Deville Diner Bar Launch MontrealPosted By Jennifer Ho Oct 29 2011 · 2 comments · Downtown, Events
Serving up retro chic with a side of downtown glamor, Deville Dinerbar is the new kid on one of the busiest downtown blocks in the Montreal core. While the restaurant may be seemingly fresh faced and new to the industry at first glance, don’t be fooled. The owners are seasoned veterans in the restaurant biz as previous successes have included the more traditional Reuben’s Deli and the sophisticated cafeteria style Anton & James. Having opened just a few weeks ago, Deville is the newest ‘themed’ creation of the RD3 group. We were invited for the Media Launch earlier this week to sample the drinks, taste their vast array of food offerings and indulge in their sweet treats.
Upon receiving an invitation, I recalled seeing the place under construction when walking up Stanley street on my way home and remembering how they cleverly used a marketing tactic to draw in curious shoppers around the area. A small peephole was built into the glass exterior so that people could peer into the restaurant while it was still being renovated – instead of a view of debris and raw materials, a small screen greeted the viewer with information about the restaurant concept and the kinds of food that would be served. Great idea. I know that when I put my eye to the peephole, others walking by visibly slowed down and did the same as soon as I left. With all this in mind, I checked out the the website, and the design is gorgeous (it is also apparently shortlisted for some awards). Complete with an elaborate introduction, a perfect soundtrack and lots of opportunities for interactivity, the site clearly represents a solid investment in the restaurant.
Furthermore, a particularly interesting iPhone app has been developed specifically for diners that allows them to choose from a relatively large pre-selected tracklist of songs and hear them played on the loudspeaker. All they have to do is scan the QR code given on each placemat to access the app download.
As soon as we got in, we were offered a selection of two special house martinis – one that was called a Black Forest Martini that actually tasted almost identical to the decadent cake itself with Kahlua, whipped cream and oreo bits sprinkled on top. The other was something a little less sweet, with orange bitters. This one had an entertaining preparation as the barmen were playing with fire (literally), quickly dousing each glass with a quick burst of fire, giving the drink a more distinct, aromatic flavor. An array of shots came out, intended to – as our waiter said it – “get us drunk”. If that was the goal, then the restaurant did a formidable job, pulling out all the stops. Shots with whipped cream, blended ice cream, maple syrup, creme de cacao, chocolate bitters and other delectably sweet ingredients were mixed together (not all in the same shot) and served beautifully. If you weren’t into the mixed drinks, not to worry! There was a constant, steady stream of red and white wine available at every few paces along the bar.
Serving the food in small, bite sized quantities, we were treated to a tasting menu of sort, tapas-style. We started out trying some of the Cajun salt seasoned edamame beans, a few cheese raviolis and crispy homemade potato chips with a spicy Greek dip (one of my favorite dishes of the evening). We had a delightfully fresh Ahi tuna taco (could have definitely had a few more of these), a caesar salad laid out on a single leaf and a mini bucket of fried zucchini with a salsa dip. Jalapeno corn bread coated with rosemary thyme butter, So far, so good. Onto a few of the heavier dishes – a Deville style hot dog with some pickled veg on top, a Deville style slider with shredded iceberg lettuce and cheddar cheese and a Philly cheese steak spring roll. The desserts came out, one after the other – a banana cream pie, apple pie ice cream sandwich, and a lemon meringue pie among many, many others. The apple pie ice cream sandwich was notably delicious.
Deville is a place that recalls a bygone era what with its vintage inspired decor and concept. This is obvious through the menu offerings that hearken back to the “good old days” and perhaps a simpler time when a milkshake and a burger were all you needed to put a smile on your face. The food is basically simple – you get what you ask for. There are little surprises here and there but overall, the food is what you would expect based on their descriptions. The overall experience is enhanced by Deville’s careful attention to creating a unique modern diner-esque atmosphere, the possibility for interactivity with the restaurant and those within it through the Jukebox app and the fun vibe exuding from the brightly lit bar and the communal style of the banquettes.
View Larger Map