For over four decades, Gibby's has provided Montrealers and out-of-towners alike a reliable destination for a steak dinner. Open and busy every night of the week – Sundays included – a reservation is a must at this institution. Located in the city's parking-challenged historic birthplace, the complimentary valet service is a godsend.
Vegetarians aside, everyone enjoys a good steak; which is why Gibby's – in addition to its charming location and setting – is a perfect spot to commemorate any occasion. From graduation celebrations to family Christmas dinners, I have easily eaten here a dozen times over the last two decades.
Tonight's Mother's Day crowd consisted of the usual flock of Anglophones; older couples with their teenage offspring, men with their mothers tête-à-tête and those omnipresent packs of meatheads.
The menu here resembles that of any upscale American steakhouse; various cuts of beef are preceded or accompanied by a large selection of seafood. Prices may seem steep at first – mains exceed $50 – but once you find out what's included, you will change your mind.
Where its peers will serve you a steak all by its lonesome and gouge you for side orders, Gibby's will throw in bread, pickles, bacon bits, a salad, a palate-cleansing lemon sorbet, some veggies and a choice of baked potato or rice. If it sounds like a lot, that's because it IS a lot!
And after years of figuring out what to order while avoiding leftovers – who takes steak in a doggy bag? – and the ensuing food coma, I have finally nailed it. My wife and I shared a starter and two "reasonable" mains while skipping dessert; and we finished our plates while remaining lucid afterwards – mission accomplished!
Enough with the fusion and deconstructed versions I have had of late; this textbook French onion soup was steaming with good caramelization and a brown, melty crust.
This simple, complimentary salad has one thing going for it; the addictive Gibby's dressing – available for sale in a bottle – with that famous sweet and sour taste.
Lighter than a steak but still a whopper of a plate, breaded shrimps are served with a garlic butter dip and all the fixin's; a simple, decent surf-y alternative to turf.
By far my least favorite cut but I wanted something small. The medium-rare cooking was right on with a charred surface and pink flesh that turned red at the center.
tagged: LOOSEN YOUR BELT
Renowned for its older, longstanding staff, tonight there was new Gibby's blood in the air as we were tended to by a younger gentleman. Regardless of age, he took care of us – as well as the impossibly-naggy table to our side – with the expertise and warmth this venerable address has always put forth.
Gibby's is often derided as an Anglo/tourist trap; although I feel this labeling is completely unfair. Sure, it's no Moishes; but it does sit miles above chain-y steakhouses such as The Keg and (shudder) Houston.
Of all of its rivals, I deem it to have the best bang for the buck, thanks to its superior meats and all of the extras aforementioned. Throw in its consistency and old-world vibe; no wonder I find myself gravitating here at least a couple times a year. And now that I know exactly how much (not) to order, I can keep returning guilt free!
Price per person: $57.85
Montreal restaurant and bar reviews brought to you by two regular guys who like to eat and drink. We will go anywhere and we will say it like it is.