Posted in Restaurants, Rib Steak

Review: Luxe Bistro – Ottawa

47 York Street, Ottawa, (613) 241-8805 – Website

Date of Visit: March 21, 2012

I had planned to visit Luxe Bistro on a trip to Ottawa in 2011 but was prevented from doing so by lack of time. On my most recent visit to the capital, I made this restaurant a priority and booked a table for 7pm on the first evening of my stay.

As luck would have it, I developed a bit of a nasty chest cold just before leaving home and I arrived in the city, a mere two hours before my booking, in a rather frazzled condition after an especially trying three hour flight seated behind a constantly crying baby. Admittedly, this is hardly the best frame of mind in which to do a restaurant review but, as it turned out, aside from a limited ability to properly savor the wine, I ended up enjoying a pretty decent dining experience…  Continue reading “Review: Luxe Bistro – Ottawa”

Posted in Restaurants, Rib Steak

Review: La Queue de Cheval – Montreal

1221 Boulevard René-Lévesque Ouest, Montreal –  Website

MOVED TO: 1181 Rue del la Montagne

Date of Visit: January 5, 2012

I had long wanted to visit La Queue de Cheval ever since seeing their website and I have to say that my evening there was a memorable, if rather expensive experience. I have seen a number of reviews describing the place as over-priced for what you get but I really didn’t feel that way at all. I had a delicious and well-prepared meal with attentive service in very pleasant surroundings and, really, what more can you ask than that?  Continue reading “Review: La Queue de Cheval – Montreal”

Posted in Restaurants, Rib Steak

Review: Fire Grill Restaurant – Montreal

 1490 Stanley, Montreal Q.C. – (514) 842-0020 – Website

Date of Visit: January 3, 2012


Ambience and Service

I came across this place while walking around downtown Montreal and I remembered seeing it on their website. I was in the mood for a steak and decided to give it a try. The restaurant is divided into two areas; A family side and a bar side that has high tables near the bar and then a separate area off to the side with dining tables and booths. There was also large screen TV near the bar that was on but, mercifully, not too loud. I arrived at about 8pm on a Tuesday night and there were quite a few people near the bar. They were a little noisy but the rest of the place was almost empty which, I find, is almost as bad as being over-crowded as far as atmosphere goes. The interior is done mostly in wood and leather and is softly lit. All in all it is quite nice and comfortable.  I was served throughout the evening by a young lady who was quite pleasant and generally efficient. My meal and drinks came quickly enough although I suspect that was mostly due to the emptiness of the food service section. Continue reading “Review: Fire Grill Restaurant – Montreal”

Posted in Restaurants, Rib Steak

Review: Steak Modern – Ottawa

87 Clarence Street Ottawa, Ontario (613) 695-8787 – Webpage

Date of Visit: August 17, 2011

Ambience and Service

I probably would not normally be drawn to this place but I wanted to see how their rib steak stacked up against other steakhouses in the city. I did not see much of the inside of the restaurant as I arrived about 7:30pm and it was already quite crowded. It was a warm night and I eventually got seated outside on the patio. The seat they gave me wasn’t bad; it had a good view but it was right beside the entrance into the building and was thus in quite a high traffic area. The crowd was mostly twenty and thirty-somethings and it was clear that the ambience had been geared to that demographic. The wine list, for example, listed red-wines as ‘red-heads’ and sparkling wines as ‘bubble-heads’. The greet-staff and waiters were generally friendly and pretty efficient on the whole. The service was a bit slow at times but not terribly so given the crowd that evening. Continue reading “Review: Steak Modern – Ottawa”

Posted in Restaurants, Rib Steak

Review: Empire Grill, Ottawa

47 Clarence St., Ottawa, Ontario – (613) 241-1343Webpage

Date of Visit: August 15, 2011

Ambience and Service

I arrived at about 7:30pm on a Monday night. It was very humid and there was thunder in the air. I was given a nice seat outside on the deck right by the sidewalk and was able to enjoy a slight breeze. It began to rain after a bit and umbrellas were put up which actually added a sort of coziness to the experience. The outside and inside were both filled to about half-capacity when I arrived, which seemed quite full for that time of the week. The service overall was very friendly and helpful and I didn’t have to wait for any longer than seemed reasonable for the crowd. The waitress who looked after me for the whole evening was quite knowledgeable about the food and drinks and even ventured some suggestions on the wine. Continue reading “Review: Empire Grill, Ottawa”

Posted in Restaurants, Rib Steak

Review: The Keg Steakhouse – Ottawa

75 York St., Ottawa, Ontario – (613) 241-8514 – Webpage

Date of Visit: February 6, 2011

Ambience and Service

A lot of people are unfairly dismissive of the Keg because it is a chain restaurant but I have never had a bad meal at any of their locations. The Keg in Byward market has an upper and lower floor and the lower is actually a split level with the front portion being sunken from the main floor. On this visit I was in the sunken portion right beside a window at the front of the building and I was seated in the exact same seat I had sat in a on a visit year earlier. It was a little chilly this time bit not unpleasantly so and the location had adequate light to allow me to read and write my review notes. There was a fairly good crowd but I did not have to wait to be seated and I did not find it too noisy get annoyed by patron or staff traffic. Continue reading “Review: The Keg Steakhouse – Ottawa”

Posted in Rib Steak

Review: Al’s Steakhouse, Ottawa

327 Elgin St., Ottawa, Ontario – (613) 233-7111 – Website

Date of Visit: February 5, 2011

Ambience and Service

Al’s is plain but tastefully decorated and well laid out. I attended on a Wednesday night and the place was full to the point of being a bit too crowded. I was given a small table near the front of the restaurant and close to the front doors. This had a nice view of Elgin St. but was uncomfortably close to a very high staff and patron traffic area. I would very much have preferred to have been seated somewhere else. Continue reading “Review: Al’s Steakhouse, Ottawa”

Posted in Restaurants, Rib Steak

Review: Hy’s Steakhouse – Ottawa

170 Queen Street, Ottawa – (613) 234-4545 – Webpage

Date of visit: February 4, 2011

Ambience and Service

Hy’s is very ornately decorated and furnished and is perhaps best described as theatrically grand.  It has an imposingly high- ceilinged Grand-Salon sort of dining room with a separate barroom and cloakroom. I did not go into the bar area but it looked to be fairly nicely appointed from the outside. The nicest feature of the dining room is a sort of glass gazebo, which houses an impressive kettledrum shaped grill. Patrons seated nearby to the structure can watch different cuts of meat being expertly, and even flamboyantly, grilled to order. I was at a one of the tables closest to the grill gazebo but my location also in a high traffic area right beside the main kitchen doors. This definitely detracted from my dining pleasure to a noticeable degree. Although the room is large and was seated almost to capacity, I recall that there was no intrusive ‘dull-roar’ of conversation or any service related noises. I also have no recollection of any irritating background music or muzak. Continue reading “Review: Hy’s Steakhouse – Ottawa”