By Andrea Doucet Donida
I have never seen so many people at a Montreal restaurant opening! It is also rare that such a renowned chef, with such main stream popularity as Ramsay, opens a restaurant in this town, more accustomed to seeing local or French chefs rule the restaurant scene.
It was fun to watch the VIPs enter the familiar yet refurbished Laurier restaurant. A lot of grey hair patrons, probably folks that have been dining at what was once called the Laurier BBQ, a traditional family restaurant that had survived many decades but had seen better years…or so they say! Because what I witnessed today was more of a rebirth, a very respectful and fresh approach to what many Montrealers consider their “childhood take-out” place.
Speaking with three lovely ladies that have been working for more than 15 years at the old Laurier BBQ, Diane, Solange and Micheline, the menu has changed quite a bit but still retains clients’ favourite dishes and was a needed upgrade. “Yes, Diane tells me, the sauce is not the same. But I’m sure that if a client comes back a few times, they will realize that the new sauce is much tastier!” (my translation).
Having been to the Laurier BBQ way back then and haven’t kept the fondest memories of the food served at the time, I couldn’t agree with her more! The miniature version of the dishes prepared by the new chef - Guillermo Russo of Ramsey’s version of Laurier - was indeed what a really good chicken BBQ family restaurant should serve.
I tasted the poutine, a mini hamburger, a crispy grilled cheese and most of the yummy desserts. I already plan to return there soon to really get to sink my tooth deeper in each dish…and to get a bigger piece of the amazing carrot cake!
Ok, I know, you want to see for yourself if Gordon Ramsay was really in Montreal! Well, here is the man himself, Gordon Ramsay addressing the full house of eager foodies, celebs, patrons and media, enjoy! (oh and FYI, this video is G rated, sorry!).
And for those who asked me, yes, there still will be deliveries!
LAURIERGORDONRAMSAY.COM (maybe not yet available)
Check out the menu here.