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COVID-19

A eulogy for Bar-B Barn, you will be missed

    Bar-B Barn, an iconic Montreal eatery known for ribs and chicken since 1967, is permanently shutting down on March 17th, 2024, ending an era amid personal and city-wide nostalgia.

    Q-ZN is excited to announce the launch of Quebec’s first virtual kitchen concept. Located in  St Laurent, Q-ZN has begun pre-sales of its delivery-only restaurant concept.

    With the unfortunate situation for the restaurant industry in Montreal due to COVID-19, Q-ZN offers a solution to tackle the overhead concerns of high rent, staff, maintenance, and other costs that are burdening restaurants today.

    Q-ZN allows its operators 24/7 access to their own kitchen space, tailored to meet their individual business needs.

    • State of the art kitchen facility fully equipped with all necessary equipment to run your own Delivery-Only restaurant
    • Partnership deals with key Delivery partners such as: Lightspeed & Deliverect, Sysco, UberEats, Skip The Dishes, Doordash, Tzanet and more!
    • Low overhead and initial costs tailored to maximize profitability for delivery-only restaurants

    Their website shows the key benefits to opening a delivery-only restaurant concept, while utilizing the buying power of our collective. Please see www.q-zn.com for more details.

    They are available for any questions, comments or additional information at either

    info@q-zn.com or by  calling Steve Merling, VP sales and marketing directly at 514-928-9556.

    Q-ZN ouvre le premier concept au Québec

    de cuisines virtuelles, qui opérera à Montréal

      – Q-ZN est heureux d’annoncer le lancement du premier concept de cuisine virtuelle au Québec. Situé à Ville St Laurent, Q-ZN a commencé les préventes de son concept de restaurant avec livraison uniquement.

    En cette période difficile pour le secteur de la restauration à Montréal, due à la Covid-19, Q-ZN donne la possibilité d’abattre les préoccupations que génèrent les frais élevés que sont le loyer, la main d’œuvre, la maintenance et les autres coûts qui pèsent sur les restaurants aujourd’hui.

    Q-ZN permet à ses partenaires restaurateurs un accès 24 heures sur 24 et 7 jours sur 7 à leur espace de cuisine, adapté aux besoins de leur entreprise.

    • Cuisine ultramoderne et entièrement équipée avec tous les équipements nécessaires pour gérer leur propre restaurant avec livraison uniquement
    • Partenariats avec des entreprises clés du secteur de la livraison à domicile : Lightspeed & Deliverect, Sysco, UberEats, Skip The Dishes, Doordash, Tzanet et plus encore !
    • Des frais généraux faibles et des frais initiaux adaptés afin de maximiser la rentabilité des restaurants avec livraison uniquement

    Vous retrouverez sur notre site internet les principaux avantages de l’ouverture d’un restaurant avec livraison uniquement, grâce au pouvoir d’achat de notre collectif. Veuillez consulter www.q-zn.com pour plus de détails.

    Nous sommes à votre disposition pour toute question, commentaire ou information complémentaire. Vous pouvez nous contacter par courriel : info@q-zn.com ou bien par téléphone en contactant Steve Merling, notre Vice-président ventes et marketing directement au 514-928-9556.

    Photo by Photo Patricia Brochu

    Due to the recent government regulations put in place on Monday, September 28th, 2020, Time Out Market Montréal will now be offering delivery and takeout only as indoor dining is temporarily unavailable, effective as of Thursday, October 1st. Dining in will be closed for as long as required to fully support local efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19.

    To comply with the latest public health regulations, Time Out Market Montréal’s concessionaires will offer their exquisite dishes through takeout and delivery only. For takeout, guests can pre-order via the Time Out Market app ahead of arrival at the Market or in person with the Market staff. The Time Out Market app can be downloaded for free on the App Store and Google Play. Should diners prefer a delivery option, they can order their favourite dishes quickly and conveniently through the DoorDash app. The locally renowned chefs and concepts offering takeout and delivery include:

    All delivery and takeout options have been developed with full compliance of Public Health recommendations. The Market team will continue to closely monitor and evaluate the situation and will reopen indoor dining based on government regulations and our guest requests. As the community works hard to support local business, Time Out Market Montreal and Time Out Montreal continue to uplift independent local restaurants and businesses through initiatives such as Time Out’s Love Local Campaign.

    Laurent Ruffier-Lanche, General Manager of Time Out Market Montréal, said: “We encourage the Montréal community to support local businesses that are able to remain open through take-out and delivery. Our Time Out Market chefs and restaurateurs are amongst the best of the city, and many of our restaurateurs offer home deliveries and gift cards. Now is the time to support the beloved staples in our community.”

