Montfort Mediterranean Resto-Bar
650 College St.
Dinner & drinks for 2: $55
It’s -7 tonight, -17 with the wind chill. And not much warmer here in the restaurant.
Actually, it’s freezing. We eat with our coats on. It’s not just us — the chef is wearing a toque and a table of eight-to-10 chows down in their puffy coats.
It’s hard to enjoy our meal when we’re shivering, but the Assorted Maza for two ($16.95 for four of your choice) is a welcome distraction. The thick Baba Ganosh is hearty and garlicky. Hummus with Meat is unusual — the grilled shawarma meat has a sweet, cinnamon finish. The Thai Shrimp isn’t Thai at all, but is deep-fried and tasty, as is the Calamari, in an indulgent, junk food way.
The Mixed Grill for two ($39.95) includes Montfort Chicken, Chicken Shawarma, Pork Souvlaki and Kafta. It’s accompanied by a salad and potatoes or rice. The Montfort Chicken — grilled with pineapple and “special seasoning” — is a “specialty” here and is surprisingly succulent as is the Shawarma, but the Souvlaki and Kafta are bland and overcooked. The mushy rice and limp salad don’t help.
There are a few taste sensations here, but many disappointments. Including not being told there wasn’t heat.
Would you go back?
Restaurants need time to settle in. Only days old and BQM Diner (354 Queen St. W.) clearly isn’t ready. They’ve run out of things, the server doesn’t know what the specials are and the food arrives lukewarm and bland. Will they find their legs? Time will tell, but they, as with other restaurants, should be granted a couple of weeks to work the kinks out.
Celebrate the New Year with Cuban fare at Mambo Lounge (120 Danforth Ave.). A three-course meal is offered at two seatings, 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. for $45, and if you choose the late seating, 8:30 until late, it’s $80 but includes live music, dancing and champagne at midnight. Call them at 416-778-7004 to reserve your spot in this cozy spot.