OQLF admits to being overzealous
Criticism from both the Marois government and the opposition could be behind Wednesday's admission by the language watchdog that it may have been a bit overzealous in going after a St. Laurent Boulevard restaurant for using words like pasta on its menu.
In a statement, the OQLF says it will consider the characteristics of the Italian eatery and take into exception the foreign specialities offered by Buonanotte.
The restaurant, popular with well-heeled Montrealers and celebrity visitors to the city, was paid a visit recently by OQLF inspectors.
They followed up with a written complaint about a couple of words on the Italian restaurant's menu. One being pasta, the other bottiglia to indicate its wine selection by the bottle.
Co-owner Massimo Lecas says he thought it was so ridiculous he could not help but laugh.
"Basically they're saying we don't like the predominance of Italian over French in your menu," he says, "so they circled the word pasta, they circled the word bottiglia, they circled the word antipasto, but they didn't circle the word pizza."
He says he is consulting a lawyer on the case.
A spokesperson for the OQLF said Wednesday he wouldn't comment specifically on this case, but the rule for menus is if there are other languages on it, there has to be an equal amount of French.
"In the public signage French must be predominant, but in the case of menus, French must be equivalent."
The Minister responsible for the OQLF is also weighing in. She says she was actually surprised by the actions of the inspectors.
"We will look into it and get back to you," says Diane de Courcy.
photos by Massimo Lecas