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Mike Cohen gets filled up at the truly unique Deville Dinerbar

    Deville Dinerbar (www.devilledinerbar.com) is unlike any diner you’ve been in: a lovechild of whimsical nostalgia and 21st-century spirit.

    The Tzemopoulos family have been operating the iconic Reuben’s Deli & Steakhouse on St. Catherine Street for more than 40 years now.  Brothers   Jim, Anthony and Adam operate under the RD3 Restaurant Group and they are very proud of two other trendy dining establishments around the corner on Stanley Street – Deville Dinerbar and Anton and James. The latter is more of a “grab and go” spot, but Deville has an entirely different vibe than most restaurants I have visited.

    I have been to Deville a number of times since it opened in the past decade, but more recently I was invited back by my friend Louie Mercuri. He is a veteran in the restaurant business and our paths have happily passed on a number of occasions. When he landed at the RD3 Restaurant Group as part of the management team he invited me to visit for an exclusive tasting.

    Founded in 2011, Deville pays homage with a modern feeling to the great diners of yesterday. There is a massive bar where you can order yourself a house cocktail or R-rated shake and let yourself experience magic in the making. Deville specialties include its “Bacon Weaved Meat Loaf,” our “Crispy Mac and Cheese Stuffed Wontons” and signature steaks selected from 100 percent premium Canadian grass-fed beef.

    From lunch to late night and everything in between, Deville Dinerbar strikes the right note for both the casual and the refined looking to celebrate the little moments that make life big.  

    There are 180 seats plus a seasonal 35 seat terrace in the back. Another will be added on the street for 2019 while parking is also being validated at an indoor lot next door now. This is not only a valuable saving, but a true steal when you grab a meal before a Canadiens game or another event at the Bell Centre. Habs owner Geoff Molson and his family are among the regular diners here.

    Let’s start off with the detailed and separate bar menu, featuring classics, house cocktails, fish bowls (gigantic glasses), crushed creations, mocktails (booze-free), wines, beer, whiskey and the r-rated milkshakes.

    There is a healthy offering of appetizer and grand dinner-sized salads and a complete lunch menu available weekdays from 11 am to 4 pm.

    As I sat down with Louie, he gave me a detailed overview of the menu and then out came our sever Jordan with course after course. Please take note that I did sample every item that came my way, but had most of it packed away to share with my family the rest of the way. Every morsel of every dish was so absolutely delicious I had to use tremendous self-control.

    From the starters sections, there were a number of tempting options: fried pickles, bacon-wrapped dog sliders, mini lobster rolls, ahi tuna tacos and lollipop lamb chops to name a few. Louie sent over some of the house favorites: the crispy mac and cheese stuffed wontons, deep fried with a side of Diablo Marinara sauce;  the salt and pepper calamari, deep fried with a side of Peruvian aji rojo sauce; and beef carnitas siders, pulled beef shortrib marinated in black cherry soda, melted oaxaca cheese, sautéed onions and  guacamole mayo,  Served on brioche slider buns.

    From the burger section. Louie recommended the Black Label, the special house blend burger topped with fried panko-crusted gouda cheese, aged cheddar, peppered black forest bacon and bone marrow mayo. It came with a side order of matchstick fries and was juicy as can be. All Deville burgers come with two patties, except the Big Guy.  The selection of sandwiches looked great, from Screamin’ Korean Fried chicken to the prime rib dip, these will be on my list when I come by for lunch.

    On to the Deville Specialties we went. Cluck and Moo features the restaurants signature center cut beef back ribs served with Maple glazed rotisserie chicken breast and grilled spiced watermelon, along with matchstick fries. The braised lamb shank, served with garlic mashed potatoes, lamb jus and seasonal vegetables, slid off the bone and was cooked to perfection. They have a variety of fresh fish selections and something called Kentucky fried steak which also caught my eye. Again- for next time!

    Deville is also known for its steaks as well, naturally aged for a minimum of 35 days.

    As for pastas, I gave the baked ziti with chorizo sausage, ricotta and grand padana cheeses, roasted tomatoes, sautéed onions and oregano in creamy rosé sauce.

    Yes it was very difficult for me to save room for dessert. I had been craving a milkshake for a long time and the ones from Deville came highly recommended. Louie recommended the Chips Ahoy cookie shake – chips ahoy cookies with vanilla ice cream, malt powder and whipped cream. I was in heaven as I sipped every last drop. The signature beignets arrived at the table as well, with two decadent dips. Those too were packed up, warmed up in the microwave the following day and enjoyed by the family.

    When I walked into Deville I expected to perhaps have a burger or sandwich. The wide array of offerings on the menu truly exceeded my expectations. Deville Dinerbar is located at 1425 Stanley Street near St. Catherine. For more information call 514.281.6556, email info@devilledinerbar.com or log on to www.devilledinerbar.com. Hours of operation are 11 am to 11 pm Sunday through Thursday and 11 am to midnight Friday and Saturday.

    Mike Cohen

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