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.

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