Last year we went looking for Restaurant Le Piton-Fournaise and discovered it had gone out of business. The replacement (with a classic French menu) looked decent so we ate there and enjoyed it very much. Last night we went back to try the new French restaurant again and it was gone too, replaced with - for Pete's sake - an African restaurant. Once again our decision to stay paid off: it was wonderful. The owner seemed to have been caught off-guard by the large influx of patrons – it was the Grand Prix de Montreal weekend - so a number of items on the menu were unavailable. Fortunately what was left was unusual, or terrific, or both. None of us thought a tuna and peach appetizer would be palatable, but it was the favourite. The others, a lentil dish and some mini-empanada-like morsels were also terrific. The mains that were available were mostly ordinary-sounding brochettes (lamb, beef, shrimp, etc.) or unskewered meats, but they were all interestingly spiced or marinated, and cooked perfectly. A side of baked plantain was the best I've had. Bring your own wine: friendly zinfandels or slightly off-dry whites will go well with everything there. I think the only staff was the cook and the manager/server, so enjoy your wine and friends and don't be in a hurry. If you're going to go, go soon: Aye Lawadje deserves to be there next year, but given the history of that location I will be pleasantly surprised if it is.
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