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  1. Cianci..... I guess you are right . I shall email them
  2. Cianci.... These tye of things, the owner is aware of. So by telling him face o face would have put him in an akward and unconfortable situation. I don't like to pt fellow restaurant people in a bad mood. There are plenty of customers to do that on a daily basis. By posting here, hopefully it will be read and attended to. As for credibility - like i said if it s going on, management is aware. My message is directed to their management or to a friend of their management, and not as a warning to the general public.
  3. Had a lovely meal at PDC. This is one of my favorite restuarants for many reasons. The think i like best is that there i a solid concept behind the restaurant with a very focussed menu. (something many restos lack). I wanted to post a comment on here, because I am maybe to shy to talk to management in person. Especially given i do not know them. While enjoying a lovely meal at the bar last week, I noticed the busboy recylcing the butter from another table. I found this very unhygenic. Although there is a general lack of hygene in many restos in montreal (speaking from working in the industry).. This was one evident no no that i figured pointing out, would allow for an immeidate correction. As you know butter is served in a cute metal container at PDC. The same knife i cut my meat with and use to work around my plate containing some of my saliva is the same knife i use to scoop out butter. So this butter could not be reusued. I understand by reusing htis butter a restuanrt can save a couple of thousand dollars a year. However it is not repectful to clients. I suggest a small portion of butter as is given at le meac for example.
  4. If a restaurant doesn t want to accept groups of more than six that is there right. think about it, that waiter and the owner work their every day, so they know what they need to do to give the customer the best experience, so if they feel groups of six interfere with service so be it, they have a right to protect the interests of themselves and the other 30 people dining there. Don t forget by not accepting groups of six or more, they are not receiving any of the restaurant dollars of anyone who dines in groups of six, so if they are losing out on that i must be for a good reson. Secondly it is unfortunate that they had lie to you, but if they had told you straight out that they don t accept groups of six, you probably would have argued with them and asked to make an acception and then they would have had to argue or have a discussion about their policy with you (opening a bigger can of worms) so it was easier fot hem just to tell yout hey were full. IMHO
  5. My vote for best sushi is definetly MB. It s not very popular, probably cause of location, but shingi the sushi chef, is the real thing. He sticks to japanese tradition and yet ifnds ways to be really creative. Fantastic sashimi and great rolls, very light with tasty not over filling sauces. I don t believe the restaurant has ever been reviewed, but i for sure consider it one of the best
  6. It s really tough. Revenue quebec restaurant auditing could be done by a monkey. They just call their colleagues at the saq and find out how much alcohol was purchased and using their first year cegep statistics course can find out the resto s sales within 10% accuracy. It really sucks for restaurateurs, especially small family run businesses.
  7. Mr. Chartier's article had some valid points but his hypothesis is slightly off. I do not believe that montrealers lack gastromique appreciation. The reason restaurants like toque anis and i could add a few have trouble staying profitable is simple economics. Supply and demand..... Our pockets aren't deep enough. And their are not enough restaurant goers for the amount of restaurants. Add to that the fact that people eat out more often and there for have less disposable money per meal hurting high end restaurants. Let s take a fictional household that makes an above average $100k of after tax income. Husdband wife and 2 kids. Substract car payments, gas insurance (18k) , Private school for the kids (10k), vacations (10k), House or mortgage or rent (15k), parking, internet, telephones, clothing, etc (20k). Monday to friday lunch at work at an average of $20 per meal times two (10k). We are left with 17k. That leaves about 350$ per week, so if y ou don t feel like cooking twice a week and go for a quick bite take off 100$ that leave about 250$ for fine dining, That leaves for one high end meal per week. Now think about how many households make more than 100K and think about how many restaurants are looking to get $250 or more per couple then their is definetly an oversaturation of the market. (SORRY IF THE NUMBER ARE A BIT OFF, BUT I HOPE MY POINT IS MADE) Furthermore Montreal's restaurant market is artificial. What I mean is their are many unprofitable restaurants (take some st-laurent spots ) street that miraculously stay open for years with hardly any volume. Alot of restaurants have unlimited piggy banks to keep refinancing,(wonder where the moeny comes from ?) These restaurants keep the market saturated putting a downward pressure on price and there for making margins tighter. Today a new restaurant needs to have at least 12 months of cash flow to be safe! That s alot.
  8. I went there last week. The restaurant is at the old Vaudeville restaurant location, old-ish french bistrot decor, black and white floor tiles, leather banquette, classic tables, and all the standard restaurant hardware. The menu is small, 1/2 dozen appetizers, 1/2 mains, the menu looks like it will change every week ( it was dated on the menu ) THe wine list is also small and exclusivelly italian. We see the relation to the big sister that is BU. Food wise, it was ok, I had some polenta with pancetta as an app. and some penne like pasta serve with pork Ragu ( that was good ) and a side dish of green salad ( a bit on the vinagtry side ). The wine was also nice, a Luciano Sandrone barbera-d'alba 2004, it was "warm" and conforting. Staff was ok, Patrick st-Vincent was there, serving and handling the front room. I have no base of comparision for Italian restaurant, so I cannot say if this is good or not compared to other italian restaurants in MTL. ← Sandrone Barbera 2004 ?? I am jealous,, how much was it? I am just a big sandrone fan... Thanks
  9. Diego, ex maitre d' of Alto Palato, is a fatastic caterer. You can email me at cletocosenza@hotmail.com for his coordinates. He prepares the food himself, has a tremendous knowledge of wine and food and makes incredible tasting menus. A fun guy to have host your party. Last time, I gave him a help to prepare an evening, he was making blue potato gnocchi with gorgonzola, bison tartar with quail eggs and white truffles, roasted kid goat capretto in a clay pot, lasagnette with eggplant and porcini. It was all in taster size portions. Really cool.
