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iharrison

Garde-Manger

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Took a glance in Garde-Manger yesterday, a new restaurant on St. Francois-Xavier in Old Montreal that has been open for just over two weeks now.

The place looks incredible. Old Montreal all the way in terms of decor, cool art on the brick and stone walls (I think I saw stone), chalkboard menu and a young staff (who were in the middle of a discussion on whether to open for lunch ... currently the restaurant serves dinner only, Tue-Sun).

I hope they open for lunch. And I cannot WAIT to eat there.

If anyone has had the pleasure, give us a full report!

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Nah, didn't get the chance ... they're closed on Monday. I just strolled in and had a quick chat with the owners, who were having a little meeting.

I didn't get the opportunity to scan the menu or wine list or even glean that much info from the staff, not because I wasn't incredibly curious but because I was sort of interrupting their discussion.

But I will eat there within the week! Mark my words.

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And please post when you do!! Who are the owners?

I will for sure. I didn't get any info on the owners ... yet.

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I went for lunch, they are not open. They (owners and/or staff) that it (Garde Manger) is a 5 à 7-night time mayem resto bar.

A lot of fried stuff on the menu.

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mayem?

:biggrin:

The chef is Chris Hepner, a friend of Dave M.

The emphasis is on seafood. A friend told me that the food looks "fantastic." To quote him further:

"But the most amazing thing I saw was the Seafood platter. It was huge and they serve it in an old chicken feeder (which kinda looks like a 3 foot long wooden toolbox) with oysters on the half shell galore and crab legs hanging from the top handle. It was very sexy."

And there's nothing wrong with fried food baby.

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I've had the pleasure of eating at G-M twice already since its opening on June 1st.

Mayhem? Absolutely.

The vibe is incredible, very laid back, no-fuss, Maine crab-shack like... chalkboard menu, with dishes served in the pan, rested on an old paint can top. You get the picture... dirty and delicious.

The wine list is short, basic, and very affordable, written on a mini chalkboard. They also make killer bloody ceasars with giant king crab claws stuffed in the glass. yum.

The seafood is dynamite. Fresh oysters, crab, shrimp and the like. They make a great lobster roll on toasted sesame bread with onion rings. Also indulged in some tasty mussels, jumbo garlic shrimp, fried oysters, rhubarb pie made by Chuck Hughes' (one of the owners) mom, and a deep fried mars bar. Simple flavors, downright good food.

The staff is clearly enjoying themselves, they are young and full of energy. Their good vibes are contageous, as the eclectic room was filled with smiling patrons on both of my visits.

2 weeks into it, and all the reviews I've heard have been raves. It can only get better. Good luck to them!

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I finally had dinner at Garde this past Friday night. I must begin with what I consider to be the highest of compliments. The experience was very ... Joe Beefy.

On time for our 9 p.m. reservation, three of our party of four sat at the bar for drinks while our table was prepared and we waited for the last person to show.

The restaurant is beautiful. Not in a grand Michelin three-star dining hall kind of way ... but in a rustic, dirty, dark (to borrow from Mlle Tatin) and diamond-in-the-rough kind of way. Full credit to the owners for restoring and beautifying the space. One of them, Kyle, told me they spent two hours refinishing the vintage chairs. That's two hours per chair. Their hard work is evident throughout.

There are so many kitschy and cool design discoveries, from the monstrous, gaudy yet utterly perfect chandelier over the bar, to the quasi-confessional booth that guards the bathrooms, to the sunken bookcase that lies behind a slick white banquette, to the alcohol cases and bartop. The vibe inside was electric and exciting, with good 80's rock and loud, animated conversations providing the soundtrack. I immediately wanted to settle in for a long night.

The females in whose company I had the pleasure to be in, had what amounted to raspberry mojitos. I enjoyed my Bierbrier but I had to admit, the cocktails were delicious. Nice way to start.

While we scanned the chalkboard menus, we nibbled on slices of hearty, nutty bread that we slathered with a thick, oniony sour cream dip. Retro and yummy.

After another round of drinks, we settled on the seafood platter for two to start. The extremenly generous portion of shrimps, crab legs and Raspberry Point oysters came on a towered silver serving tray with assorted dipping sauces that ranged from horseradish, traditional cocktail and a hot sauce described by the label as "Fuckin' Hot." We devoured the food and quickly started contemplating what to order next.

We finally decided on grilled opah, salmon tartare, sticky ribs and a seared tuna salad.

The tuna was delectable and tender. The accompanying micro greens were a perfect foil.

The toothsome and flavourful rack of ribs were addictive. Not Joe Beef or Meatmarket addictive, but up there. The potato salad it came with was a little short on salt but that didn't stop me from diving in with my fork for more. Other quibbles with the food and service were equally minor throughout the night.

