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Mike Cohen explores newest Madisons Restaurant & Bar franchise on Decarie

    Madisons Restaurant & Bar (www.madisonsresto.com) has always been one of those dining establishments I have truly appreciated for its well-balanced menu: terrific appetizers, salads, tartares, soups, burgers and sandwiches, steak, seafood, pasta, chicken, ribs, sides and decadent desserts.  There is also a neat bar setup.

    Owned by the MTY Group, Madisons recently opened its 14th franchise on Decarie Boulevard and there will be more to come. There are presently other locations downtown, near Olympic Stadium,  in Anjou, Boucherville, St. Bruno, St. Constant, Dollard des Ormeaux, Kirkland, Chomedey, Ste. Dorothee, Rosemere, Lachenaie and Ottawa. A Toronto location will open in November 2018 at the site of the Premium Outlets next door to Canada’s Wonderland amusement and waterpark.

    Tito Kang, the vice-president and brand leader for Madisons, told me that the long-term goal is to expand across the country,

    My family and I recently dined at the new Decarie franchise, owned by Tom Papavasilou and managed by Ben Laekas. It is located in premises which previously housed Tiffanys Restaurant Bistro & Grill. The latter closed towards the end of 2017. Work on the new Madisons took five months and it opened at the beginning of August (2018). There is seating for 180, as well as a seasonal terrace. The first thing you notice upon entering is the attractive lighting.

    The reason this place is running so smooth relates to Papavasilou,  who also owns the Rosemere and  Olympic Stadium area franchises.

    Madisons is among the first in Canada to serve certified Premium Black Angus beef, a tender, and delicious piece of meat. Premium Black Angus is recognized as a superior breed for its tender, and unique flavoured meat. It is aged at least 35 days, raised without any added hormones or antibiotics and fed with high quality, 100 percent vegetarian feed.

    We were a party of five. Our server Tracy went over the specials of the day and shared the wine and cocktail menu.  We started off with glasses of white sangria, pinot grigio  and an appletini while a basket of warm rolls arrived at the table.

    For appetizers we shared an order of creamy spinach and reggiano cheese dip – a creamy mix of reggiano cheese, chopped spinach, onion and artichokes with a whole lot of nachos. It was quite good. We are big fans of salmon tartare where we can find it and someone ordered the three-ounce version – freshly diced salmon mixed with a spicy mayo, capers, cilantro, olive oil and fresh shallots. The plate also included a salad.  I was thrilled to sea clam chowder available, the creamy classic with clams, potatoes, celery, onions and carrots. The bowl came piping hot and got a big thumbs up from me. Other starter options included calamari, mussels, chicken wings, flatbreads and a nice selection of salads (which come in both appetizer and meal sizes).

    Three members of our party opted for the six ounce filet mignon while one went for the steak frites, a grilled skirt steak topped with mushroom demi-glaze. All agreed that the meat was perfectly cooked and cut like butter. I had my eye on the 10 ounce roast prime rib au jus, slow cooked at a low temperature. It was cut thin as I like it, in fact shaped like a steak. I was very impressed.

    While there a number of sides, we all chose the New York baked potato. Again we were exceptionally pleased with the preparation and the contents of chives, sour cream, garlic and avocado and for some, bacon.

    For dessert we shared one piece of key lime pie, which came with a delicious chocolate crust and a slice of superb apple pie.

    On previous visits to Madisons I have  enjoyed the sandwiches.  Hamburgers were only introduced recently, as were tartars. Plans call for more seafood options to be added.

    The bar areas, like the one on Decarie, have become very popular with the younger crowd.”Our bar is very busy on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights,”  said Papavasilou.

    Madisons also has a nicely priced lunch menu and a special two for $22 Sunday offering. You can choose two plates for $22-  chicken tenders, cheeseburger, chicken Caesar salad or grilled chicken flatbread. The two for $26 includes grilled Mediterranean chicken, baby back ribs or six ounce grilled salmon.

    Mike Cohen

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