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Reborn Outremont Italian Restaurant Falters Under Critic’s Eye

While a Hawaiian snack bar scores summer success

Le Petit Italien in 2014 (before its re-opening)
Le Petit Italien/Facebook

A few months after its revival with a host of new faces, Outremont Italian restaurant Le Petit Italien has drawn mixed reviews — Le Devoir critic Jean-Philippe Tastet loved it in May. But this week, Gazette critic Lesley Chesterman isn’t a huge fan, although she does find a few bright notes. From its location to its price, to its terrasse, Chesterman writes that it has great potential, but seems disappointed with the menu, hinting that it falls into the “I could cook this at home” category. The salads all founder somewhat: a Caesar is under-portioned, while an endive-grapefruit-fennel option is too bitter. Mains fare better: a risotto is given interesting texture with cauliflower, and is the star dish; other pasta options are too heavy on the sauce, but options like the puttanesca and pomodoro get a gentle thumbs up. Chesterman has kinder words for the wine and atmosphere — all up, it’s a so-so one and a half stars out of four (note that the Gazette’s printed edition stated that the review was out of five: this was an error by the newspaper). [Montreal Gazette]

Élliot Légaré/Kamehameha

At La Presse, critic Iris Gagnon-Paradis has a better time giving Village Hawaiian snack bar Kamehameha its first review about a year after it opened. The staple dish, fish and rice bowl poke, fares well: Gagnon-Paradis takes a salmon one with plump seafood chunks and a spicy mayo and approves; another spicy tuna-salmon one also gets a nod, although the sauce could be more generous. The customizable poke bowls seem to pose a slight problem, though: while the quality is good, Gagnon-Paradis finds many of the add-ons to be a little stingy, yet desserts make up for it with tasty waffle-like taiyaki cones filled with ice cream or soft serve twists. Despite small issues, a thumbs-up all round. [La Presse]

Quai 1635/Facebook

At Le Devoir, critic Catherine Ferland is at beachside beer bistro Quai 1635 just outside Quebec City. The terrasse-friendly fare scores well: focaccia with herb oil and mozzarella di bufala, and cheese and charcuterie plates highlight Quebec produce with flair. Both a salmon gravlax and tuna tataki get ecstasy points, the latter in particular, served with edamame, a sesame emulsion, wild rice, bok choy, and wontons. Three stars. [Le Devoir]

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Week in Reviews took several weeks off, but here’s a light-speed rundown of who soared and sank throughout June:

Le Petit Italien

1265 Rue Bernard Ouest, Outremont, QC H2V 1V9 (514) 278-0888 Visit Website

Kamehameha Snack-Bar

1190 Rue Sainte-Catherine Est, Ville-Marie, QC H2L 2G7 (514) 303-0550 Visit Website