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Mike Cohen savors a first-class meal at the venerable Gibbys Steakhouse

    There are restaurants in Montreal which merit being compared to a “unique dining experience” and Gibbys (www.gibbys.com) certainly qualifies for that category.

    There are restaurants in Montreal which merit being compared to a “unique dining experience” and Gibbys certainly qualifies for that category.

    In 1969 Gilbert (Gibby) Rosenberg and two partners established a steakhouse in St. Sauveur. His nickname stuck and would soon become legendary. Three years later a second Gibbys opened up in a historic former stable in Place d’Youville in Old Montreal. The rest is history. Today, both locales continue to thrive. For a brief time, there was even South Florida locale in Fort Lauderdale.

    While I have never been to the St. Sauveur restaurant, the Old Montreal spot has been a destination for special occasions in my family for many years. It was therefore very exciting to go there with the two ladies of the house recently to do a review.

    There are restaurants in Montreal which merit being compared to a “unique dining experience” and Gibbys certainly qualifies for that category.

    For elegant grill and seafood items served in an upscale and intimate environment, Gibbys is the place. You can order each menu item a la carte or pay for a group menu in which a set price will land a several course meal. Main courses include rib steak, filet shish kabobs, rack of lamb, chicken Kiev, Canadian lobster tails, curried shrimp, poached swordfish, salmon trout and halibut.

    Meat and fish selections at Gibbys are delivered daily and are prepared using highquality ingredients. The same can be said for the homemade desserts offered as an excellent finish to each meal. This includes chocolate mousse, fresh blueberry cheesecake or homemade ice cream for added sweetness.

    Gibbys exudes class. It starts off when you take advantage of the free valet parking and enter the restaurant. There is sitting for 325 here, spread over two levels (Sauveur can accommodate close to 300).  Is it pricey? It depends how you look at things. As noted, parking is free. Portions are very large and they do not charge extra for sharing, nor for side orders. For birthdays and special occasions they will provide a cake and photo free of charge.

    There are restaurants in Montreal which merit being compared to a “unique dining experience” and Gibbys certainly qualifies for that category.

    We were seated in one of the side rooms and greeted by our sever Robyn. Some hot bread and butter, along with pickles, arrived at the table and we reviewed the menu. The ladies started off with some drinks, a pino grigio and a chardonnay. Two of us shared an order of chilled oysters (six) in the shell.

    There are restaurants in Montreal which merit being compared to a “unique dining experience” and Gibbys certainly qualifies for that category.

    Main Courses here are served with a choice of Gibbys salad (anchovies on request), Gazpacho Andalous or Tomato and onion marinade, fresh steamed asparagus and a choice of baked potato, Monte Carlo or rice pilaf. I decided to have a nice piping hot bowl of clam chowder while the ladies shared one of their signature salads – too delicious for words.

    Before the main course came the palate cleanser, which looks like a small bowl of ice cream. Gibbys is one of the few restaurants I know of that serves this.

    For the main course, there was only one choice for me: the rib steak, better known as a Gibbys cut. It was superb as usual. The ladies opted to share the rack of lamb-Youville, marinated in fine herbs and garlic.

    There are restaurants in Montreal which merit being compared to a “unique dining experience” and Gibbys certainly qualifies for that category.

    While were quite full from this meal, when the dessert menu arrived it was too hard to resist sharing the decadent chocolate mousse among the three of us. We even had room for the small pieces of chocolate which arrive on the table with your bill.

    Gibbys is a Montreal landmark. Stone walls, beamed ceilings and a cozy fireplace make it a romantic backdrop for any night out. It is beyond popular with locals and tourists alike. And on a given evening you never know which celebrity you might run into. 

    Gibbys is located at 298 Place d’Youville in Old  Montreal. For reservations call 514-282-1837. In St. Sauveur you can find the restaurant at  414 Principale St. Opening hours are Monday to Friday from 5:30 pm and Saturday and Sunday from 5 pm. Log on to www.gibbys.com  for more information.

    Mike Cohen

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