Week in Reviews hasn’t appeared on Eater Montreal in about a month, but that doesn’t mean the city’s critics have stopped reviewing. Here’s a quick crib sheet on what they loved and didn’t love throughout August and September.
New in Hochelaga from an ex-Bouillon Bilk crew, Lesley Chesterman finds “a perfect storm of gastronomic excellence” at great prices — try the chicken liver mousse on financiers, or perfect Arctic char with pistachios; skip the tortellini. Three stars.
JP Karwacki from Cult Montreal similarly gave Hélicoptère all of the thumbs up, with special shout-out to the mushroom ‘nduja dish.
Un Po’ di Più
At the latest from Olive & Gourmando’s owners, La Presse critic Marie-Claude Lortie is enamoured: sup on classic Italian and Mediterranean tastes from Campari cocktails to tomato and burrata or a niçoise salad on a short menu — save room for a delectable olive oil cake for dessert.
La Cabane d’à Côté
Probably the most positive review in recent times has been from Le Devoir critic Jean-Philippe Tastet’s visit to the newest restaurant in the Au Pied de Cochon family — from precision to freshness, he finds there’s really no way to go wrong at this shack out near Mirabel with its ever-shifting menu. Four and a half stars.
Cult MTL critic JP Karwacki finds beachy, breezy Caribbean fusion options at this Latin Quarter beer bar with wood-firing capabilities — try jerk cauliflower or naan pizzas.
A new arrival in Verdun from a team of young upstarts scores big props from Lesley Chesterman: the technique shines on a hazelnutty beef tartare, but spinach risotto with shrimp is the true highlight. Points off for “bare bones” decor and slightly dull desserts. Three stars.
This oh-so-local spot in the former Sir Joseph Pub location shines with seasonal food, treated delicately in dishes like cured walleye with sea buckthorn, or beautifully aged pork with strawberries and radishes. Four stars from Jean-Philippe Tastet.
Tuck into duck hearts, hearty stuffed potatoes, and yuca fries at this St-Henri newcomer, focused on Peruvian-Japanese cuisine (emphasis on the Peruvian) — casual and cool, declares JP Karwacki.
New to St-Denis, this pretty spot scores modest approval from Jean-Philippe Tastet: impeccably tender octopus and soft, juicy roasted hen, and generous portions are all good things, yet slow service and a steak not cooked to order bother the critic. Three and a half stars.
This Mile End staple gave itself a makeover and refocused its wares in the spring — Gazette critic Lesley Chesterman notes that it’s now small plates-dominated, but still has chef Marc Cohen’s British-leaning offal staples, and seafood. Bigger, meatier dishes (pork loin, beef neck) fare best, service and wine are excellent, but an eel-corn dish flops and Chesterman doesn’t love one piece of post-apocalyptic wall art. Three stars.
The first re-review for David Ferguson’s Little Italy grill spot in a while is a good one: it’s unpretentious and homey writes Lesley Chesterman, and meaty signatures like the rib-eye are worth every cent. Weirder options like foie gras nachos may provoke eye-rolls but are also great. Three stars.
The first review for Antonio Park’s parrilla grill spot since reopening after a fire is full of praise — the Gazette’s Maeve Haldane finds the meat (especially strip loin and Cornish hen) an unsurprising highlight, but don’t skip the less-fleshy dishes like corn chowder. Three stars.
This St-Henri café-bar from Café Myriade’s owner keeps things simple with soft Iberico ham, chorizo, to conservas like mussels escabeche — but aside from tomato bread, Marie-Claude Lortie says it’s light on vegetables (still good, though).
This extremely sparse Little Italy nook does cheap and cheerful Salvadoran pupusas (filled corn pancakes) accompanied by telenovelas, writes Cult Montreal’s Nora Rosenthal.
Club Social P.S.
Critic Marie-Claude Lortie approves of the café operation behind St-Henri hot spot Elena — “elegant” pizzas and stellar cannoli win the day.
Cult Montreal’s Pete Gendron says you should get the caprese sandwich at Mile End bakery Farine right now, but pizza and pasta options on the menu are also worthwthile.
This Old Montreal rooftop lounge does solid cocktails with a view, but dining options like smoked tofu and a shrimp “ceviche” (more like a cocktail) miss the mark, writes La Presse’s Iris Gagnon-Paradis.
Jean-Philippe Tastet gives this new Plateau Sri Lankan resto the harsh treatment: his biggest beef is with the service (messy, disorganized, and likely overwhelmed); Tastet finds various dishes unbalanced, and several different curries to be suspiciously similar in flavour. Two stars.
Out of Towners
La Presse gives a thumbs up to meaty, “neo-Québécois” fare at L’Ardoise in Ste-Thérèse (although it could have more vegetables); even better is L’Épicurieux in Val-David, serving fancy-rustic fare with great flair. Also worthy is St-Jean-Sur-Richelieu BYOB Bistro Braque, nabbing four stars from Le Devoir. Over in Quebec City, London Jack does quite solid British food, from Yorkshire pudding to fish and chips — three stars from Le Devoir.
- All Week in Reviews coverage [EMTL]