    Time Out Market brings the best of the city under one roof: its best chefs, drinks and cultural experiences. The world’s first food and cultural Market based wholly on editorial curation, Time Out Market captures decades of local knowledge, independent reviews and expert opinions. Everything that is being offered in Time Out Market must have been tested and tasted and finally selected by independent Time Out journalists.

    The first Time Out Market opened in 2014 in a historic market hall in Lisbon and quickly turned into a huge success with 4.1 million visitors in 2019. This unique format, which is all about making high-quality fine food affordable and accessible, is now coming to other great cities around the world as the company is rolling out Time Out Market globally. Time Out Market Miami opened in May 2019, followed in the same month by Time Out Market New York, in June 2019 by Time Out Market Boston and in November 2019 by Time Out Market Montréal and Time Out Market Chicago. Also in the pipeline are Dubai, Porto, London-Waterloo and Prague (the sites in Montréal, Dubai and Prague are the Group’s first management agreements) – all featuring the cities’ best and most celebrated chefs, restaurateurs, drinks and cultural experiences.

    Time Out Market is part of Time Out Group plc, a global media and leisure business that inspires and enables people to explore and enjoy the best of the city. Time Out launched in London in 1968 with a magazine to help people discover the exciting new urban cultures that had started up all over the city. Today, the Group’s digital and physical presence comprises websites, magazines, Live Events and Time Out Markets. Across these platforms, Time Out distributes its curated content – written by professional journalists – around the best food, drink, music, theatre, art, travel and entertainment across 328 cities and in 58 countries. Time Out, listed on AIM, is headquartered in the United Kingdom.

    Tony Medeiros and Carmelo Borgognone have lunch at up and coming Gabrielle café in Old-Montreal

      Gabrielle café is a quaint compact gem. It is nestled on the outskirts of Old Montreal west and knocks at the doorstep of trendy Griffintown. The surrounding area is not what it was a few years ago. Many abandoned dilapidated buildings resided without city intervention for years. The rejuvenation of the area is a bonus for the café. Adorned by new condos and businesses, it is sure to be a great hub to feed hungry mouths on the move in the area.

      Mike Cohen enjoys his first ever Gibbys Steakhouse takeout experience and gives a huge thumbs up

        While its Old Montreal and St. Sauveur locations are now open for dining, Gibbys has implemented an already very popular takeout and curbside pickup format. Gibbys is following all required protective measures for patrons, staff and suppliers. All tables are socially distanced and all of the staff wear the required protective equipment. There are hand sanitizing stations throughout the restaurants and all areas are sanitized on a regular basis. In Old Montreal, a separate entrance has been created for clients coming in so that clients arriving and leaving are not crossing each other in the entrance.

        Mike Cohen is beyond impressed with his first experience at Sushi Shop

          For so many years now I have walked or driven by Sushi Shop locations, but never stepped inside to order. With our family focusing exclusively on take-out and delivery options during the COVID-19 pandemic, we agreed to finally give this place a whirl. Let’s just say they can count on us being regular customers from this day forward. What a pleasant surprise the entire experience was.

          The Nashen family falls in “LOV” with first dine-in experience since restaurants reopened

            Our first restaurant outing since the pandemic was to Cuisine Botanique LOV in Laval’s trendy Centropolis. While apprehensive about returning to dining out, any tension quickly dissipated as we approached the modern eatery along the wide, car-free boulevard. There we found an airy and very inviting terrasse. We were greeted by the friendly staff who showed us to our outdoor table set-back from other dinner guests.

            Restaurant Kitchen73 experiments with carryout service at their Dollard-des-Ormeaux location

              I had the opportunity to review Kitchen73 on 45A, Boulevard Brunswick, H9B 1P7 in Dollard-des-Ormeaux. (https://kitchen73.ca) They are located across from Cinémas Guzzo des Sources on Boulevard Brunswick. I elected to go in person for carryout.

              The service was quick and professional. It did not take long to prepare my meal. The staff is well equipped to handle the current pandemic situation. Dino Semeraro, the co-owner of the Dollard-des-Ormeaux location, explained to me that they are keeping the two-meter distance rule by having a long table between the staff and the client when they are served their orders. The staff is taking every precaution and dressed to code with gloves and masks to help stop any transfer of COVID-19.

