A couple of weeks ago, I joined a group of friends for a small birthday dinner. The birthday girl in question lives out of town so she asked for a recommendation and I suggested Grinder. My first visit to the restaurant was its grand opening back in December, however, this was the first time I was going to actually get to sample the food (anyone who was at the opening knows how completely packed it was).

One of the most striking things about walking into Grinder is the openness of the space which goes all the way back to open kitchen. The use of warm, honey colored wood and copper hued mirrors on the exposed ceiling and walls makes it feel like you just walked into a trendy ski chalet. The seating in the restaurant is very well thought out, with the tables orbiting the central bar on several different levels (think mini-mezzanine). Grinder’s most impressive aesthetic attribute is the lighting fixtures which are actually repurposed surgical lights that are stunning and are sure to stir up conversation. In a city filled with thousands of restaurants, it’s great to see some innovative use of unconventional materials.

We were quite impressed with the food at Grinder. As meat and wine are their specialties, we sampled the perfectly cooked beef bavette (with the best mashed potatoes on this island, as far as we were concerned!), the wagyu burger which was dripping with aged cheddar and smoked bacon (really, you had me at bacon – also the fries were tasty) and we also tried an assortment of meats and accompaniments which was part of that evening`s specials. They have several standard beers on tap but it`s the tightly curated wine selection that I’m very curious to try more of. With the meal we had a bottle of Côtes-du-Rhône which perfectly accompanied our dinner.

The service at Grinder was friendly and attentive without being intrusive. Upon observing the waiters interact with each other and tables other than our own, I was happy to see the atmosphere was cool, calm and collected all around; quite pleasant.

Overall, Grinder was a great experience and I’m looking forward to going back again*. It`s exciting to see restaurants in Montreal that go the distance where it matters.

*I’m sure J will be excited to pour up some more wine.

For a full menu and opening hours, visit their website.

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