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lol: gordon ramsay no more


sounds like the owners made a deal with the devil...they cry now but they should be kissing ramsay's feet for the incredible surge of momentum. it's not everyday ramsay comes to town to promote a restaurant... these guys sound like terrible business people.

at least leslie chesterman got to feel glamorous for once...

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  1. Well, they got a good push in the back with the GR brand name, now it is up to the _real_ owners to take over and make it work; and make it 100% montreal.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Maximilien

      the food is still lackluster and overpriced

    2. been there only once, shitty food, overpriced, wasn't seeing any gordon ramsay quality

      went there only for his name, now he's gone, what else left in them?

      7 Replies
      1. re: ohyouneverknow

        most review (here and elsewhere) reported that the food was good.

        1. re: Maximilien

          i can't understand why anyone would rave about it. i'd say the best thing going for them are their salads and desserts. there are no stand out appetizer or mains. everything i've tried is mediocre. the gravy is a glorified KFC sauce, the fries are over-seasoned and salty, the coleslaw is bland bland bland, the chicken is boring and does not even compare to the $7 cheaper breasts at chalet bbq --- not even in the same ball park. the chicken pot pie tastes of thick dough etc etc etc. the restaurant pretentious!!!! maybe they deserved to be pretentious with that man's name hanging above the door, but now, no more. RIP.

          1. re: BarackHObama

            This place is charming on outside, has great location but this is not good news as these owners did not improve on the place before he had some input. I thought their food and service were terrible before this new creation. His name is being taken off tonight! As for debating pros and cons, he wanted to appeal to masses and he did and there were some nice touches to this new dining experience in the old chicken place. We had good times dining in the GR Laurier resto and the food was fine for us. This is Laurier, different neighborhood than the Main so quite reasonable price considering. He revitalized the place and now it may just die off as so many restaurants are doing in these difficult economic times. Sounds like the owner lost connecting with GR and kind of costly to pay for no ongoing input.

            1. re: mangoannie

              they should have milked the name for all it was worth. they haven't even been through a tourist season yet

          2. re: Maximilien

            it was a while ago, but i still remember their creamy spinach, what a disaster, tasted like someone poured 250ml heavy cream into a handful of spinach, or was it called "spinach cream" on the menu?

            1. I had assumed, wrongly, that Ramsay had invested in this place. Am I now correct in thinking that the owners were actually paying him, basically for promotion/name recognition?

              I've eaten there 5+ times and I like it - the chicken especially, which I found consistently tasty and very well cooked. If the quality stays the same, I'll keep going there. Not the cheapest eats in town, but I feel that it's not a crapshoot to eat there and it isn't so expensive as to put me off.

              I'm interested to hear if Ramsay has any comment on this but he probably won't. Or, if he does, it'll be some bland PR 'I wish them luck' stuff.

              1. My family and I were big fans of Laurier in the 70's and 80's. After decades of absence, I returned to re-try it last year, out of nostalgia. Absolutely horrible, to the point I swore never to go back. Still, I was curious what people thought of the food after the Ramsay revamp...apparently no better, and vastly overpriced too.

                Can't imagine the restaurant is going to survive at this point, now that a bucket of cold water has been thrown directly on the source of the hype. It's no longer the classic Laurier BBQ, nor is it the glitzy and famed Laurier Gordon Ramsay. So what is it now? Just an overpriced and gimmicky restaurant which has lost its identity and way...

                1. http://www.montrealgazette.com/news/L...

                  Wow... he replied via "Freud Communications, a British public-relations agency"... I really don't see the point in wanting to work with a big star like this. Except for using his name of course, but it seems like they wanted more than that.

                  Does he take care of any of his restaurants anyway?

                  1. Well the Owners group paid too much for the restaurant, got pinched for cash, made up a good excuse to cut GR off the payroll (Him not being there enough)and now feel that they can make a little cash grab without his "consulting fees". I think that in fact the Owners group believe that people don't care if he was there or not. The reality is that it is not the person that makes a difference to the diners but his name on the front of the restaurant.

