UPDATE: In February 2012, this restaurant cut ties with Gordon Ramsay and now calls itself Laurier 1936.
The old Rotisserie Laurier, a Montreal landmark dating back to 1936, was recently rebranded by Britain’s favourite foul-mouthed celebrity chef. The weathered brown seats and dark interior were entirely whitewashed, creating a chic minimalist space. I would normally oppose such desecration, but I had no attachment whatsoever to the earlier incarnation of this restaurant. All I can say is that the new interior looks good.
The menu was also revamped, with old Quebec favourites (tourtiere, Montreal bagels) sitting alongside classic British pub grub (fish & chips, potted beef) and newer American crazes (slider trios). Prices remain reasonable considering the upscale Outremont location and celebrity rebranding.
Meals come with complimentary gherkins. I’m not much into pickled cucumbers, but my fellow diners assured me they were quite tasty.
We got suckered into the slider trio, which also turned out to be tasty, with juicy caramelized onions and plenty of melted cheese.
Then our poutine arrived, served in Royal Doulton china no less!
Unfortunately, the contents were not as impressive as the container.
Fries: These fries have no crisp, many of them are a bit limp and undercooked. They are also covered in cajun spices, which don’t go well with the other poutine ingredients. 20/30.
Gravy: It’s a shame this gravy is not like the one at the Gordon Ramsay restaurant in London. In fact, it doesn’t even come close. It is an unappealing greyish brown with an overpowering rosemary taste. This floral taste clashes with the cajun spices on the fries. I suppose the gravy deserves points for being unique, but that doesn’t make it good. To be fair, the rosemary gravy probably tastes better with chicken than with fries & cheese.32/50.
Cheese: The cheese is nice and relatively squeaky with mid-size room-temperature chunks. Unfortunately, there isn’t enough of it, especially considering the obscene amount of fries in the small poutine. Two of us ordered this dish – we both had lots of leftover fries and were left wanting more cheese. 13/20.
Verdict: If you must have Gordon Ramsay poutine, get a flight to London and try the one at Foxtrot Oscar instead.
Price:Reasonable – $7.00 for a small, but the small is more than enough for one person. Not a bad price considering the poutine is served in Royal Doulton china.
Opening Hours: MON-SUN 11:00AM-2:30PM & 5:00PM to 11:00PM
Location: 381, Laurier Ouest (A 16 minute walk west from Laurier Metro).