Le Cordon – A blend of food, love and family
By: Elizabeth Tomaras– mtltimes.ca
As you walk through the doors of Le Cordon, clippings from newspapers (including this one!) awarding the Ville Saint-Pierre restaurant the “Best Ribs in Montreal”adorn the walls. A warm and inviting smell emanates from the wood burning oven in the middle of the restaurant. It’s enough to make your stomach grumble in anticipation of what’s about to come.
Le Cordon has been open since 1976 but current owner Tony Zoitakis acquired it 16 years ago. He revamped the menu and has made it his priority to give the people what they want: good, fresh food made in-house daily. It’s essentially home cooking without being at home.
Both Zoitakis and his wife Anna pride themselves on the fact that all recipes, including appetizers and desserts, are original and the flavours can’t be found elsewhere. Even the sauce on those famous ribs is a unique blend only Tony knows how to make.
As soon as we’re seated, the waitress asks to take our drink orders. She’s juggling a group of about 20 along with us, but her smile and friendly service doesn’t disappear.
My dining partner and I order the bruschetta, along with cheese sticks and calamari as appetizers. As soon as the bruschetta is placed in front of us, we notice the scent of garlic and fresh basil. We can’t keep our hands off the generous serving but we know much more is to come so we try to control ourselves.
The cheese sticks were up next and they did not disappoint. Made fresh at the restaurant, the cheese is not too chewy as is often the case. The outer crispy encasing is thin making it a great prologue to the meal.
Finally, our calamari with a side of marinara sauce is brought to us. They were so light and flaky, we ate them with ease, almost as if we were eating chips!
When you dine at a place like Le Cordon, you have to order the buzzworthy foods. In this case, it was the ribs. They’re thick and meaty, unlike others offered at chain restaurants. The sauce was incredible —if I had a recipe this good, I’d keep it to myself too. The plate was served with fries (also delicious) and creamy coleslaw.
We also tried the gigi pasta. At Le Cordon, you have the option of customizing your pasta plate by choosing your own noodle and sauce combination. I went for gigi with penne. The sauce wasn’t watery, and the mushrooms and prosciutto tasted authentic, just like if you made it yourself, only better.
Remember that wood-burning oven I spoke about before? Well, we simply couldn’t leave without trying its magic. We had the Le Cordon pizza which is probably the spiciest pizza you’ll ever taste. Not only was it topped with jalapeños but chilli flakes rested underneath the cheese waiting to set your mouth ablaze in the best possible way. Definitely a must-have.
For dessert, another food that’s always in demand at Le Cordon is the cheesecake. Made by Anna in her own kitchen, she uses five bars of cream cheese, but doesn’t overload the cake with flour or sugar, as she’s noticed with other cheesecakes. The slice was covered in a homemade strawberry coulis which complemented the flavour of the cake.
Le Cordon is not only a great place to eat great food, but it also has a small reception hall that holds about 60 to 70 people. It’s private from the restaurant and has its own dancefloor. Tony says it’s great for showers, birthdays or anniversaries.
While it may not be central, the restaurant is right off highway 20 so it’s easily accessible. So, next time you’re looking for a different place to catch the game, or hang out with friends, Le Cordon will not disappoint.
Le Cordon is located
150 Rue Notre-Dame O,
QC H8R 1H1