-Moroccan crossover restaurant Le Tire-Bouchon, examining a case of fusion done right. While the decor at the two-decade-old restaurant might be a little lacking, the food (while not risky), tickles tastebuds. A chicken pastilla with cinnamon and almonds is delicate and beautiful, while a sumac-based beef tartare delivers unexpected flavours, in a good way. But it’s the main couscous plates that shine most: with sweet potato, Brussels sprouts, and chickpeas, it’s warming, hearty, familial, and classic, an all-round winner. [La Presse]

Lastly, a week in reviews bonus: New York Times critic Pete Wells visited the newly-opened New York L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon, one of multiple counterparts to the controversial Robuchon restaurant in the Montreal casino. While critics here lavished near-perfect reviews on it, Wells is only mildly positive, dubbing it “the world’s most expensive chain restaurant”. [ENY]

Kozu

500 Rue Rachel Est, Le Plateau-Mont-Royal, QC H2J 2H2 (514) 524-4446 Visit Website

Réservoir

9 Avenue Duluth Est, Le Plateau-Mont-Royal, QC H2W 1G7 (514) 849-7779 Visit Website

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