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Monty's Steakhouse, Owner Mandana Montazami and Chef Marco Camacho at Old Keene Mill Center in Springfield

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#1 Kibbee Nayee

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Posted 19 June 2012 - 06:02 PM

Fine dining has apparently arrived in Springfield! Monty's Steakhouse recently opened in the Whole Foods plaza on Old Keene Mill and Rolling Roads in Springfield. I haven't yet eaten there, but I stopped in today for a look-see. It's a nicely appointed dining room with white table cloths on the tables and a tidy bar in the front corner. Monty's is independently owned and touts itself as "best value" upscale, casual dining. The owner is Springfield native Donna Montazami, with a Cafe LaRuche and Vapiano pedigree, and the executive chef is CIA graduate Marco Camacho, who worked at the Woodmore Country Club and the Mayflower.

I glanced at the menu and was impressed by the reasonable prices -- dry aged, locally sourced beef and lamb chops in the mostly $25- $40 range, plus fresh seafood options and specialty burgers. Lady Kibbee and I will likely drop in for a meal in a few days.

http://montyssteakhouse.com/

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#2 mdt

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Posted 20 June 2012 - 06:54 AM

Fine dining has apparently arrived in Springfield! Monty's Steakhouse recently opened in the Whole Foods plaza on Old Keene Mill and Rolling Roads in Springfield. I haven't yet eaten there, but I stopped in today for a look-see. It's a nicely appointed dining room with white table cloths on the tables and a tidy bar in the front corner. Monty's is independently owned and touts itself as "best value" upscale, casual dining. The owner is Springfield native Donna Montazami, with a Cafe LaRuche and Vapiano pedigree, and the executive chef is CIA graduate Marco Camacho, who worked at the Woodmore Country Club and the Mayflower.

I glanced at the menu and was impressed by the reasonable prices -- dry aged, locally sourced beef and lamb chops in the mostly $25- $40 range, plus fresh seafood options and specialty burgers. Lady Kibbee and I will likely drop in for a meal in a few days.

http://montyssteakhouse.com/


Did their printed menu site locally sourced beef as the online menu does not, but I am really hoping that they do. Glad to hear that the prices look good and I am looking forward to giving it a try. Hopefully their seafood options come from sustainable sources, but the Chilean sea bass on the online menu is not a good sign.

#3 mtureck

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Posted 20 June 2012 - 10:02 AM

Great to see anything with ambition open in Springfield, but the pictures of the steaks on the website don't look all that appetizing. Need some sear on those meats!

#4 monavano

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Posted 20 June 2012 - 10:13 AM

Fine dining has apparently arrived in Springfield! Monty's Steakhouse recently opened in the Whole Foods plaza on Old Keene Mill and Rolling Roads in Springfield. I haven't yet eaten there, but I stopped in today for a look-see. It's a nicely appointed dining room with white table cloths on the tables and a tidy bar in the front corner. Monty's is independently owned and touts itself as "best value" upscale, casual dining. The owner is Springfield native Donna Montazami, with a Cafe LaRuche and Vapiano pedigree, and the executive chef is CIA graduate Marco Camacho, who worked at the Woodmore Country Club and the Mayflower.

I glanced at the menu and was impressed by the reasonable prices -- dry aged, locally sourced beef and lamb chops in the mostly $25- $40 range, plus fresh seafood options and specialty burgers. Lady Kibbee and I will likely drop in for a meal in a few days.

http://montyssteakhouse.com/


I glanced at the menu on the website and didn't see prices, or am I missing them somewhere?
Thanks!
I'm excited about this and we'll give it a try soon too.

#5 DonRocks

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Posted 26 June 2012 - 11:40 PM

I glanced at the menu on the website and didn't see prices, or am I missing them somewhere?
Thanks!
I'm excited about this and we'll give it a try soon too.


No prices, but darned if I can avoid thinking of Hector "Macho" Camacho when I read the Head Chef's name.

That would actually be pretty cool.

"Don't like the steak?"

"Overdone."

<WHACK!>

"Better now?"

:wacko: Muc√h. :wub:ç

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#6 Kibbee Nayee

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Posted 17 July 2012 - 01:48 PM

I had lunch at Monty's today, and I still can't believe this place opened in Springfield. The 8-oz petite filet with two sides was excellent. It was cooked to a perfect rarish-medium-rare, had a nice beefy flavor and melted in my mouth. The steaks come with your choice of two sides -- I had the broiled, stuffed beefsteak tomato, and it was nice -- and the total for two people, each with the petite filet as our order, was just over $60 (with soft drinks, tax and tip).

This place is beautifully decorated, and right down to the wood plank floors and white table cloths, it looks and acts like a proper steakhouse. But the prices are more along the lines of Ray's the Steaks. I have a feeling this place will catch on and rightly become the premier restaurant in Springfield -- not that great an accomplishment, I know, but this is a really nice steak house.

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#7 DonRocks

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Posted 06 January 2013 - 12:37 PM

No prices, but darned if I can avoid thinking of Hector "Macho" Camacho when I read the Head Chef's name.

That would actually be pretty cool.

"Don't like the steak?"

"Overdone."

<WHACK!>

"Better now?"

:wacko: Muc√h. :wub:ç


Unfortunately, the great pugilist passed away several months after I wrote this post.

I had no idea what to expect when I walked into Monty's Steakhouse last night, and I kept it that way on purpose. It's in the Old Keene Mill Shopping Center which also contains the Springfield Whole Foods (there are quite a few shopping centers around that intersection, so that's your reference). Immediately, I was impressed by the clean, dichromatic decor of white walls, and dark (black, brown) trim which dominates the restaurant's ambiance. Although the restaurant was full at 7:30 on a Saturday night, we managed to get a two-top after just a couple of minutes, and it was a good thing we weren't any later because a line of patrons began forming behind us.