              By Mike Cohen

              Petros Taverna has officially come out of COVID-19 hibernation with a take-out and delivery service at its Westmount (4785 Sherbrooke Street West) and Mile End (234 Laurier Street West) locations.  Owner Ted Dranias plans to expand the program to his Griffintown (1613 William Street) restaurant soon. A fourth Little Italy spot was supposed to debut this spring, but that has been placed on hold until authorities give the green light for restaurants to open for diners.

              Petros Taverna has a strong and loyal clientele. Dranias and his partner on Laurier Avenue, Peri Kalivrousis, had been fielding calls for weeks to reopen for take-out. They are doing so now with all the necessary precautions related to the pandemic, notably constant sterilization of the kitchen area. Any staff working in the restaurant, including those doing deliveries, have their temperature taken before they start their shift with an infrared thermometer.  They also wear masks and gloves.  Hand sanitizers appear at the entrance for people doing pickups, as well as circles on the floor to ensure social distancing towards the front counter.  Take-out orders can be done via credit cards.  Customers also have the option of calling when they arrive for curbside pickup.   

              “We have to get the economy going again and restaurateurs like myself will do our part,” said Dranias.  “Until restaurants can reopen under normal conditions or with a smaller capacity, I think you will see more opt for the takeout and delivery model. At Petros it will be the same quality food and excellent customer service we pride ourselves on.”

              It was in May 2015 that Dranias opened his first Petros on Notre Dame Street in Griffintown. The name was a tribute to his late father (named Petros), who always wanted to have a Greek restaurant of his own. In December 2016, a second Petros was established in Westmount followed in April 2019 by Petros Laurier. The Griffintown restaurant relocated to William Street last fall.

              Specializing in Greek Mediterranean Cuisine, Petros Taverna  is offering a variety of homestyle menu choices such as traditional moussaka,  yiouvetsi (veal cubes with orzo), fish filets (cod, salmon, swordfish and seabass),  pastisio (pasta with bechamel sauce and minced ground beef), gemista (stuffed tomatoes and peppers, with rice, fresh green herbs ground beef and ground veal), the Greek spread medley (any four spreads such as taramosalata, tirokafteri and tzatziki), Petros Special (lightly fried zucchini chips with tzatziki), Greek salad, finely chopped romaine  salad with Greek balsamic vinaigrette, beets with crumbled feta and for dessert, homemade loukoumades (little yeast-risen dough drizzled with honey syrup and accompanied by some yogurt) and baklava.

              My family and I did the take-out experience at Westmount and Laurier. At Westmount it was Gennaro Dranias, son of Ted, working alongside Tasso Roussopoulos who was delivering orders. Attired in gloves and a mask. Gennaro had everything well-organized inside: a couple of orders of lamb chops, pastisio and moussaka as well as the Petros Special and the  Psilokomeni chopped salad. Gennaro or Tasso will bring it right to your car and pop the bags in the trunk.

              At Laurier, Kalivrousis and Chef Shiva were creating culinary masterpieces the night I arrived. There were plenty of parking spots in front. Peri brought everything to the car.  We ordered the Petros Special, Greek spread medley, Psilokomeni, two orders of lamb chops, moussaka and salmon. Everything was fantastic. The drive from Laurier to Côte Saint-Luc took under a half-hour and Peri packed everything so well nothing needed to be reheated. It was all fresh and tasty. Peri even threw in some pieces of baklava.

              The complete special menu packages can be found at www.restaurantpetros.ca. All orders of $125 and more will come with a $25 gift certificate, to be used when in restaurant dining resumes.

              Dranias has been donating meals to front-line health workers during the pandemic.

              To make an order please call 514-938-5656 for Westmount and 514-312-0200 for Laurier.  Hours of operation are 5 pm to 10 pm (Wednesdays to Sundays for now).  If you do not wish to come inside, call the number when you arrive. You only need to pop open your trunk or back seat and the order will be placed there for you.

              You can follow Petros on Facebook @PetrosTaverna.

              By Mike Cohen

              My family and I cannot get enough of Ryú Sushi. In this COVID-19 pandemic world, we are now experiencing, restaurants in Montreal are closed for dining. Some are trying to make a go of it via take-out and delivery.

              Ryú (Japanese for Dragon), which specializes in high-end sustainable sushi, is presently excelling in this new reality at both its Peel and Westmount locations.

              After a fantastic dinner from the Peel Street locale, we were anxious to sample Westmount- a venue we have gone to many times since it opened.

              Westmount is open from Thursday to Monday and Peel from Tuesday to Saturday from 5 pm to 9 pm.