                    1. I had been twice in the last month. Mediocre, at best. Cautionary tale are you paying attention Daniel B? Montreal is not New York and Quebecers will burn furniture to heat the house as evidenced by removing the one thing this place had going for it. People want to come close to fame . The two meals I had there the place was fairly full with tourists, B celebrities from HGTV and a feW locals Having an office party. Fame is fleeting but Chalet bar b que will live forever providing good value and reliability.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: crispy1

                        even chalet has gotten a tad pricey ;)

                      2. Funnily enough I went last night, for the first time, without knowing anything about the name change. (We had been planning to eat at Greasy Spoon, but arriving at 6:30pm we found the restaurant closed and dark, even though the signs on the website and the front door indicated they should be open) Laurier was a last minute option then, and I thought it was fine. Sure, it wasn't anything fancy, but I am surprised by people describing the food as shitty and overpriced. I had the chicken pot pie ($13) and my friend had the quarter leg dinner, followed by the carrot cake ($6) and apple crumble. I had to laugh at someone's comment that the pot pie was tasting like thick dough - mine was nothing like that! The pastry on top was super flaky and crispy and the mixture inside was delicious - pure winter comfort food (and notably, the carrots still looked and tasted like carrots, they were not mushy!). I can't comment on the BBQ chicken, but it certainly looked much plumper and juicier than what is offered by St Hubert style places. We were seated at the communal table and there appeared by lots of other delicious things coming out of the kitchen. I dined out twice this week, Deville Diner Bar and Laurier, and when comparing, Laurier was better food, better quality, better price and better service all round (though the milkshake at DDB, with sortilege and coconut cream, was a winner!)

                        1. FYI: The restaurant's name is now officially "Laurier 1936"

                          ...I predict the next name will be "Laurier a Louer". ;)

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: Apple IIGS

                            How about "Laurier 1909 -- marked down from 1936"

                          2. the chicken pot pie before GR was atrocious, glad it has improved. When I went in past to GRL there were the usual Outremont crowd, I didnt see a lot of tourists. I dont understand why people think this place on Laurier should be cheaper, many of the other restos I have tried on Laurier are more expensive and much more pretentious. I will continue to go if they dont go downhill, I like it and I like the ambiance, extra touches. I paid $13+ for lobster macaroni and cheese for lunch at Gros Jambon today and it was like being crammed in a closet, your coat hangs on floor as hook under counter is low, an hour to get the meal(had to dash to meter before meal arrived), a long lineup to get out and constantly being jostled by waiter (waiter was also cashier), staff seemed stressed like they couldnt cope--much prefer the Laurier resto. Lesley Chesterman said on radio today that owner told her before GR came on scene he had planned to turn it into shoe store and clothing store--for myself I would prefer he keep this resto so will continue to support it.-I couldnt care less about the name. Is there a reason we need two threads.....?

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: mangoannie

                              i'm sure most of us realize that laurier street comes with a price (at least west of st-laurent). in my opinion, a $16 chicken dinner is not worth it, which is why i haven't any desire to return.

                              1. re: TheSnowpea

                                Ramsay's statement:

                                "Gordon and his team have provided significant support to all levels of the business above and beyond what was required by the agreement, and we are rightfully proud to have contributed to its success to date. We have done far more than we were contractually obligated to and it is therefore extremely disappointing that Mr. Lavy should behave in this manner.”

                                That's fairly strongly worded given that the owners said basically "we wish Gordon the best but he was too busy." I want the real story here! I have to say, tho, I don't blame the owners for this move at all. they're running a business. I doubt Gordon Ramsay's name comes cheap, and if he'd outlived his usefulness, then why not ditch him? It's business, and Ramsay would do the same. Also, the charge of being crazy-busy, and definitely too busy to hang out in Montreal, is almost certainly true. Yeah, would like to hear the details.

                                1. re: montrealeater

                                  why not ditch? because it's embarassing!!!

                                  1. re: montrealeater

                                    You got both sides of the story, the truth probably lies somewhere in the middle which you won't get. Frankly it's a private business matter, none of us deserves to know what the contract stated. For all we know GR may have only leased his name for the exact 6 months it has been since they re-launched and yesterday's name change may have been part of the deal. Maybe the deal was I'll rent you the rights to my name for x% profits per month. We'll probably never get the truth.

                                    1. re: ios94

                                      why would he attach his name to some obscure restaurant in not-so glamorous montreal for a period of 6 months ??? that makes no sense at all.

                                    2. re: montrealeater

                                      Of course the "charge" of GR being too busy to spend time in Mtl is true. That only makes the owners look worse. There's no way they're stupid enough to believe he was gonna be present regularly, it's by far the least important piece of the GR empire. They're making a rash decision to save a few bucks now, but this restaurant is finished.

                                  2. Interesting take on the "split" from a UK newspaper (where they call the Laurier GR his "Flagship" Canadian Restaurant): http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/artic...

