A restaurant review of Les Jardins Sauvages in the Gazette fine dining section, by Lesley Chesterman. www.montrealgazette.com/life/Enchanting+haute+cuisine/8792914/story.html?
I have to say I am pleased. Thanks Lesley! Very encouraging..
After so many years of operating off the radar, I had almost forgotten about restaurant critics. Sure, we've had a good amount of media attention over the years, but the last actual 'critique' must have been in the Voir several years back. I wasn't complaining.
Since teaming up with Francois at Les Jardins Sauvages, I couldn't help but be wary of critics, like I found myself kind of shy with fancy pants world travelers because I feared our rustic décor, our plates and stemware might be an issue.. Then how about the spiders, mosquitoes, crappy sound system and leaky terasse roof.. But whatever, money doesn't grow from trees and we always believed in putting it all on the plate, food quality more than chichi details, in being ourselves hence a lack of pretense absolutely. We do our best, hoping that the food, authenticity and ambiance will carry the day no matter. Looks like it did here, and I am grateful for it, especially knowing she wasn’t there on the best of nights.
When I found out at the end of the night, I was taken aback, slightly devastated, worried. It was dead, bad weather so no magical outdoor terrasse or dynamic atmosphere, no François telling stories (he took the night off after a big week of foraging/ weekend at the market), not to mention a new menu with final touches yet to be ironed out, no dishwasher, and me with a bad back. But it’s the kind of night that happens and any typical customer could experience it like she did, so I understand that a review is best anonymous and should be representative of what any diner could fall on. For the record, I often stress out like this about `regular customers` too.. Anyway, I was relieved that it turned out fine.
A review is just a review, and you are only as good as your last meal, every day a new challenge in this crazy business.. but every pat on the back does help. It was particularly heartening after a slow summer.. I also appreciated her shout out to what's going on in the countryside and in our own backyard - it's so easy to be forgotten about outside of Montreal and off the beaten track.
Now I just have to find staff, and a bilingual waitress at that -pas évident out here!