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Mike Cohen is in paradise at La Queue de Cheval Steakhouse and Raw Bar

    La Queue de Cheval Steakhouse and Raw Bar,  (www.queuedecheval.com), located at 1181 Avenue de la Montagne, represents a special place when it comes to writing restaurant reviews. It is the only dining establishment I update my readers on at least once a year without fail. That has been the case now going back more than a decade.

    This year marks the 20thanniversary of the Q and Morentzos justifiably could not be more proud.

    It was in 2005 that I sat down with Peter Morentzos for my first ever one-on-one interview. He is a visionary in the restaurant business, the man behind the development of more than 50 restaurants. While the Queue de Cheval serves as the flagship, others with his stamp include Moe’s Deli and Bar, Weinstein and Gavino’s and 40 Westt Steakhouse, just to name a few  In 2014 he introduced QDC Burger in the back alley of the Q offering spectacular burgers. More recently, Morentzos decided that this brand was strong enough to stand on its own two feet and opened a stand-alone QDC Burger at 210 St. Viateur Ouest in the Mile End District -another addition to  the Morentzos Restaurant Group (MRG).

    PeterMorentzos and his son Chris.

    Conveniently situated a mere block away from the Bell Centre and nextto major hotels, the Q has complimentary valet parking and offers a dining experiencelike 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 an assassination. John Wilkes Booth, an American stage actor who assassinated President Abraham Lincoln, was also a guest here.

    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 AngryLobster 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.   

    Mike Cohen is in paradise at  La Queue de Cheval Steakhouse and Raw Bar

    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 and tails, snow crab legs and claws, sea urchin, jumbo shrimp, fresh bay scallops and tuna poke. We like to add some delicious oysters. Let me say that the scallops this time out were beyond spectacular. The platter was happily shared three ways. Selection and availability may vary from season to season.

    Mike Cohen is in paradise at  La Queue de Cheval Steakhouse and Raw Bar

    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 terrific salads here as well.  Two members of our party share a Caesar salad.

    Mike Cohen is in paradise at  La Queue de Cheval Steakhouse and Raw Bar

    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).

    Mike Cohen is in paradise at  La Queue de Cheval Steakhouse and Raw Bar

    If there is a birthday being celebrated by your party call in advance. A team of waiters will arrive at your table with a surprise dessert featuring a sparkler inside and a loud and excited happy birthday chant.

    It always a treat to simply order your meal here. Our server Eric brought the different cuts of steak to the table and went over them in great detail. Morentzos takes such care in selecting his food items and it is always him or one of his reliable managers who keep a close eye on the open kitchen to make sure everything is done just right.

    Fabulous Lunch Special

    The fabulous Q lunch special remains very popular. 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.

    Mike Cohen is in paradise at  La Queue de Cheval Steakhouse and Raw Bar

    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.

    QDC Burger

    Founded by Morentzos, QDC Burger first opened its doors in September 2014 in the back alley of steakhouse and the new St. Viateur spot was an immediate hit with customers.  It is a throwback concept that has a down-to-earth feel.  Burgers are simply spectacular as they are uniquely created with a secret recipe of USDA Prime& Canadian AAA “steak-cut” along with QDC a signature brioche bun. Amazingly delicious! The taste profile on its own has the ability to create a loyal cult-like following the menu has two options: Build Your Own Burger, for adventurous foodies, or, choose one the Chef’s selection of 10 mind-blowing burgers. From crowd favorites like the Surf n’ Turf or the MOB Burger to thehealth conscious Kong Burger (Ahi Tuna) or the creative À Louer Burger (OrganicKing Salmon). Really hungry? No problem add two bucks and go from the large 1⁄4lb to the extra-large 1/3 lb of USDA steak-cut beef.

    Mike Cohen is in paradise at  La Queue de Cheval Steakhouse and Raw Bar

    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 sales@queuedecheval.com.

    Mike Cohen

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