What is the best steakhouse in Montreal?
5. The KegPrice: $$½ 5 Place Ville Marie
I know what you’re thinking. How can I start off a steakhouse review with a chain restaurant? You know what, I don’t care what you think! I just tell it like it is. Although the Keg might be a Canadian steakhouse chain, it’s a really good steakhouse chain. They do not accept reservations so get ready to wait a little if you go on the weekends. The menu and wine list are quite reasonably priced and the quality of the food, the preparation of the steaks, and the drinks are always spot on. Maybe if there wasn’t such a big restaurant chain stigma, the Keg would be a little higher on the list.Pros: No reservations, good value Cons: No reservations, lacks Steakhouse cache
4. VargasPrice: $$$ 690 Boulevard René-Lévesque O
Never trust a restaurant that offers two different types of cuisine under the same roof. Vargas bills itself as a “Steakhouse and Sushi Bar”. In the foodie world, that’s considered restaurant suicide.
We’ll start off with a review of the sushi bar. Surprisingly, the sushi is quite delicious. Vargas has some very creative items. The mango tango is a delicious mix of tuna, salmon and scallop tartar, served on a crispy tempura sweet potato. The Tsunami is also very interesting, the sushi chef combines generous portions of lobster and crab, and then stuff it into thin rice paper. The maki rolls stand out because of the freshness of the fish and not the actual rolling of the sushi.
The steak side of the menu is another story. I’ve eaten here more than a handful of times, and the only thing that the restaurant lacks is consistency. When they are on, they’re great. When they’re having an off night, I vow never to come back. They include a pepper sauce with a lot of their steaks which is something I wouldn’t advise ordering unless your medium-rare steak comes to the table cooked well-done, which has happened a number of times. The meal starts with warmed dinner rolls, which, compared to all the other Steakhouses in the city, are a bit disappointing. The sides are all pretty standard, with the sweet potato fries being the best of them all.
The wine list is probably the best part of the restaurant as you can find some decent bottles at fair prices. This especially helps when you’re on a bachelor party and you’re drinking the stuff like its water. With all that being said, this is a steakhouse that has been open for a number of years but still feels like it’s trying to find itself.Pros: Sushi option, reasonable wine list, private dining room for large groups Cons: Inconsistency, dinner rolls
3. GibbysPrice: $$$$ 298 Place d’Youville
No pun intended, but the top three on this list are the veritable meat and potatoes of Montreal steakhouses.
Gibbys is an Old Montreal landmark that is housed in a building over 200 years old. Awash in history, it becomes quite apparent as you walk in the door and realize that all of the wait staff is dressed like it’s the middle ages. The immense dining room is dark, has low-ceilings, exposed brick, wood columns, and is lit mostly by candlelight. This ambience adds to the whole experience of the meal.
One of the big draws of Gibbys is all of the delicious starters that are brought to the table. Fresh Pickles, hot bread, and heaping portions of coleslaw are placed on the table as soon as you arrive. This will tide you over until you have to order. You are also brought out a “Gibbys salad”, which you can load up with bacon bits that are conveniently placed on the already busy table.
The wine list is standard on the lower end, and interesting on the higher end. I wouldn’t say it’s a spectacular list but it definitely gets a passing grade. The steaks are broiled to perfection and come with either french fries, baked potato or a Monte Carlo potato. The seafood is a big draw because of their abnormally plump shrimp and delicious oysters on the half shell. In between courses you are brought out a lemon sorbet to cleanse your palate, and at the end of the meal you are given a lemon finger bath to rid your hands of any unsavoury smells.
If you’re up for an Old Montreal vibe, with delicious steak and seafood then look no further than Gibbys in the Old Port.Pros: Atmosphere, beautiful Old Montreal location, delicious and abundant starters Cons: Length of meals, proper mid-higher range wines
2. MoishesPrice: $$$$ 3961 Boulevard Saint-Laurent
Number 2 on our list brings us to one of Montreal’s greatest landmarks, Moishes. This steakhouse is steeped in tradition and has that old school steakhouse vibe that I just love. Moishes has been open for over 70 years and there is good reason why Forbes voted it in its top 10 best steakhouses in the world.
Upon entering the newly renovated restaurant, you are greeted by an old school wait staff, white table clothes and sturdy leather chairs. The dining room is vast and open. The waiter promptly arrives with an assortment of delicious pickles, coleslaw, and bread. By far, Moishes has the best starters out of any steakhouse in the city.
While noshing on the starters you can flip through the wine list, which is brought out on an Ipad. From top to bottom this is one of the better curated wine lists of any steakhouse. Great value bottles and some extremely impressive pricey stuff.
The menu is meat centric and doesn’t deviate to seafood towers that other steakhouses are now focusing on. They have a broad selection of fish, which is sometimes a nice substitute if you’re not in the mood for red meat. My personal favorite is the Bone-in Filet Mignon called the Leo Mignon. Like Gibbys, the steaks come with a side of either French fries, baked potato or a Monte Carlo potato.
If you decide to eat at Moishes after 9pm, there is a fixed menu available for 25$ that has some great choices at a great price.
When looking for a classic steakhouse with all the fixings, you will not find a better option than Moishes Steakhouse.Pros: Location, wine list, pickles, coleslaw Cons: Might be too old school for some, dessert
1. La Queue de ChevalPrice: $$$$$ 1234 Rue De La Montagne
Before I start ranting about La Queue de Cheval, I must warn you that the restaurant is set to close July 1, 2012 and will re-open at a new location in November 2012.
Let me get this out of the way. La Queue de Cheval is not a cheap restaurant. Everything is ordered a la carte. La Queue de Cheval is also an incredibly delicious restaurant, and if you’re looking to splurge on an amazing meal this is definitely the place. As soon as you walk into the restaurant, you get into the steakhouse vibe. The meat is front and center, aging right in the window for customers to gawk at. They also have a cigar room which serves as an outpost to drink some delicious scotch and savour a cigar. The room is filled with rich leather banquets, the smell of cigar smoke, and plasma TVs: it’s every man’s dream come true.
The wait staff are decked out in thick white uniforms with the Queue logo front and center. Their knowledge of the quality and cuts of meat far exceeds that of any other wait staff in the city. After ordering your steak, the waiter brings the raw piece of meat out to the table for inspection before it’s put on the grill. The raw bar is of the utmost quality, and the lamb chops are out of this world. Of all the side dishes, the two that stand out the most are the donut sized onion rings and the creamed spinach. You are paying a premium price for the meal but you are most definitely getting an amazing food experience at a top end restaurant.
When it comes to wine, the list is impressive. Queue de Cheval has one of the largest and most in-depth wine collections in the whole city. The only problem is that the cheapest bottle is north of a hundred dollars. So if you and your bachelor party are big drinkers, expect to receive a big bill. Queue de Cheval also has a great bar staff that arguably makes one of the best Vodka Martinis in town.
When at a steakhouse, you don’t really think of dessert as an option. At Queue, they serve a decadent cheesecake that is dipped in chocolate. A dessert like that, with a nice shot of espresso, closes out any meal at Queue de Cheval perfectly.
There is a reason why La Queue de Cheval is consistently rated Montreal’s top steakhouse. Their attention to detail, their outstanding ingredients and impeccable execution make a meal at Queue de Cheval an experience like no other.Pros: Service, superb ingredients, cigar lounge Cons: Poor entry level wine pricing, a la carte menu