                                    4 Replies
                                    1. re: pyropaul99

                                      It think the owners were rather unhappy seeing a big hunk of their profit go in Gordon Ramsay's pocket without him really doing any heavy lifting. With the restaurant doing well, they figure they can cut him out and earn their investment back a little bit sooner.
                                      We'll see how it plays out, but I think they will go the way of the dodo. All the buzz around this place was because it's a Gordon Ramsay restaurant. With him out of the picture, the fad factor is gone and they will have to rely on their repeat customers. Have they built enough of a clientele? Why didn't they wait until after summer. An affordable Gordon Ramsay restaurant would have gotten a lot of pres in the travel mags.

                                      IMHO: it seems that the people who had glorious childhood memories about eating here were disappointed. I would not expect anything else.
                                      For first-timers: it was a mixed bag. Personally, I didn't think it was anything special. But I didn't mind it. I've eaten way worse in this city for more money.

                                      Suivant, Next!

                                      1. re: estilker

                                        According to today's Globe and Mail article, he only had a six-month contract. That explains the reason for pulling the plug on him now. Who knows how much he wanted to renew it?

                                      2. re: pyropaul99

                                        Not so much a different take as a rewrite of the Gazette article. There's no new info there.

                                        1. re: pyropaul99

                                          thanks for daily mail column-I enjoyed reading the comments at the bottom of article, We will never know the whole story so kind of waste of time to speculate. Mr. Lavy continues to get some free advertising even internationally after the breakup but one thing that bothers me is that he and his team never it would seem addressed the details of GR involvement, including many people and media thinking it was GR resto and that seems to me to be some false advertisement the past year. They could have correctly pointed out misconception but didnt.

                                        2. aislin in the gazette today kind of summed up montreal`s adieu

                                          1. Latest in this saga, Ramsay is now suing Laurier for $3 million:

                                            I suspect Laurier may likely close its doors for good as a result. No great loss, the Laurier I knew died two decades ago.

                                            8 Replies
                                            1. re: Apple IIGS

                                              Bah, that's just how the big boys do business. It'll be settle out of court and, if business i good, Laurier whatever will live on.

                                              1. re: Apple IIGS

                                                If anybody's interested, you can see the entire, 23 page court motion here...


                                                1. re: porker

                                                  "Under clause 3.1 of the Agreement, Defendant 9226 ("LAVY") agreed to pay to Plaintiff ("RAMSAY") Licence Fees equal to 8 percent of Net Sales (as defined in the Agreement) on a quarterly basis in consideration for the use of the "GR Name, the GR Likeness and Recipes" (all as defined in the Agreement) in connection with Restaurant;"

                                                  Gee... doesn't come as a surprise to me that this was a licensing deal from the get-go. I can't believe people actually thought (broke) GR was an "investor" and "partner" for a rotisserie in MONTREAL. Makes you wonder how the owners thought they were going to make a profit as this 8% fee would surely kill their margins. Maybe the plan was to flush him all along after the "buzz" had died down? It will be interesting to see how this plays out for sure...

                                                  1. re: certifiedfresh

                                                    Hilarious. Licencing fees of 8% of net sales. The desire to get in with the cool kids eclipsed any business acumen. Totally absurd.

                                                    They should have gotten a local star, such as an F1 driver. Now that would have really drawn the crowds.

                                                    1. re: tocino.

                                                      Interesting that the latest Gazette article was the restaurant grossed $2.3Million in the 1st five months since it's reopening - that more than pays for the renovation.

                                                      1. re: pyropaul99

                                                        16 000 dollar a day of sales. So let's say they had 400 people/day for 5 months. They would each spend 40$ a visit. What the seating there with turn around. Possible?

                                                        1. re: maj54us

                                                          none of this matters as profits will be going to lawyers, sad as restos have such a hard time thriving nowadays without being sued

                                                          1. re: mangoannie

                                                            on radio dinner rush program today Sarah Musgrave, Jean-Phillippe Tastet, Leslie Chestermen went over all their favourite categories of restos in Montreal and for family one Laurier was the favourite mentioned in particular kiddies menu. Good suggestions some known, some less so and they will be posting part of list on the radio website, worth noting

                                              2. In the Globe & Mail it said that there was already another court case between Mr. Lavy's company in the US and Gordon Ramsay about the manufacturing of Ramsay-branded kitchenware.I guess it doesn't make a lot of sense to sue a guy and at the same time pay him more money every month.