We were in Gatineau looking for a place to eat after an appointment related to the Waffle jr., and we decided to stop at Madisons. Madisons is a new chain of restaurants which label’s itself a New York City Grill & Bar. It has 12 locations, all in the Montreal area with one exception: the Gatineau establishment, located on the beautiful Maloney boulevard. It is on a prime real estate spot: the parking lot shared by Canadian Tire and Future Shop.
The concept is a little more open than Bâton Rouge if you can believe it – not a lot of quiet booths here – the atmosphere is meant for the professional crowd, with a constant buzz of professional chatter.
We sat down and peered at the menu sections – salads, pasta, ribs, chicken, fish, sandiwiches and burgers – everything for everyone just as most of these sorts of chains offer. And of course, they offer beef, in a section they simply entitle Grill. A short section, I should point out, because despite our pre-conceived idea of what a New York Style Grill should be, Madison’s offers only 4 cuts of beef: The Prime Rib, the Rib Steak, the NYC Cut Sirloin, and the Filet Mignon.
I picked the NYC Sirloin and Mel went with the Filet Mignon.
With these steaks, Madison’s offers as a starter either the soup of the day or a clam chowder or a Mykonos style Greek salad or a Caesar salad or the House salad and one of the following side dishes: fries or baked potato or garlic mashed potatoes or creamed spinach & Reggiano cheese dip or steamed vegetables.
To start, I had the Greek salad. To be honest, I do not know why they label it Mykonos-style. It certainly had no special ingredients when compared to a regular Greek salad.
However, the ingredients were quite fresh: vine tomatoes, green peppers, cucumbers, red onions, Kalamata olives and a block of actual imported feta cheese, all of it drizzled with herbs and olive oil.
The cheese had a nice and round sharp flavour, and the oil was also of a good quality.
The portion was great for a starter, and I was hoping the rest of the meal would be as good.
I ordered my Sirloin steak with vegetables, which were nice and warm, although a bit watery.
I chose the mushroom sauce to accompany my meat, it was not too thick but could have had more mushrooms.
The steak was a bit smaller than I expected – it looked like a small 14 oz.
Nevertheless, the meat was nicely seasoned and nicely grilled, with a nice charred pattern on both sides of the steak. It was cooked medium-rare, as I requested, and although it was not the best piece of meat I’ve ever had, it was decent.
I’ve had worse steak in my life, it was certainly enjoyable.
Melissa’s filet mignon was an 8 oz, and it looked more or less like she got what she had asked for.
A better cut than my steak, the meat was certainly more tender than my NYC. Same seasoning, same grill marks, it was also cooked to her liking.
She had her meat with the peppercorn sauce, which it turns out was a better sauce than my mushroom sauce. Lots of peppercorns, good consistency, a tad bit salty, it was a nice accompaniment to the meat, and they were not shy with the quantity.
But the higlight of that plate was not the meat, in Melissa’s book. In fact, I had to finish it for her.
But she wouldn’t share much of…
THE MOUNTAIN OF MASHED POTATOES!!!
Let’s look at the reverse angle:
This was some serious potatoes. A huge pile, Melissa was simply ecstatic. In fact, for a few seconds, she couldn’t help but stare in amazement at the gigantic mass of spuds on her plate. She quickly rejected my suggestion to build something with it and dug in instead.
Warm throughout, creamy, she was eating them faster than the meat, let me tell you. And she knew there was a lot of it. And she knew that there was only space for a small amount of meat in her stomach. ”If only I could order a 5 or 6 oz,” she said.
Thankfully, I had ordered the vegetables, so I was happy to help out when the time came…