The outstanding Queue de Cheval Steakhouse & Angry Lobster Seafood Lounge
The City of Montreal celebrated its 375th anniversary in 2017 in style with a lot of high profile events, the lighting of the iconic Jacques Cartier Bridge and some fantastic tourism numbers. Pierre Bellerose, vice-president of Tourisme Montréal, expects to receive over 500,000 more visitors than last year, or about 11.2 million.
From fall to spring, the number one wish on the list of most tourists is to see a Montreal Canadiens game at the Bell Centre. That opportunity and anything else done in the downtown area results in working up a good appetite. Enter the Queue de Cheval Steakhouse & Angry Lobster Seafood Lounge (www.queuedecheval.com), located at 1181 Avenue de la Montagne. It is a mere block away from the Bell Centre, next to major hotels, has valet parking and offers a dining experience like none other.
While visitors to Montreal flock to the Queue, so do locals who recognize that they are in for a memorable dining experience. The restaurant has been in its present location since September 2014, an exquisite three-level building. Prior to that it was just around the corner on Boulevard René Lévesque. Now this new spot has some history attached to it. This is where Jefferson Davis, a 19th century U.S. senator and president of the Confederate States of America during the Civil War, once lived in order to fend off assassination. John Wilkes Booth, an American stage actor who assassinated President Abraham Lincoln, was also a guest here.
Peter Morentzos is the genius behind this restaurant and a slew of others via the Morentzos Restaurant Group (MRG) . The Q is a 300 plus seat locale with an open-exhibition kitchen, glass refrigerated meat lockers, an opulent winding staircase and a massive round grill crowned by a dramatic 30 foot brass hood. The USDA prime beef is painstakingly dry aged in the restaurant’s meat lockers for 30 to 45 days. Downstairs you will find the exquisite Angry Lobster Seafood Lounge. There are three private dining rooms, able to handle 30 to 120 people, and a cocktail area for up to 150 people. A seasonal terrace is part of the complex as well.
There is an extensive wine menu. We always like to start off our meals at the Q with some champagne.The legendary shellfish platter remains an absolute must for starters from the raw bar: lobster claws, lobster tails, dungeness crab, shrimp and fresh bay scallops. We like to add some delicious oysters.
The “Q” classics are headlined by lobster emerging, three to 4.5 pounds and de-shelled and other choices from drunken beef, rack of lamb chops, Mediterranean sea bass, yellow fin tuna and B.C. king salmon. The “Q steak cuts consist of favorites like the 28 ounce porterhouse for two (sliced), the petit mignon, the Kansas cut bone-in and the bone-in veal chop. There are about 20 side options, from superb garlic mashed potatoes to “Q” cut onion rings, oyster mushrooms, jumbo asparagus and creamy spinach. They make a terrific wedge salad, with blue cheese crujble dressing and chives. As for dessert, do not focus on the calorie count. Consider sharing a few of these to die for offerings: key lime pie, white chocolate cheese cake, shortcake, tiramisu, death by chocolate, millefeuille, crème brûlee, tipsy affogato (vanilla beenan ice cream espresso/frangelico) or le parfait (fresh berries/vanilla bean ice cream/chocolate cake/mascarpone cream).
Fabulous Lunch Special
A new feature at the Q is a fabulous lunch special. For only $27 per person the table d’hôte features a three course business lunch from 11:30 am to 3 pm. You can select from meat (beef wellington, steak tartar, petite mignon or hamburger); fish (Mediterranean sea bass “loup de mer,” nori leaf wrapped organic king salmon, raw pan seared yellow tail tuna nicoise salad or scallops; and pasta (angry lobster pappardelle or risotto funghi, spaghetti alla chitarra). All of these options are served with the Chef’s dessert of the day and café Americano Illy coffee. I dropped by for lunch recently and for the very first time had one of their now famous QDC Burger selections. This was an enormous and mouth watering six ounce USDA prime dry aged ground steak with boursin cheese, wild mushrooms, roasted tomatoes, smoked pork belly and fried egg, served with spicy lobster mayor and French fries. In the summer, QDC Burger operates as a standalone operation in the alley way next to the restaurant and the lineups tend to be endless. There are a wide array of burgers, from beef to chicken, tuna and salmon available and even a pretty impressive hot dog. Rumour has it that Morentzos will soon start rolling out some independent QDC Burger locations in different parts of town. His sons Chris and Alex oversee the QDC Burger part of the business.
Pre-Theatre/ Hockey Menu
The re-theatre/show/hockey menu is a page right out of Broadway. From 5 pm to 7 pm, prior to all Bell Centre hockey games, concerts and other events, you will be in your seats with time to spare with a selection of $45 meals. Long-time sales and events director Marie-Andrée Chouinard rightly says that there is absolutely no restaurant with an outstanding menu like the Q this close to the Bell Centre that offers such a deal. You have a choice between lobster bisque or a wedge salad (like the lunch special) to start off and then either a meat (beef wellington, steak tartare, filet mignon or short ribs), fish (Mediterranean sea bass “loup de mer” or yellow fin big eye sushi tuna, pasta (angry lobster pappardelle) or the Butcher’s Blend hamburger. The latter is a half-pound blend of Australian KOBE, USDA prime dry aged beef and short ribs, boursin cheese, wild mushrooms, roasted tomatoes, smoked pork belly and fried egg served with spicy lobster curry mayo and fries.
The Morentzos Story
Morentzos is behind the development of more than 50 restaurants, with the Queue de Cheval always serving as the flagship. Others included Moe’s Deli and Bar, Weinstein and Gavino’s and 40 Westt Steakhouse, just to name a few.
The Queue de Cheval is located at 1181 Avenue de la Montagne. The hours of operation are 11:30 am to 3 pm for lunch Monday to Friday and dinner service from 5:30 pm to 10:30 pm Sunday to Wednesday and 5:30 pm to midnight Thursday to Saturday. The Angry Lobster Seafood Lounge is open daily from 5:30 pm to 2 am and from 5:30 pm to 3 am Thursday to Saturday.For more information and to see the complete menus log on to www.queuedecheval.com. Bookings can be made via Open Table.
For private parties and corporate groups, call Marie-Andrée Chouinard at 514-390-0091 or e-mail email@example.com.
By Mike Cohen