January has now become part of a tradition that many great cities follow with a food celebration involving restaurants offering quite affordable menus. In Montreal, we call it Happening Gourmand and it is organized by the Antonopoulos group.
I’ve been going to Happening Gourmand since its first year in 2008. I think it’s a great way to try most of the well known Old Montreal restaurants for cheap. It’s on until January 31st.
This past Saturday was my first visit to Vieux-Port Steakhouse. The fact that they offer a great selection of seafood as well as good quality meat made it exciting and a no-brainer choice. Finally, it wasn’t that great.
I decided to start with an apéro with my friend as we weren’t rushed to eat. The first page of the wine list included club drinks such as Sex On The Beach or Pina Colada - which is kind of funny to read in a fancy Old Montreal venue.
As for the menu, most restaurants offer a one-price menu with 2-3 different choices on each course. But the venues started to offer pricier table d’hôte over the years for more choices. Sometimes, for 10$ extra, you might get something quite amazing.
For my appetizer, I went with the mesclun salad. I have no idea what they did with the vinaigrette but it didn’t look quite appealing to the eye - as if it came out of a tube! Overall, it tasted ok.
For the main dish, even if I was in a steakhouse, I couldn’t resist and went to the lobster tail. The plate came with a side of sauteed spinach in garlic and wild rice.
Over the services, I came to realize that Steakhouse really is all about garlic so it’s not a safe choice if going out after. My lobster, which was perfectly cooked, had no much of a taste as it came with a small cup of melted garlic butter to pour on, which I didn’t. The rice was overcooked and spinach were also overcooked.
Finally, I went with the vanilla crème brulée for dessert. It tasted fine but the dish was way too big for a single person. Because of that, the layer of sugar wasn’t deep enough.
Conclusion: Some restaurants in Old Montreal are great both Montrealers and tourists, some others are just great for tourists. Vieux-Port Steakhouse is definitely the kind of restaurant you choose because you’re around. It is way overpriced for what you get and my dinner partner got an undercooked steak which is pretty much the worst mistake to be made in a steakhouse! Still, it’s worth trying if you’ve tried all the other restaurants during Happening Gourmand!
VIEUX-PORT STEAKHOUSE ADDRESS: 39 St-Paul E. PHONE: (514) 866-3175 HOURS: MON-THUR 11:00 A.M. – 10:00 P.M. / FRI-SAT 11:00 A.M. – 11:00 P.M./ SUN 10:00 A.M. – 10:00 P.M. ALCOHOL: Yes VEGETARIAN FRIENDLY: No CREDIT CARDS: Yes PRICE: 22$ table d’hôte during Happening Gourmand