What was once Laurier BBQ, one of the city's original rotisserie restos in operation since 1936, has become celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay's first Canadian venture, appropriately renamed Laurier Gordon Ramsay.
“Montreal has such a vibrant culinary tradition, and it is both exciting and challenging to be part of a local institution that has defined dining out for generations of people,” says Ramsay, who serves as a consultant to Laurier Gordon Ramsay and oversees the development of its menu. “Laurier Gordon Ramsay is about good food, friendly service and a brilliant atmosphere. We’re the ultimate casual dining destination in a city that’s passionate about what’s on the plate.”
The menu is an eclectic mix of traditional faves, like their barbecued chicken made from Quebec-raised grain-fed chickens, as well as some comfort food classics, including French onion soup, poutine, grilled cheese and hot chicken sandwiches — not to mention smoked ribs and burgers.
There's also a dash of Ramsay's culinary magic in the menu, with modern dishes such as a shrimp and crab roll or a porchetta sandwich with aioli and arugula.
Mouth-watering sides round out the selection with hand-cut fries, garlic smashed potatoes, creamed spinach, and green beans and parmesan, all of which are very reasonably priced — and don't miss the Quebecois/Ramsay hybrid of smoked meat mac 'n' cheese.
The Laurier Gordon Ramsay team is led by chef Guillermo Russo, an east-end Montreal native who gained culinary notoriety after working at in recognized establishments including Lucien Restaurant and the Black Hoof, both in Toronto, Aroma in Ottawa and his hometown's hotspot Olivieri.
While many of the kitchen staffers are new to the establishment, locals were delighted that a number of the wait staff who had been working at the Laurier BBQ for more than 20 years are still greeting and serving customers.
“We have refreshed the menu in such a way that people who have been coming through the doors for 75 years will recognize their favourite dishes, but new customers will find a good variety of comfort food that wasn’t there before. We’ve had excellent feedback from customers so far, and I am very proud of what Guillermo and his team have done, ” says Ramsay.
Photos by Jennifer Cox
Update: As of February 17, 2012, Laurier Gordon Ramsay has been renamed Laurier 1936 and is not longer affiliated chef Gordon Ramsay.