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BAZaAR Anise


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Well, she's a coy one that Ms. Bassoul.

I remember asking her if she was going to open a bistro months ago, an she flat out said "no".

I find it interesting that she closed her restaurant without saying anything about re-opening, all the while keeping staff on a retainer and such, with much of the press (save for yours truly because I knew she had something up her sleeve) boo-hooing around her.

I certainly like her food, but in this case, I really don't get her approach.

What did she write on her web site when she closed in March? Something about having had enough?

Odd.

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What did she write on her web site when she closed in March? Something about having had enough?

Odd.

This was what it had said...

Anise a cinq ans!

Cinq ans de saveurs, de plaisirs et de magnifiques souvenirs en cuisine, dans la salle et avec nos convives.

Anise vous fait ses adieux!

Pour célébrer cet anniversaire, faire ses adieux et faire honneur à tous ceux qui l'ont supportée durant ces années, la chef Racha Bassoul vous propose la Grande Finale:

Un dernier voyage sur

La route des épices avec François Chartier dans le cadre du festival Montréal en lumière Les 22, 23, 24, 27, 28 février et 2 et 3 mars 2007

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I had the tremendous fortune to attend a "cooking class" held by Racha Bassoul

at Les Touilleurs on Monday. A unique event to say the least. It was

clear something was in the works....soon... so... great!

She's quite a lady. Soft spoken, but clearly with a steely determination

to do what She wants. No need to worry about that! How fortunate we are

to be invited again to her table.

I think it's great she's offering "bistro food"..... no doubt with Her

own view of the matter.

With Bazar Anise, Le Margaux and Leméac all in three blocks of

Lauirier West, that's three bistro evenings of the week taken care of......

Not to speak of all the others on the block.

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  • 2 weeks later...

It's a nice comeback too!!!

I did not try Anise, so I cannot compare both.

But what had last night was very good albeit simple food.

amuse bouche of crispy pita olives and hummus and baba ganoush.

entrée was the lamb samosas, nice friture and delicate filling with a red pepper tapenade ( maybe was missing a little spiciness)

main course was the "fruits de mer" grillés with a side of grilled veggies. the shrimp, octopus and calamari were all very well grilled, with a nice marinade.

for desert, an aspic of red fruits, very light and refreshing.

all in all, a nice place, will probably go back again many times to sample others dishes.

for the wine list, nothing extraordinary.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Lesley, my understanding is that her and her staff were pretty tired of foffering a snow white velvet atmosphere where widpering was almost needed. I believed that they were getting tired of this sterilised perfection and wanted to have a more relxed laid back atmosphere. I think delicate was maybe what they were tired of and wanted some gusto now. I could understand that and certainly there could be more fun doing your job all week like that. I mean refined is great but refined 24-7 could make me tired for sure.

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I'm all for this casual trend. But with this closing, I got that the impression that it was for good, but in reality she was planning to re-open. Why the secrecy? Maybe it's just me, but I feel this switch could have been handled more openly.

Anyway, who cares. I'm honestly thrilled to see the talented Mme. Bassoul back in business. And her menu looks delicious. I can harldy wait to try it out.

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I went to Bazaar yesterday night and have to say that I really like the switch.

It's much more casual, you now feel like you can just drop in in shorts and t-shirt.

The food, I found, was amazing. My app was a bunch of fresh sesame crusted falafels in a salad with cherry tomatoes and marinated turnip. Main was a big veal chop truffled with old cheddar, perfectly cooked, with a side of awesome fries served with a sort of sour cream mayonnaise and ketchup. My girlfriend had a whole grilled "dorade" (fish) crusted and filled with fresh cilantro and other spices, with a side of grilled vegetables.

Again, the grilled bread did not disappoint (I think I could go there just for a drink and some bread)..

We were both completely stuffed at the end and could not order dessert.

All in all, I whole heartedly recommend Bazaar. I will definitely return many times.

I found the place relatively empty (maybe 4 tables) and I think that should definitely change. Go there people!

And a big plus, it's open until midnight.

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  • 5 months later...
Really? Where does Laurier become Mile End? East of Parc?

I don't think it made a diff for La Chronique?

Laurier actually becomes Plateau Mont-Royal east of Hutchison (west it is Outremont) which was part of the former Montreal city. There is no official limits to the Mile-End neibourhoud. There is a municipal electoral district called Mile-End but it's southern limit is Mont-Royal and it streches to Christophe-Colomb in the east. This is obviously way out of the cultural limits of the Mile-End of which I would say that the whole of Laurier street is also not part of.

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