              David Dayan is the owner and visionary behind Ryú. I spoke with Director of Operations Jason Lamarre. He noted that while the Laurier location is closed right now, it has been transformed into a central kitchen. Other spots at Carrefour Laval and Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport in Dorval are not operating either at the present time.

              “We are getting terrific feedback on the take-out and delivery,” said Lamarre. “Sushi is something you generally do not make for yourself at home, so that gives us leverage.”

              First a little bit about the precautions they are taking during this COVID-19 pandemic.

              With COVID-19 bringing the world to a standstill, the Ryú team wishes to reassure clients that health and safety remain their top priority at both locations. For starters it is always the same staff to ensure safety. 

              • All staff wear gloves and face masks and disinfect their hands as much as possible;
              • Sanitizers/disinfectants are everywhere on site;
              • All take-out bags are sealed shut;
              • For client’s safety, pickups are done only from the side entrance on Greene Avenue. Clients generally wait outside for their bag; for anyone who steps inside (one at a time) there are hand sanitizers galore.
              • Orders are  pre-paid and  no contact with staff is necessary;
              • Curbside pick-up is available for clients who request it;

              Ryú has established an employee fund where 70 percent of the sales of gift cards go to these individuals. They are also encouraging people to donate to the Montreal Relief Workers Fund, which has thus far raised over $80,000 for those in need in the industry. Ryú has also created a short private import list of wine/sake, for which prices are reduced by 35 percent.

              Our Dining Experience

              Peel was superb and Westmount was just as spectacular. Everything was so absolutely fresh! Jason correctly told me, “you could eat this sushi three days later and it still tastes like it was just made.”

              I requested for my order to be ready for 5:45 pm and opted for the curbside pickup option. I merely had to call the number and Will stepped outside, wearing gloves and a mask. You can also send a text from outside.

              When I got home we opened the bag to find three nicely packaged boxes with all of the food and some dessert, some extra soy sauce and of course chopsticks. Everything was fresh.  

              We started off with some tuna tataki, a simple Japanese dish that combines delicate, gently-seared tuna with a citrus-soy sauce given a gentle ginger kick. Then came a lobster roll. At first look, I thought they were cupcakes. The 10 pieces contained lobster, white fish, cucumber, avocado, yuzo kosho mayo and yuzu sauce.

              The sashimi roll (four pieces) was too good for words, made with  salmon, tuna, and hamachi, cucumber, avocado and tosazu sauce. Turning to maki (soy paper hand roll), we happily shared the kamikaze.

              Undoubtedly, the nigiri and sashimi platters of 12 and 24 pieces each represent the highlight of any Ryú experience. They are based on their Chef’s choice of daily arrivals of fresh Oceanwise fish which may consist of bio salmon, bigeye tuna, hamachi, and albacore tuna and when in season, Japanese sourced fish. The platters were served in a large and attractive box, with neat dividers.

              Ryú also runs Livia Café, which Dayan has transformed into Livia Sweets. It makes for the perfect signature desserts menu for Ryú. Some you can pick up and bake yourself. All of their cookie dough is homemade, pre-portioned and vacuum packed in sets of three cookies: chocolate chip, oreo, unicorn and salted caramel and pecan.

              There is apple pie, which we enjoyed immensely. You can also sample popcorn or birthday cake for two, options that will be on my list for future orders. There are also some bundles to choose from.  Instructions are attached to the package. It all stays fresh for 10 days and can be frozen.

              To enjoy the Ryú experience in the comfort of your own home, go to ryusushi.ca or from one of their delivery partners: Uber Eats or DoorDash. They also accept orders by text (438-899-0557)/phone (514-320-0191). You can follow the restaurant at https://www.instagram.com/ryu.sushi.

              Ryú is located at 4185 Ste. Catherine Street West, but a reminder to use the Livia entrance on Greene Avenue.

              Editor’s Note: Below is a review of the curbside pickup procedure that was in place at La Queue de Cheval. As of May 4, this service has been discontinued until further notice. If it does resume, this story still will share the appetizing items on their special menu. 

              By Mike Cohen

              Since the world shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic there are a lot of experiences people miss dearly. Going out for a nice meal at a restaurant is certainly one of them.

              Restaurants are presently only permitted to operate for take-out and delivery service. The iconic 

              La Queue de Cheval Steakhouse and Raw Bar, (www.queuedecheval.com), located at 1181 Avenue de la Montagne, has been around for more than two decades. Before the coronavirus battered the economy, founder Peter Morentzos was happily preparing to open a new Toronto location. That is now on hold and in jeopardy of not proceeding.

