Restaurant criticism is in the pits right now in Montreal. There just isn't that much right now.
That's why we here at The Main have enlisted an anonymous critic to start eating up what the city's latest openings have to offer, and go beyond leaving weird and/or half-baked opinions on Google Reviews or in the comments on Instagram.
Say hello to Bottomless Pete Reviews.
8.5 out of 10
$$ out of $$$$
- Address: 309 Chem. du Bord-du-Lac-Lakeshore
- Phone: 438-596-5517
- Website: louspointeclaire.com
- Wheelchair access: Yes.
- Reservations: Recommended for those prime 6pm to 8pm dinner timeslots.
- Vegetarian-friendly? A little, but not really.
- Vegan friendly? Nah.
- Parking: On the street.
We drove all the way out to Pointe-Claire so you don't have to.
But now you have to.
Nestled in the heart of the charming Pointe-Claire Village, a friend I made our way out to the new diner Lou's on Lakeshore Drive, and it's a great new addition to this cozy village vibe.
Named after Lac St-Louis, the diner follows the trend of restaurants with first person English names to get around language laws.
Owned by ex-operators of Loïc, Max Ruiz Laing and chef Liam Barron as well as Peter Mant, Renaud Lambert and Phil Allard, there's just something about a chef-owned-and-operated restaurant in Montreal that I just can’t get enough of, so my expectations were pretty high.
From the outside, the warm and inviting tones of brown and yellow glow through Lou's windows. It’s a classically chic Montreal restaurant that calls you in from the cold to enjoy the vibes inside. As you enter, you see large swirling banquets inviting you to sit in large and small groups—kind of a diner vibe you’d find at Chalet BBQ, but with a modern touch.
They definitely didn’t skimp out on the construction of this place: Clearly chic quality was at the forefront of the owners’ plans, and you can sense that in the air. Loved the low dim lights as well, and the yellow seats made to lull you and your vagus nerve into a hungry state. Maybe that’s the appetite talking. It worked on me anyway.
The menu here’s as you’ve likely guessed, made up of high end diner classics with good cocktails and good wine. We started out with a new-age martinis and a bottle of orange wine. The martini was gin-based instead of vodka with drops of aromatic olive oil. Personally, I missed the olive, but it was otherwise on point. The wine was also the hazy new natural style we’re really digging these days, and delivered a ton of fun stone fruit flavour with well-structured tannins, so we were off to a great start here.
For appetizers, we went with beef tartare and a sea bream carpaccio. Gotta say, the carpaccio plate was so exceptional I wanted to order another one almost immediately, a balanced and fresh dish that was so simple yet so well-executed. The tartare brought me back> I found it a tad too much on the spicy and acidic side which left me feeling like it lacked balance and any sort of taste of the source material—a bit disappointed by how punchy and intense it was.
We followed this round up with our mains: Sea bass, creamy greens, steak-frites, and a half-chicken with greens.
Sea bass was honestly perfect with perfectly crispy skin, a perfect buttery herb sauce, and perfectly seasoned, so good and what I wanted in a fish dish. We crushed our steak with fries, a dish cooked to a perfect medium and well-seasoned, and delivered with a nice pad of compound butter on top. I was even impressed with the fries—something I really like to pay attention to. Extra thin and extra crispy, they just added to the overall playful simplicity of this dish of steak, butter, and fries, and really scratched whatever was itching me.
Next, the chicken and greens. Also a hit, that chicken was supple and well-seasoned with a smooth gravy. Clearly a happy, free-range quality chicken before its untimely demise, the kitchen made good work of it by giving it a crisp skin. Greens were well executed as well, not overcooked and offering a nice, subtle, bitter palate cleanser to complement the salty, caramelized bird. It was just… so good and masterful.
So, Would I Go Back?
Hospitality-wise, we felt taken care by our server Katia, a funny and attentive person who was warm throughout the trip. It really does make for an over-the-top experience with service at this level, and as we’re slowly seeing hospitality tips increasing, times I'm excited to punch that 22% are becoming rare.
This was one of those times.
Price-wise, I really found this to be on the refreshingly reasonable side. Almost pre-pandemic. We left satisfied, meaning that portion-to-price ratio was gentle on the wallet.
Overall, this diner’s revisiting of classic will be revisited again easily, and comes highly recommended. Take the long way up Lakeshore Drive by the water, and go thank Lou's for upping the stakes in the area.
Got something to say to Bottomless Pete? You can email them at bottomlesspetereviews [at] gmail [dot] com.