When we first saw the place, there were a number of people standing outside the door. Many of them were very well dressed. Oh, wow I thought, were we a little underdressed? As it turned out, the reason people were standing outside was because the doors were locked only to be opened promptly at 6:00pm and I don't know why that group had decided to dress up a bit. What matters is that one can apparently eat at Montage dressed well or down a few notches like we were.
My first impression from the street was, uh oh, this reminds me of some kind of dingy little bar. When they finally opened the door, I was shocked to see all of the white linens. It was kind of weird. I mean the place turned out to be really casual and the tables were adorned with fancy white linens.
Ok. You need to know. The second question we were asked after how many in your party was, "Do you want to sit at a table with people you don't know or would you rather sit at the counter?" We chose to eat at the counter. That was interesting in itself. It put us very close to the kitchen and allowed us to watch and listen to the cook staff as they announced to the wait staff when a order was completed and ready to be delivered.
Between the hollering from the kitchen, the music being played on the dining room speakers, and the general conversations going on between patrons, the room noise was remarkable. I mean it was really quite loud in there. In order to pass a private message between the two of us it was nearly neccessary to talk directly into each other's ear.
Let me get to the waiter and the meal. Our waiter was attentive and helpful. He answered questions and was very responsive to our needs. I am apparently a bit more at ease with experiencing new foods than Debbie is because as I looked at the menu, I felt that I could have comfortably tried any number of selections. Debbie, on the other hand, didn't step out too far and ordered chicken fried steak with mashed potatoes, and a vegetable medley. Her meal also came with a lovely garden salad.
I chose a jambalaya with scallops and for three dollars more was allowed to pick an additional meat. I couldn't resist the temptation to order alligator. I couldn't really tell you what it was like. I'm not going to say it tastes like chicken. It was actually difficult to separate all of the flavors due to the spices and herbs in the sauce. It was good, however, and I ate it all and had to make a consious effort not to lick the bowl.
I probably would be remiss in not mentioning some of the items which seemed to be popular. There were a lot of macaroni and cheese dishes coming out of the kitchen. We actually decided to purchase their "Old Mack" selection and bring it home to our 17 year old son. He said it was the best he'd ever eaten. Now that is pretty high marks from him.
Wow! I want to mention something else. We were just too full to have appreciated another bite of anything, but there were some truly wonderful looking desserts coming out of the kitchen as well. I saw some really tempting cheesecakes and a couple of chocolate cake dishes that were probably really worthy of our attention. But in the words of the contemparary philosopher, Dirty Harry, "A man has got to know his limitations."
Overall, it was good, fun, and way outside of our comfort zone in any number of categories. From our single experience, I would recommend this establishment as long as you're willing to have a go with some of the things which I've described.
Bon chance and bon appetit!