It wasn't that long ago that comfort food was reserved for diners and cheap eateries. Today, a slew of trendy restaurants are revamping classics like poutine and mac n' cheese; but back in 2009, Greasy Spoon was one of the early adopters of this trend. What was an innovative concept back then piqued our interest, but for one reason or another, we never got around to trying it before tonight.
The lodge-like interior features several hunting trophies and a large, eye-catching shelving unit standing behind the bar. The quaint, laid-back atmosphere is accentuated by the chatty, ponytailed owner or manager that seems to be familiar with several patrons present.
tagged: CHATTERBOX CORNER
As expected, the menu mainly centers around souped-up favorites such as onion soup, poutine, shrimp rolls, shepherd's pie, mac n' cheese… It also lists a few bolder creations like beef tartar with chorizo, tagliatelle with duck confit and a daily special. We tried to get a taste of both realms after ordering a couple drinks off the cocktail menu.
"with spicy smoked honey". Very crispy exterior that crackles when you bite into it, only to find dry meat underneath. The sauce had good flavour from the honey and chili flakes, but was a little watery for our taste (we like our wings sticky).
An interesting rendition of Quebec's beloved dish; the fries were replaced with tater tots then topped with smoked meat and scallions. While the cheese curds and gravy were ordinary, the dish as a whole came together nicely, combining smoky and sharp flavours.
"with homemade chips and tarragon coleslaw". The chips and coleslaw were standard issue but we enjoyed the two rolls. Those were generously packed with sliced shrimp mixed with mayonnaise, red onion, celery and red pepper, which added a pop of freshness.
"roasted garlic mash and red wine shallot sauce". Standard issue braised short ribs; beefy and moist (with some dry sides). The melted cheese on top didn't add much flavour, and the mash was very ordinary. The sauce was what saved the dish with its sweetness.
"with salted caramel". The highlight of the night. Soft sweet apples, great granola/nutty crumble, and vanilla ice cream topped with the delicious salted caramel (for which we have a weakness).
We had to wait a little too long for our opening drinks, and we got our coffee before dessert (a no-no in our books), but asides from that, our waiter did a satisfying job.
Our consensus is that Greasy Spoon is more of a neighborhood joint than a destination restaurant. If you were to try this place, we would suggest sticking to the classics (poutine and shrimp rolls), since we had better luck with those than the more serious items. We may give the Spoon another shot if we were in the area, but we won't be rushing back anytime soon.
tagged: DESERVES A RETRY
Price per person: $35
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.