Review of Cube
I recently had dinner at Cube during the Montreal Indy weekend. We arrived at Cube on a Thursday night at 9:00.
-The hotel lobby is very striking as is the decor of the restaurant itself. Very minimalist and modern.
-The maitre D was very friendly.
-Servers brining the food to the table were very nice and knowledgeable, making a nice intro of the food as it is brought to the table.
-Food was beautifully presented and delicious
-Their courses were infinitesimally small. I'm not kidding, everybody at the table (4 of us) were starving at the end of the meal. Each of us could easily have eaten twice as much food. Considering the bill was $400, this is unacceptable. I mean, I don't have a problem paying for a good meal, but for god sakes, DO NOT SKIMP on the portions!! I am not from the US nor am I one of the individuals in the documentary super size me, but this was ridiculous. If you are going to charge high prices, do NOT skimp on the portions, arent you gauging me enough??!!
-The waiter was an idiot. Beware, if you go here and have a tall, blonde, shaggy haired male with glasses, ask for another section!! This guy was absolutely no help. His English was not great. Now I know we are in Montreal but this is still Canada and on Indy weekend no less, YOU MUST BE ABLE TO SPEAK ENGLISH. Furthermore, he was of no help, when asked his opinion on a number of dishes he shrugged his shoulder!! He would arrive at our table and say nothing, we were left to guess what he wanted and he created an awkward atmosphere the entire evening. He arrived at our table with a tray of cheeses and merely presented them. We looked at him looking at us for a good 30secs before we asked what cheeses they were. He described them and said they do a plate that was a mix of all four cheeses. He led us to believe they we complimentary which they were not and showed up in the bill for $40+!!
-The Bill: As I mentioned the bill was steep, but high prices come with the territory of good restaurants. However, the food was simply not enough (I cannot stress this enough). Also, we ordered 2 queue royals which totaled $44, quite steep but the worst is that the glasses were maybe a third full, I hope the champagen was at least Cristal. Lastly, one of us ordered the tasters menu ($79), however he charged us for 2 tasting menus. When asked about the additional $79, he immediately (as in did not seem surprised, but instead seemed as if he knew there was an extra charge) said it was added on mistakenly.
Conclusion: Good Food, High Prices, Terrible Terrible service, Minuscule Portions.
Do not go to this restaurant, you will not have a pleasant experience.
Thanks for the info on Cube. I have personaly been to most of the high end restaurant of Montreal save for Cube and a few more. I believe the mediocre service you received tainted your whole dining experience. Did you tell the Maitre d' about it?
As for portions, being a fairly big eater, I tend to ask prior to ordering what dishes are more generous and I generally avoid the disatisfaction of minimalist portions.
Now, with respect to language, I beg to differ with you. No need to get into nationalist debates here but let me remind you that, in Quebec, french is the main language. Bilinguism is an option and one should not take it for granted. People ordre in english in New York and London, in french in Paris and in Italian in Milan. Since we travel to discover and feel new cultures, I was shocked to read, in bold letters no less, that your hosts should greet you in your own and unique way. I wonder where you are from.
Thank you all for your comments and feedback.
Bio, I do not wish to be greeted or given preferential service over other patrons. However, Montreal is a bilingual city. I have lived here for 2 years and most of the establishments provide communication in both official languages. If attending an upscale restaurant in Canada, I do not find it unreasonable to be communicated with in my official language of choice. If I were to be in Paris or Milan, I would expect the same treatment. If english was not an official language of the city, then that would by my problem :)
Fair enough. Canada has indeed two official languages, however, each exclusive of the other in different, hum, regions. If I am wrong, next time I am in Toronto or Vancouver, I will demand to be served in my official language of choice, namely french!!!
It's unfortunate you did not have a good experience at Cube since there are numerous impeccable restaurant in Montreal. While their overall quality has improved these last year, hotels restaurant in general have dissapointed too often. Verses at Hotel Nelligan was a complete disaster for instance.
ah, therein lies the rub...
Montreal may be a bilingual city, but many Montrealers are not.
Many also practice an endearing form of selective bilingualism whereby they communicate in perfect English with those they like yet feign being able to understand "un seul mot" with those they do not....
I totally agree about the portions at Cube. I happen to stay at Hotel St. Paul during my first visit to Montreal and had my first dinner at Cube.
Thought the presentation was decent the portions were frankly meager. The food was just not enough for one. Even after the desert I was craving for more.
My tab came to about $70.00 but I was really dissapointed with the quantity. After that experience, during the rest of my stay I made sure I read the reviews before I chose a place to eat.
Cube is not a steakhouse...the portions have always been small and fussy.
Kir Royals (I'm assuming that is what you had) are quite often the biggest rip-off at any restaurant and, yes, the defense will always be that "we use only the finest Champagne".
Many Montreal restaurants will hire additional staff when the Grand Prix (not Indy) is in town as they are unusually busy and need more help. The downside is that you might get a server who is not familiar with the menu. This is not an excuse but rather an observation. You are always free to ask the maitre d' for a server who is more familiar with the food, wine, and as the case may be "official language of choice".
I've been to Cube for brunch, wasn't overly impressed either by the decor, the food or the service. The bill, however, was quite impressive. Seems like a typical case of over-hype. I think I had your waiter too - wasn't too much of a problem because we are french, but he was definitely aloof.
Next time, try La Chronique, on Laurier. Smaller place, bigger portions, excellent food and wine (I enjoyed my meal there much more than the one I've had at Toque), friendly and informative service.