The tartare was in a word, perfect. The little morsels of salmon melted in our mouths.

But the best dish by far was the opah. Otherwise known as moonfish, opah seldom appears on Montreal menus. I wish it did though. The flesh was meaty, delicious and set atop roasted yellow beets. Excellent. We subsequently made several bad jokes about Oprah and throwing our plates and yelling "Opa!" Gotta love that opah.

We enjoyed the food with a bottle of red wine ... I believe it was a 2004 Meneton Salon Clemont but to be honest, I had a lot to drink over the weekend and I can't remember anymore. I can tell you that there are several reasonably priced bottles and even more not on the chalkboard lists. Just ask.

There were two desserts available Friday night. A deep-fried Mars bar with ice cream - was it vanilla, I can't remember - and freshly picked strawberries from that day with Devonshire cream. Both were sinful and delicious in their own right.

On to the minor, very very minor I must emphasize, quibbles. Service was at times, a little slow. And one of the diners at our table thought that after the seafood tower, the other plates were maybe a little small. I disagree on that point however. Our total bill came out to $75 each, with a generous tip, and in my mind, that was a sweet deal all things considered. I had a wonderful time and will soon be back for more. With an ever-changing menu, I feel compelled to.

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I finally had dinner at Garde this past Friday night. I must begin with what I consider to be the highest of compliments. The experience was very ... Joe Beefy.

iharrison, thanks for the report. sounds awesome. "joe beefy" is a high compliment indeed. garde manger sounds like a place where there are kitschy things executed with seriousness. kitsch executed solely with kitschiness, in my opinion, always produces a disappointing product (ever been to trailer park in new york?). but retro onion dip, funzy cocktails, seafood platters, all done well? with good wine? sounds like garde is one to add to the list.


can't believe it's not butter? i can.

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I finally had dinner at Garde this past Friday night. I must begin with what I consider to be the highest of compliments. The experience was very ... Joe Beefy.

iharrison, thanks for the report. sounds awesome. "joe beefy" is a high compliment indeed. garde manger sounds like a place where there are kitschy things executed with seriousness. kitsch executed solely with kitschiness, in my opinion, always produces a disappointing product (ever been to trailer park in new york?). but retro onion dip, funzy cocktails, seafood platters, all done well? with good wine? sounds like garde is one to add to the list.

It is one to add to the list.

Although I should add that the Joe Beef comparison has more to do with the overall restaurant esthetic ... the people, the design, the ambiance and the menu.

The food at Joe Beef is in another class.

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I'm curious.

Can I just go and eat at the bar, if there is a bar, tomorrow after work ?

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I'm curious.

Can I just go and eat at the bar, if there is a bar, tomorrow after work ?

Yes, you can eat at the bar.

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Hi,

Has anyone been to eat at Garde Manger Restaurant recently? I'm thinking of going on a Saturday night for a birthday party. We're going to be a party of about eight, 27-32 year old girls. I'm looking for a bit of a bar scene after dinner (Maybe similar to St-Laurent St, but better food & better...)

Do you think Garde Manger would be a good choice?

I've heard it's a great 5a7 place, but what about for a Saturday night dinner?

Any suggestions or comments would be greatly apreciated.

Thank you,

Victoria

P.S. Bil's my boyfriend he said it was o.k. to use his account, hope it's o.k with eveyone :)

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Hi,

Has anyone been to eat at Garde Manger Restaurant recently?  I'm thinking of going on a Saturday night for a birthday party. We're going to be a party of about eight, 27-32 year old girls. I'm looking for a bit of a bar scene after dinner (Maybe similar to St-Laurent St, but better food & better...)

Do you think Garde Manger would be a good choice?

I've heard it's a great 5a7 place, but what about for a Saturday night dinner?

Any suggestions or comments would be greatly apreciated.

Thank you,

Victoria

P.S. Bil's my boyfriend he said it was o.k. to use his account, hope it's o.k with eveyone  :)

G-M is perfect for what you want. Keep in mind though, it is purposely ANTI-St. Laurent, as in completely unpretentious and casual, no bottle service requirements or any of that bs.

I doubt you can get a res for 8 on a Saturday at this point. Good luck.

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It's Anti St-Laurant but brings the same people. ;)

Staff from Time work there, for me it's a little too much party.

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Hi,

We dined at Garde Manger last night. We had reservations at 9:30 pm (two seating where available 7:00 or 9:30 pm) the food was excellent, I had the steak (Buffalo steak) & an amazing appetizer, It was goat cheese (I think fried) toped with sausage, can't wait to go back just to order it again. The service was very friendly, but got slow as the night progressed & the music was so loud it made it impossible to have a converstaion. Next time I'll be sure to reserve the earlier seating!

Thank you for your feedback and comments.

Victoria

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