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Bice Italian Restaurant - Montreal, Quebec

Where chaotic service and high prices dampen the dining experience


Restaurant Category : Italian

Bice Italian Restaurant - Montreal, Quebec: Located in the heart of downtown Montreal, Bice serves authentic Italian cuisine in a lovely setting. This Italian restaurant in Montreal prides itself in using only fresh produce and seafood. Reservations are a must as the restaurant is popular among the city’s uber chic crowd.

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Restaurant Bice in Montreal has a modern and gorgeous décor. The light colour palette provides a nice contrast to the comfortable wooden tables and chairs. This Italian restaurant in Montreal has indoor and outdoor dining areas. The indoor dining area is large and exudes an exquisite ambience and has all the makings of a bombastic restaurant. The outdoor dining area has an enchanting European style covered garden that is open during summer months. On the night of our visit, the outside dining area was packed (they were not seating inside). The restaurant also has a full bar and private dining facilities.

Appetizers at the Montreal Bice range from fried calamari and crab cake to Oysters, Rucola salad and Grilled octopus. Prices of these appetizers range from $14 to $22. Some of the options available for the first course are Spaghetti with lobster, fresh tomatoes, garlic, chillies and zucchini flowers; Linguine with New Zealand mussels, savory clams, mushrooms, pancetta and wild arugula; Lasagna with braised eggplant, ricotta, stracchino and fresh basil; and Pappardelle “rosé” with mozzarella di bufala and fresh basil. Prices range from $23 to 29 for this course.

For main course, this Italian restaurant in Montreal offers four different options of meat and fish at prices ranging from $ 29 to $44. The meat options are Veal chop Milanese, Spice crusted Angus rib steak, Filet mignon and Roasted rack of lamb while the fish options are Chilean sea bass, Blackened tuna, Oven roasted wild salmon and the fresh fish of the day. Dessert at $9 consists of Tiramisu, Crème brulée, Hazelnut budino (Italian pudding) with chocolate and banana ice cream, warm chocolate cake and homemade ice cream or sorbet.

We started our dinner at Bice in Montreal with an order of Tagliolini with braised veal cheeks, mushrooms, rapini and aged pecorino. For $27, we assumed the portion would be large enough to share but in reality, it was a small portion even for an appetizer. The taste though was huge as the pasta was full of flavour and just amazing. We were very impressed and a bit disappointed that we didn’t order two plates of this dish.

Next up was our main course of Spice crusted Angus rib steak which was served with breaded pan-fried heirloom tomato, marinated broccilini and asparagus for my partner and the Filet mignon with cippolini and chanterelle red wine sauce, braised lima beans with lemon and sautéed watercress. The presentation of both dishes was not imaginative and hence not at all impressive. It actually looked like blobs of meat on a plate. Luckily my filet mignon tasted better than it looked. Perfectly cooked, it was tender, juicy and one of the better filets I’ve had in a long time.

However, luck did not favor my partner much and his Angus rib steak was a complete disaster. Ordered as medium rare it was served well done, tough and so bad that it had to be sent back. The new one came out almost 30 minutes later and did not fare much better either. And the asparagus and breaded tomatoes did nothing to compliment the meal. In a word, my partner’s dish (both of them) failed miserably. We ended our dinner with an order of the Hazelnut budino with chocolate and banana ice cream. It was tasty, but by no means was it stellar.

The wine list at this Italian restaurant in Montreal is quite extensive with a large collection of Italian wines. Prices were on the high side, but they did have a good price on a Brunello which was on special that month. Service throughout the meal was sophomoric. The wait staff had an average age of about 20 or 21 and hence zero to very little experience. For such a gorgeous restaurant, the staff failed miserably. Different people waited on us throughout the night so that we barely knew who was really responsible for us. The service was just plain chaotic as we were asked by three different waiters whether we wanted water in a span of five minutes. Also, wrong dishes were delivered to our table. In my opinion, all these instances are an indication of how poorly managed the restaurant is.

Overall, Bice is a gorgeous restaurant and is patronized by an upscale clientele. It is not necessarily a place to go to be “seen”, but it’s still an upper-end restaurant with huge potential. However, the chaotic and inexperienced service, less than solid and stellar main dishes and high prices for the small portions compels us to give this restaurant a rating of Between Bombastic and Not.

What I liked: The gorgeous decor

What I didn’t like: The chaotic service and the expensive main dish that lacked quality and flavour

Rating: Between Bombastic and Not

Address and Telephone Number:
1504 rue Sherbrooke O
Montreal, QC H3G 1L3
Phone: (514) 937-6009
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