An upscale haven of red meat, a dining experience as potentially bizarre as what the waitresses wear, you might get confused by Gibbys' time warp branding strategy (are we recreating the 19th century or the '50s) and the sometimes cordial, other times haughty service staff. But chances are great that over the course of an evening, you'll also grow to love what many consider to be the best steakhouse in Montreal.
- Love the pre-appetizer pickles and nice touch with the palate-clearing lemon sorbet.
- Steaks are outrageously fantastic.
- Portions are fantastically massive.
- The staff knows their wine.
- Complimentary bacon bits, unlimited pickles, and free valet parking.
- Prices are corporate card high.
- Frilly apron dress uniforms imposed on staff have got to go.
- The staff looks mildly depressed.
- Vegetarian? Don't bother. The menu is limited to red meat, some fish and seafood.
- Location: 298 Place D'Youville, corner of St. François-Xavier, below St. Paul
- Get There: Square-Victoria Metro
Guide Review - Gibbys Steakhouse - A Montreal Restaurants Review
It was a mid-December evening of flurried weather and it took my dining companion three times as long to get to the Old Montreal steakhouse, a dining institution housed in what used to be stables 200 years ago. But he didn't care that he couldn't see more than ten feet in front of him.
He'd been to Gibbys before and judging by the two-thirds full dining room on a Tuesday, it would take more than a snowstorm to keep this group of dressy meat eaters at bay.
Leaving our coats with Gibbys' vegan coat check staffer, my first impression of the dimly-lit, spacious dining room didn't form until I got accustomed to the (timeless?
) uniforms worn by the serving staff, with colors that seemed to match the weathered woodwork. Our first waitress, low on congeniality but professional, recommended a 2005 Sonoma Valley Cabernet Savignon by Schug, a solid choice that worked wonders with our slabs of red meat.
I chose the mignons of beef Diane with the sinfully fatty (and delicious) Monte Carlo potato, double baked with bacon, sour cream, and chives. The dish came with two aged fillets mignon and the sauce, cognac-based with black peppercorn, shallots, and mushrooms was perfection. Now my dish was slow-motion-eye-closing good but I dare anyone to find a steak in Montreal that can top Gibbys' one and a half inch thick New York cut pepper steak with cognac and Madagascar green peppercorn sauce, aged up to 31 days.
Finishing off the meal with complimentary mint chocolates, our waitress recommended the Gibbys' Chocolate Delight, a cylinder-shaped chocolate mousse dipped in dark chocolate with crunchy chocolate nuggets of some sort. I'm not a big chocolate cake fan but I took a chance anyways. The outcome? Sweet damnation.
With all things considered, Gibbys was fabulous. But consider this: I didn't pick up the bill. That might explain why those $50 steaks tasted like they were worth every penny.
I didn't have to slap down 50 dinars of my own hard work to eat it.