              Peter Morentzos in COVID-19 safety attire.

              Always a visionary, Morentzos has never been one to sit still. Take-out and delivery was never part of his plan. The restaurant has been in its present location since September 2014, an exquisite historic three-level building that can accommodate up to 300 diners at a time.  No stranger to challenges,  Morentzos had a licensing agreement in place with the company that owned his original Boulevard René Levesque location. It concluded on June 31, 2012, at which time he closed for almost two years and constructed his present facility from scratch. His former landlords tried, in the interim, to put another steakhouse there. It failed and Morentzos took his time resurfacing, inheriting all of his loyal clients and more.

              While the pandemic has already cost the operations over $500,000 in lost revenue, Morentzos wanted to find a comeback route. He has attempted to do so with a flashy curbside pickup promotion, with a new moderate menu and offerings, along with the great steak cuts that we know. Until restaurants reopen, what a treat it is to enjoy the fine cuisine of such an extraordinary restaurant. 

              The procedure is simple. Go to their website at www.queuedecheval.com  and click on Curbside Pickup under Menus. You can text, email, or call your orders into info@queuedecheval.com and select your timeslot. There is a 10  percent discount for ordering the day before.  If you do so on the same day, you are asked to send it in two hours in advance. Upon arrival merely call or text 514-390-0091 and they will bring the order right to your car and place it in the trunk or the seat.

               Morentzos said he did not open for curbside pickup until he could be sure that all of  the necessary safety precautions  related to the pandemic could be taken. Any staff working in the restaurant  has their temperature taken before they start their shift with an infrared thermometer.  They  also wear masks and gloves, changing the latter frequently. The kitchen, overseen by a small crew, is being disinfected constantly. There are also washing stations for staff. 

              You can also order steaks from the butcher  (all steak cuts 25 percent off retail price)  to bring home and cook yourself and wine from their list  (15 percent off).

              “The Montreal restaurant scene has been the backbone inspiration to many cities around North America for the last 40 years,” says Morentzos. “We have dedicated ourselves to the cultures around us and have always stood apart from the rest.  We are facing something that many of us, or all of us never thought could be possible The entire industry is facing a monster that we can’t see. It is essential that our communities everywhere support our local restaurants.”

              With that in mind, the Queue will be contributing 100 percent of the sale of gift certificates proceeds to the employee’s rescue fund until the end of April 2020. 

              “The first three months of the year in Montreal, and in most provinces are the worst three months of the year,” Morentzos said in a letter to staff. “We budget to lose money traditionally, so when this disaster hit, coupled with the three weakest months…we find [ourselves] in a situation where we need to work with everyone to see this [through].”

              There was scrutiny with staff not being paid, and other hard allegations, but it was clearly explained that many have been paid and continue to be paid. La Queue de Cheval and the Morentzos team are no different than any other restaurant operator in the world. Business stopped and staff had to be laid off.

              A Fantastic Meal

              I must say that half of the fun for the three of us was making our order for curbside pickup and seeing many of our old favorites on the menu.  My request was for a 5:45 pm arrival. I called and Demetra from the Queue was out in minutes with everything very nicely packaged. I made it back home in less than a half-hour. We set the table and sat down to an absolute feast!

              We started off with the Dungeness Crab Crake Tempura Balls, with spicy dipping sauce and the BC King Salmon Poke,  with marinated wakame, smashed spicy  avocado, tomatoes, enoki mushrooms, sesame seed oil and mirin dressing. For our main course the three of us shared our favorite 32 ounce porterhouse,  medium rare, dry aged in their meat lockers for over 60 days and grilled over Maplewood charcoal. We had leftovers for the next night it was so large.  In addition, we divided up the beef short ribs. They are slow cooked, containing USDA prime ribs, garlic roasted mashed potatoes, butter sautéed peas and short-rib jus. This dish cut like butter and melted in our mouths.

               We also added in, as a side, sage mushrooms: large button mushrooms with butter and sage. And yes we certainly chose a dessert, the decadent fresh berries shortcake.

              They also have salads, hamburgers, chicken, fish and pasta available.

              For anyone who is a regular at the Queue or any high end steakhouse, why not treat yourself to something special like this?

              See their video for the service

              https://www.instagram.com/p/B-3BobxDSAf/?igshid=sp2q7ja4yfcp

               The Queue de Cheval is located at 1181 Rue de la Montagne. The hours of operation for curbside pickup are 4 pm to 9 pm daily, with lunch service as well from Noon to 2 pm weekdays. For more information   log on to www.queuedecheval.com or call 514-390-0091