Saturday, February 19, 2011

Valentine's Day @ Grill City Steakhouse

A few weeks ago, there was a great deal on Tuango for Grill City Steakhouse (25$ for 50$ of food!). After looking it up on restomontreal and reading all the rave reviews, I decided to buy 2 coupons and bring my boyfriend there for a romantic Valentine's day supper. Armed with coupons worth 100$ of food, we were prepared to pig out shamelessly.

I had very high expectations for this restaurant and it still managed to surpass them immensely. The food was impeccable; it looked and tasted amazing!

We had made online reservations because well, it was Valentine's Day. The restaurant recommends diners to make reservations on fridays, saturdays and sundays. When we went inside, we could see why; the restaurant was tiny by steakhouse standards. However, the romantic ambiance was ideal for a Valentine's Day supper. The decor was very nice; it had a modern and chic feel to it. The restaurant has a parking area which is always a plus.

Upon our arrival, we were greeted and seated promptly. The menu was explained and after we ordered, the waiter brought a basket of fresh bread and butter. The bread was really good; it was warm and crunchy without being hard. I always judge a restaurant by the bread it serves. When they bring out cold or stale bread, your dining experience starts on a sour note and no matter how good the following dishes are, your meal is basically ruined. Yes, I take my (free) bread seriously. As it turns out in this case, the bread was only the tip of the iceberg.

All the main dishes are served with the soup of the day. On that particular day, it was a cream of chicken and lemon. It was an average-tasting soup. Nothing special, but not bad neither. Sorry for the crappy picture - we were hungry and didn't take the time to take a nice picture.

For the appetizer, I took the crab cakes garnished with watercress and served with a mustard-cream sauce (10$). This is my first time trying out crab cakes! They were fantastic! Loved them! I have been wanting to try crab cakes for a while (I think it was after seeing them on an episode of Top Chef) and these did not disappoint at all. Will definitely order them more often in restaurants. Somehow, they are pretty hard to come by in Montreal. I haven't seen them often in menus.

My boyfriend ordered the seared scallops with roasted bell pepper sauce (10$). The scallops were cooked perfectly and the sauce was heavenly. If I was by myself, I would literally lick the sauce off the plate. But I didn't. Because I wasn't alone. haha. The sauce didn't really taste like roasted peppers, more like tomatoes with...something. I guess that something is roasted peppers! :)

For the main course, I took the filet mignon (8oz) served with Yukon puree, vegetables and peppercorn sauce (30$). Let me tell you, the star of this dish is not the filet mignon, but the Yukon puree! It was creamy, smooth and delighted my taste buds! It might sound weird since these are mashed potatoes we are talking about, but I literally had feelings of euphoria when I ate this. lol. On another note, the filet mignon, although less tantalizing, was nonetheless delicious. I read on restomontreal that they tend to overcook the meat so instead of ordering the meat cooked medium like I normally do, I asked for medium-rare and they came out perfect. I wasn't crazy about the sauce though. I just didn't like the taste and would prefer it to be thicker.

My boyfriend scanned the menu for the dish that had the biggest piece of meat and chose the rib steak (16oz) with mushrooms and fries (29$) with a side of cognac peppercorn sauce (3$ additional). His first choice was the rosbif, but it was only served on the weekends. So there you go: manly meal = big piece of huge slab fatty meat + mountain of fries. He enjoyed his meal, although he preferred my filet mignon. He didn't care for the peppercorn sauce neither.

For dessert, I ordered the chocolate souffle with seasonal fruits and vanilla ice cream (6$). I'm a chocolate addict so obviously, I loved this. The one flaw was that by the time it was served to me, it isn't really a souffle anymore. It kind of ...deflated. No matter, it didn't affect the taste, so I'm not gonna complain.

creme-brulee-seasonal fruits
My boyfriend chose the creme brulee with seasonal fruits (6$). Whenever I eat a creme brulee, I think of the movie Le Fabuleux Destin D'Amélie Poulain when she mentions that she loves cracking the surface of a creme brulee with the back of a spoon. It is actually my favorite thing to do when I eat a creme brulee. Unfortunately, it was the only thing I enjoyed doing to this one. The taste of alcohol was too strong and overpowering. I could barely taste the vanilla and caramel.

One huge downside to our dining experience was the service (or rather, lack thereof). We came in at 6:30PM and left at 9:30PM! And it's not like we are slow eaters. There were only 2 waiters for the whole restaurant and one of them worked mostly at the bar. The service was fairly quick at the beginning of the meal, but when the crowd came in around 7-7:30PM, it went downhill. It took forever for them to bring our dishes and took forever to take them away once we are done. When came the time to order our desserts, we literally had to wave for the servers to notice us because saying a simple "Excuse me?" was not enough. At the end of our meal, our server came to apologize for the bad service and explained that they were one server short and a nutshell, that their service is usually not this crappy. I'll give him the benefit of the doubt.

Even though the evening's service left to be desired, I will definitely go back to Grill City Steakhouse. The food was delicious and the quality of the food outstanding. Considering what you get, the prices are extremely fair. It is undeniably the best steakhouse I've been to so far. I just hope the servers will redeem themselves next time!

Food: 4.8/5
Service: 2/5
Setting: 5/5
Value: 5/5
Overall: 4.3/5

500, boul. Henri-Bourassa E.
Montreal, Qc H3L 1C6
(514) 387-2828

Beautiful flowers that Y bought for me. He usually buys me lilies because they are my favorite, but this is a nice change! And I bought him the little monkey because it reminded me of him. hehe. Hope you had a nice Valentine's Day!
Grill City Steakhouse on Urbanspoon


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