Gibby's has a reputation as a Montreal institution one of the city's great steakhouses. Based on my horrid experience last night, and an equally bad experience 4 years ago (this second-chance visit was requested by my girlfriend), I cannot fathom why. Before going, consider...
Cost: Ridiculous relative to quality, e.g. $48 steaks (mediocre at best -- see below for worst)
Ambience: Like eating in a huge ski lodge or warehouse, albeit with old stone walls and wood beams. What's more, their operating philosophy seems to be all about turnover: "pack 'em in, rush 'em through."
Service: Nothing short of appalling -- servers all rushing, utterly impersonal, going through the motions as if they were all recruited from a cheap diner, complete with odd, ugly brown diner uniforms. (Seriously, in all ways, it was unbelievable for a restaurant with this reputation.)
Food: $48 pepper steak came wizened, not cooked as requested, and literally DROWNING in a plate of sauce that looked like cream of mushroom soup. It was nothing short of offensive to look -- especially once this obviously roux-based concoction began to congeal on the plate --and was next to inedible. I would have been embarassed to serve this slop to guests at my own house (and never would have)!
Overall experience: I left, after discussing all the above with the manager (who offered simply to take it up with HER boss), feeling disgusted -- utterly taken in and ripped off. Without question it was my all-time worst dining experience -- and worst value for dollar I have ever received.
Favorite Dish Nothing, in my experience.
The first time I was there (1981)I was with a group of people & back in the corner there was this man singing to some women, the man turned out to be Gordon Lightfoot. He came over to our table to talk. It turned out to be a very memorable experiance.
Favorite Dish The steak was great