Dinner Twice in Old Montreal

In town for a business conference, I was pleasantly surprised to see that Old Montreal had charm and variety to spare. On successive nights, the trip into the heart of the city was rewarded with delicious fare and ambience to spare.


Vieux Port

Member Rating 3 out of 5 by Craig Randall on May 26, 2005

For Old Montreal's "most popular restaurant," we were seated within 5 minutes of entering. The decor was inviting, as was the host staff. We were seated at a window table for two, which looked onto the corner of St. Paul and its cross street. It was in a good location, save the constant foot traffic coming to look at the menu on the wall next to our window.

The Caesar salad was adequate, although the romaine was a bit white. I prefer the leafier portion. I ordered the lamb chops medium, which were served with vegetables and potato. They were perfectly seasoned, portioned, and cooked. I've had great meat before, but there was something about the portion size and flavor that hit me just right.

My friend ordered the Atlantic salmon steak and was equally satisfied with his choice. Perhaps the only complaint in the evening was our overly friendly, if not a bit absent, waiter. He introduced himself, and after a brief conversation and some quick witted jokes, was only seen when food was in his hands. There was no check up, no visits to refill drinks, etc. We had to flag down a woman who was waiting other tables to "pass a message along" to our guy. With 23 years in the books as a restaurant, you'd figure the basics would be ironed out.

Would I recommend it? Yes. Just make sure that [name removed to protect identity] isn't working - bon apetit!

Vieux Port
39 Rue St. Paul E.
Montreal, Quebec
(514) 866-3175

Gibbys

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by Craig Randall on May 26, 2005

No less than four locals at our conference recommended Gibbys, so who were we to argue. After a long walk down St. Paul through the old portion, we located Gibbys a couple of blocks south closer to the water. It is located in what looks to be an old row of wharf houses, which only add ambience. We were escorted upstairs to the bar area to wait for our table. It looked like the Magic Lamp in Rancho Cucamonga, CA, a little 70s for my taste, but then again, I wasn't there to eat the decor.

I decided to go bland and get salad with meat. The Gibbys salad was delicious and reminded me of a house salad the way it should be done. It was no processed bag lettuce with a cherry tomato on top: field greens, onion, carrot, etc. It was a perfect lead-in.

For dinner, I had the most memorable cut in years. The sirloin en croute was cooked to perfection. I've described it since to a few dozen friends. The sirloin was perfectly cooked medium; the pink interior was almost square, it was so perfect; and the dijon/peppercorn crust was a delicious addition to a well-prepared steak.

The service was as impeccable as it was friendly. The woman who waited our table reminded me of the frauen at the Hofbrau Haus in Munich, right down to the leder bustier. She was kind, attended to our needs in a proactive fashion, and made sound recommendations.

The apple pie for dessert was a fitting crown to a regal evening.

Gibby's
298 Place D'youville
Montreal, Quebec, H2Y 2B6
+1 514 282 1837

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