Sep 21, 2011

Laurier Gordon Ramsay: chef Ramsay does chicken in Montreal

Photo credit: Laurier Gordon Ramsay

by Alexandra Forbes

Last night I was at a dinner where several guests seemed fascinated by my job as a restaurant critic. Happens a lot. But the truth is that sometimes people romanticize the whole thing, when writing a review about a restaurant actually requires very little: an opinion, a sense of ethics, and careful observation.

Case in point: my old friend Kristin Glasbergen - who was my roommate in boarding school! - was back in Montreal visitting for a few days. She mentioned she was going to eat at Gordon Ramsay's new chicken joint. I've been too lazy/uninterested to do so myself, so I asked her if she'd mind writing a report on her dinner. And guess what: turns out she'd make a fine critic! Kristin, ms. blogger extraordinaire of Peace, Love and Muesli fame, is usually more concerned with other stuff, though: healthy living, kids, etc. (you can read her musings here).

Photo credit: Laurier Gordon Ramsay

So here goes: Laurier Gordon Ramsay, by Kristin Glasbergen

Apparently it’s bad form to review a restaurant within its first month of business. We’re supposed to let them work out their kinks before we offer any judgement. It’s a good thing I make it a habit to ignore rules that don’t suit me.

I ate at Laurier Gordon Ramsay and I have an opinion.

Outremont is outside of my Montreal comfort zone, I’ve never lived, worked or played there. I was thankful for my decision to take a cab. With construction on every street, I might have never gotten there and by all reports finding parking was difficult.

The restaurant was clean and bright and shiny. And crazy busy. Not a romantic dinner kind of place. At 7 pm on a Thursday there was a line up and folks were being turned away. We were a big group, about 25 and had reservations. We were crammed into our table but we were happy to see each other.
The service was slow. I waited about 40 minutes for a water glass. Thankfully my cocktail arrived much quicker, otherwise who knows what kind of grumpy I might have unleashed. We were busy catching up with friends, we didn’t mind waiting. To our server’s credit, with our big group and all our bills and methods of paying, there were no mix ups.

Oh? You want to know about the food?

I ordered ribs, they came with a garnish of house made potato chips. I ordered a side salad for some veggies. The ribs were good, the meat was tender and flavourful.  The BBQ sauce was a tad vinegary for my taste but I still enjoyed them. I also tasted the chicken. The crispy skin was divine, the meat…well…uhm…bland comes to mind. I was glad I had the ribs. Both the potato chips and the french fries were delish, deep fried potatoes done right.
Several ladies at my table ordered the chicken pot pie, I didn’t hear the report about how it tasted but it was beautiful. A piece of art made in pastry.

Last Thoughts.

The night was fun but because I spent it with friends. It’s not likely I will make the trip back to eat there again.
As I signed my credit card slip, I noticed big glass jars of retro candies for sale. And pins, little Laurier Gordon Ramsay pins, for $1.

Click here to read our report on Laurier Gordon Ramsay's opening night.

Sep 16, 2011

Dans la rue : with chef David Ferguson of Jolifou restaurant, Montreal.

By Andrea Doucet Donida

I just hung up with chef David Ferguson of Jolifou, and I have a big smile on my face. Why?

Chef David Ferguson, Jolifou. Photo credit: Au fé

Because it is so inspiring to talk with people who know what they are doing and want to reach out to their community by doing what they do best. In his case: cook.

He has indeed been involved in numerous charity events, but especially with Dans la rue: From the street to the stars for over 6 years now. « I like it because it is a local cause that does well for street kids, I’m impressed with their charity work » he says.

Chefs are much solicited these days, and what makes him come back to Dans la rue, year after year, might surprise you and teach a thing or two to all fundraising people out there… It is the quality and efficiency of the event coordinators! The TassOne Event team in charge of the event make things easy for the chefs, they are well set-up and understand the already hectic schedule of a chef by making it as simple as possible to participate.

And talking about participation, David has already decided what he’ll be preparing for the big burger competition! As you might already know, he serves a mean burger at his restaurant, with homemade smoked brisket, salsa verde and all the fixings… but he will not be serving this one next week, he has a big surprise in store for everyone on Wednesday. “I’m ready to shake it up” David told me!

You’ll have to be there to find out what it is… one thing is for sure, it will stand out and raise the guests’ taste buds experience!

See you next Wednesday!

Details for Dans la rue: From the Stars to the Street are available at Dans la rue website and Facebook page.

September 21st from 6PM
Montreal Science Centre - The Belvedere
2, de la Commune West, on the Quays of the Old Port
Parking available ($)

Ticket: $125 (receipt $100)
10 Tickets : $1000 (receipt $750)
(514) 526-5222


Master of ceremonies: Anne-Marie Withenshaw

Montreal's most renowned chefs will compete to recreate a traditional favourite, the burger, and you the public will be the judge. Enjoy the urban rhythms and street-inspired entertainment. For this 8th annual event, From the Street to the Stars will make a bold fashion statement, thanks to its partners, the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, the Aldo Group and the creative firm TRUSST CLUB. Proceeds will support Dans la rue, an organization dedicated to providing street kids a chance to succeed.

Le Barroco, le Boucan, le Bice, Chez l’Épicier, le Café Ferreira, le Grain de Sel, le Jolifou, Kitchenette, le Pintxo and le St-Urbain.

Fly away to this food and fashion capital on the wings of Air Canada
*Certain conditions apply

Presented by GILDAN Activewear

Sep 1, 2011

Le Marché du Foodlab: organic veggies, Grumman78 tacos and charcuteries

by Alexandra Forbes

I just found out about a very cool little pop-up market called the Marché du Foodlab which will be up and running every Thursday, Friday and Saturday until October 1 at the Place de la Paix in downtown
Montreal. They have Grumman78 tacos, a crazy dude from Barcelona making paella with real saffron (pictured above) and a funky mix of clientele.

It takes place  in a public square just South of the SAT (Society for Arts and Technology):

Agrandir le plan

Here are the producers who are participating (plus the taco truck Grumman78):

More than 30 varieties of organic veggies and fruits, brought from the farm of Robin Fortin and Réjean Forget.

The organic microgreens and herbs by Pierre-André Daignault are famous among chefs: he supplies many of the top tables in town.

Sellers of gluten-free and nitrates-free charcuteries by Fou du Cochon, cider vinegar, fresh goat's cheeses.


Hipster taco truck owned by the couple Marc-André Leclerc and Hilary McGown, serving freshly-made tacos with freshly-sourced ingredients.

Thursdays and Fridays, noon to 7 PM
Saturdays, 10 to 4 PM - Facebook