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Critic: Hélicoptère is One Great Dish After Another

And a fine-dining Indian restaurant gets long-awaited recognition


Hochelaga-Maisonneuve’s newest restaurant Hélicoptère receives its first review from Le Devoir critic Laurence Michèle Dufour, and it’s a “job well done (that) resonates in every sip, every bite.” While the restaurant hasn’t been open officially for more than a month at this point, Dufour is met with a quick succession of impeccable executions. Youri Bussières-Fournel’s service is a welcoming serivce, coupled with cocktails like a kombucha-yellow chartreuse combo that wows the table. As for the food, with chef David Ollu at the helm? “Everything disappears at a speed that betrays the quality of dishes,” write Dufour. Each dish, from an opening of fried shishito peppers and a challah served with cheese down to arctic char with pistachios three ways and fried quail with harissa sauce and leeks, is a crowd-pleaser. The only issue is found in a plate of oyster mushroom with nduja, as the critic finds the spice of the sausage overwhelms the tastes to be had and perhaps poorly fitted to the season. At the end, pastry chef Mélodie Perez-Mousseau’s pavlova is the end note that crowns the entirety of the meal. — four stars. [Le Devoir]

Crevette, haricots jaune, livèche, capucine, crème fraîche

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La Presse’s Iris Gagnon-Paradis paid a visit to Parasol’s back alley grilled goods and wine lists this week, and it was a more than satisfactory outing. For such a small area to cook with—proteins and veggies being grilled and smoked with minimal kitchen space—the critic is happy to report that its work merits return visits. Cocktails like the eponymous Parasol cocktail get a nod, an Aperol spritz with gun and a strawberry purée, and the wine isn’t too shabby either. The entirety of the small spot’s menu is ordered, with particular praise is aimed at beets with seasonal fruit and roasted chicory with cheese, as well as a dish of prawns and yellow beans. Even the dishes that don’t immediately appeal gradually gain favour, including a grilled zucchini and green garlic dish with halibut. Most of all, the half-chicken’s the star of the show, tender on the inside and crispy on the outside and served with a lemon butter sauce. The critic isn’t the first to have paid a visit to Maïs chef William Cody’s pop-up, with Le Devoir having ladled on high praise weeks before. [La Presse]


Montreal Gazette critic Lesley Chesterman doesn’t have a review this week, having written an article on chef Stelio Perombelon’s departure from the cooking world. However, last week Chesterman found herself at the fine-dining Indian establishment Gandhi. It’s an Old Montreal restaurant that’s been overlooked for too long, according to the critic; service from a tuxedoed wait staff is consistently impressive, and the chef Monnaf Ali’s tandooris, biryanis, and curries all fare well overall with only a few stumbles. There were samasos so good they got ordered twice, but the pakoras could’ve been hotter; the “dont-miss” lamb curry contains complex flavours, but masala shrimp’s sauce overpowers the protein; the rice is worth an order, but the dal’s found to be “dull” and the naan lacking in fluffiness. Even with those here-and-there issues, Gandhi still bags a respectable three stars. [Montreal Gazette]


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