  10. Went to Taro. It was great. Chef Billy is a winner. His specialties are light, and well balanced. i found out from the waiter that there are two groups of specialties. The ones on the menu were created by the team at Japon sushi in VSL and the one's Billy makes are his own. I loved their take on the classic alaskan black cod! I found the staff to be pretty knowledgeable and found it itneresting that their staff was multi ethnic instead of all vietnamese. Don't get me wrong, I love vietnamese (attached to one), but never understood why if a sushi bar can't fiond japanese wait staff, why they just assume another asian nationality is second best. I found it neat that they had so many diffrent colour people working. The place is massive, but filled up pretty fast. As for the tradional sushi/maki fare. I found the maki's very well prepared, (low on tempura, high on fish) and the nigiri and sashimi to be well prepared given the limitation discussed in previous posts. The restaurant is owned by Ben Wong who also owns Japon sushi and Bouddha, both in ville st-laurent. Bravo Taro. The main point i would like to make is that Taro is a supper club but to my suprise, a supper club with really good food. I don't like to talkl bad about restaurants since I am in the business, but I don't find their is a supper club in Montreal that has this quality food.
  11. I agree with vinfidel, Montreal sushi is limited because of the cost of fish versus the price our Quebec salaries can pay. But I enjoy sushi restaurants for their creativity. I avoid sashimi, but enjoy a host of other specialties where the fish is worked to create a balance with sauces and rice. Report on Taro to come.
  12. A friend of mine tried a new super club called Taro, said the sushi was great. Anyone been. I know it is owned by the bugsyfoodgroup, the group that also ownes Japon sushi and Bouddha thai bistro (both in ville-st laurent). At Taro they have Billy as chef, the chef that invented all famous rolls at SHodan. I also found out that The other chef who works more at Japon is long dao,, who used to be Tri from Tree house' s assistant as well as the chef of ginger in it's hayday. Dao is responsible for trining a good portion of montreal sushi chefs. Looking forward to try tato, let you gulleters know when i do.
  13. Just to add.. I met one great pizzaman in italy who would use a bit of egg in his dough, but he wouldn t tell me how much,,,, Also a shortcut to making pizza for a restaurateur which is a fantastic idea..... is a machine that works the dough for you. You put your dough ball on a plate and it is squished to perfection. I met a pizzaman who was 15 years old and his hands were too small to work the dough propoerly so her would use this machine and the pizza was great.
  14. Growing up in Italy, I long for that thin crust pizza i used to enjoy all over the south of italy. Even in Italy you can have great pizzas and terrible pizzas, depending on a number of varieites; the izza man, the whether, the water, the availability of ingereidnets. The main problem in judging good pizza, is that pizza is like beer, some people like a thickenr crust, crunchier, more toppings, less toppings. So it is very difficult to come to a concensus. But basing on the neapolitain pizza, we could say a pizza dough, no matter what the toping, should have the following characterisitcs. 1. When we take a slice, the pizza should not give in to the laws of gravity. 2. To the bite the dough should be crunchy at the surface and soft on the middle without being to thick. (again thickness being a question of taste) 3. The soft element in the middle of the dough should be fully cooked. (that is it shouldn t be soft because the dough hasn t fully risen) We don t want pizza that rises in our stomach at 2am. I haven t tried enough Montreal pizza to be a judge in this topic. My favourite so far has been Primi Piatti in st-lambert on green avenue. They have a great oven, and the dough is made with the same recipe as il fornetto used in the 80's (manyof us remeber how good that was). Primi piatti s dough is so good that one night the pizza oven was closed so they put a pizza on the gril for me and it turned out to be a treat reagardless. They also score points for usuing only tomatoes in their sauce. What i mean is that many restaurants add corn starch to their sauce to increase the yield of each tomato and to give a longer shelf life. Result =you stay up drinking water all night. Pizza napoletana has great dough, but their ingredients are filled with more chemicals than a chinese buffet. Canadian prosciutto filled with nitrates, roma sausages nitrate heaven and their tomato sauce with tons of corn starch and very little basil. I wish they would take their great dough and open a can of tomaotes reduce it in a pan with garlic and fresh basil, add some fresh mozzarella and serve it up!
  15. Pintxo is one of my favourite restaurants, but I agree with you that price - quantity ratio isn't great and I have found some bills there hard to swallow. I just wanted to mention to you that the high prices are not because of over price, but reflect the labour intensity of the food. I agree with you that the quality is excellent and I would say much superior to a place like Bu or casa tapas. The reason the food comes out better at Pintxo is because of the labour in the food. Most of te pintxo they serve have to be made to the order. Example; if the tuna is not cut to the order, it will lose it s oil. So the higher intesity of the labour, means they can serve less customers and need a higher ticket price to cover fixrd costs. So the question I pose to everyone, is would you rather eat great at pinxto but leave a lil hungry and with a hole in your wallet or eat good prepared in advance food at Bu at a great price and a filled tummy. I don't know which I prefer. I guess depends on the mood.
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