House of Jazz Montreal Reviews
Pleasurable music, subpar meal Sep 15, 2011
This will be the first review that I write in which I'm giving a rating below recommended. Which is a shame, because I actually did enjoy the music...
My companion and I decided we would dress up, eat a nice meal and hear some jazz. I made reservations at the Maison du Jazz (House of Jazz) for us, and we took a taxi there. I was looking forward to some good food and good tunes.
I was surprised right away when we checked in with the host, who said there would be a $10 cover charge per person included in the meal to watch the band perform. I didn't know that there would be a cover charge. It makes sense, in retrospect, but at the time, it caught me off guard. Oh well, no big deal. We agree to pay and go inside...
The House of Jazz is a pretty big restaurant; from the outside, you wouldn't think so, so this also surprised me. I noticed that it was very eclectic. Lots of jazz related art, portraits and musical instruments on the walls. And the TVs showed jazz performances.
We were led to our booth, not too far from the stage were the band was going to perform. As we took our seats and perused the menu, I was stunned yet again, this time by the price of the food on the restaurant's rather limited menu. A half rack of ribs, french fries and coleslaw cost $25 Canadian! WTF?! I ended up ordering the ribs, hoping they would be spectacular for that price.
While waiting for our food, the band came out. It was a trio - a guy with a bass, another guy with a sax, and a third on the piano. Once they started playing, they sounded great! Also, there were these women sitting next to us who struck up a conversation with us. They turned out to be pretty nice people. :)
When the food showed up, I took my first bite of the ribs and was disappointed by how flavorless they were. You can taste the barbecue sauce on them, but that was about it. And because it was the half rack, I only got four of them. Four ribs, some fries and coleslaw for $25. :( I can get twice that many ribs at home that taste a hell of a lot better for a hell of a lot less money...
For dessert, I had a piece of this raspberry cake that was okay.
Bottom line: The music was good, but the food should've been better, especially considering how much it cost. I heard about this other dinner jazz club called The Upstairs in Montreal that's supposed to be pretty good, and I wish I had checked it out instead. If you come to the House of Jazz for the music alone, it's worth it, but not for the food.
Part of the O, Canada, Part Deaux - Montreal Edition travel blog
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