As I walked to the table, I looked at people's food, and knew that I was going to probably like this restaurant quite a bit, and I was right. There's a lot to choose from on this front-and-back page menu, and while some people were having burgers (which looked terrific, and provide an inexpensive alternative in a casual fine dining atmosphere), most people were there for a steak, and so were we.

I have two concerns about Monty's Steakhouse, the first of which is beverage pricing. My young dining companion stuck with ice water, while I ordered a Gulden Draak ($14) from a fairly long, but somewhat ordinary, page of beers without prices next to them - I would have never ordered this beer had I known it was an astounding fourteen dollars. Gulden Draak is a very fine, widely available beer which retails for about $5 per 11.2 ounce bottle, so we're in triple-retail territory here for an already expensive beer. The lady, whom I believe may have been the owner's wife, struggled mightily with the pour, producing mostly foam, and had to return to the bar. A minute or so later, a fairly small glass appeared filled to the brim, without the bottle, and I suspect several ounces of this beer had been lost to the angels.

We could not have chosen better appetizers. Hot Artichoke & Spinach Dip ($8 for a small) is the type of thing I go out of my way to avoid at TGIFridays, etc. because it's generally a gooey (but tasty) calorie-fest that is ultimately not worth the poundage; here, it was also gooey, but this dip was delicious in a way that was worth every calorie, served with toasted slices of baked baguette topped with what could have been an orange parmesan-styled crumble. I tend not to like these dips, but this one was really good. Every bit its equal was the New England Clam Chowder ($5 for a cup (we had actually ordered a bowl)), a thick, brownish chowder, loaded up with clams and potato, surely flavored with some form of bacon. A wonderful, heavy-styled chowder that I cannot imagine anyone not liking except for absolute purists. I recommend both of these appetizers, and it will be difficult to move on and try others the next time I'm here.

Monty's features several dry-aged cuts of steak, all of which are locally grown (according to our friendly server, Ari), and dry-aged for them by the distributor. We went all-in, and ordered the Dry-Aged Porterhouse For Two ($45, menu says 26 ounces), the most expensive item in the restaurant as far as I can remember (the porterhouse for one was $38 for 14 ounces, so ordering this just made good sense). We ordered it medium-rare, and that's exactly how it was cooked. Monty's offers a variety of interesting sauces, all of which are included in the price, and you can order several to taste and compare - we thoroughly enjoyed our trio of Bernaise, garlic jus, and horseradish cream (and were cheerfully brought a second ramekin of Bernaise when I asked for it) - I don't see how these sauces could have been any better than they were. Humorously, Monty's offers Yum-Yum sauce as one of their options. Knowing this thread was on the website, it brought a smile to my face. This was a very fine porterhouse that was indeed quite large - it's possible for one hungry man to finish it, but it's certainly sized for two average people. Better still, the price of the steaks includes two side orders (re-read that sentence), and our side orders were every bit as good as our appetizers. Pommes Gratin and Creamed Spinach were the perfect compliments to our porterhouse, and both were not only executed extremely well, but also divided into individual portions and served to each of us on our own plate (almost surely, the pommes gratin was two orders, as it was baked and served in the same dish). The creamed spinach used fresh leaves, and very, very little cream - just enough so you might know it's there. Some of the food, including the pommes gratin and porterhouse, benefitted from a few shakes of salt (not a problem, and I'd certainly rather have this than the opposite case). With my steak, I enjoyed the least expensive red wine by the glass that Monty's offers, the 2010 Jacques Perrin Côtes du Rhone ($8), a perfectly serviceable vin de table that, if I recall, was selling for $28 a bottle. If you have two adults, and are looking for an inexpensive red with your steak, you won't go wrong with this (their wine list, in general, skews expensive, but I did notice a bottle of Monastrell for, I believe, $21 if you want to go cheaper still; I'd go with the Côtes du Rhone).

As stuffed as we were, there was a little postcard on the table with a quote from one of the internet sites, raving about the desserts. We asked our server about them, and she said they are all made in-house, and are presented on a tray. Wow, another nice little surprise. So we asked her to bring it out, and were both mightily impressed with what we saw: fully eleven house-made desserts, all of which looked worth ordering. The chef apparently has some extensive training in pastry, and it shows. We happily ordered a Lychee Tart ($9), a dessert I don't ever recall seeing in this area before. Matt had never before tried a lychee, and this was a fine introduction, the lychees distributed around, and on the top part, of a well-made pastry crust that, despite looking very "wet," had a bit, just a bit, of a dryness to it. Nevertheless, a fine effort, and I would urge diners to save room for dessert here because it's worth it.

If this post sounds like a rave, it pretty much is. But I haven't gotten to my second concern about Monty's, and I'm not quite sure how to even bring it up. The service here was as friendly as it could possibly be. Monty himself brought out our appetizers, and ground whole peppercorns over our clam chowder. Ari, our server, could not have been more pleasant. The lady I believe might be Monty's wife was the one who served me my beer. Enthusiasm abounded, and everyone was delightful which is why I feel like a creep for saying that the service here has problems. We were both left with an overall feeling that when we really needed something, we couldn't flag anyone down (we were absolutely not being ignored; there was just nobody around). It's possible they were short-staffed, and that would explain things, but there's something intangible about the timing of everything that was just "off." One example is that halfway through my steak, I finished my wine and would have loved another glass, but nobody ever asked - we were there a good thirty minutes after that point. Yes, I could have flagged someone I suppose, but this is just one example. Another is that we never got dinner rolls, and we noticed the tables on both sides of us had a basket of them (and they looked very good) - we didn't notice this until late in the meal, or I would have surely asked for some. These problems are eminently fixable, however, because they are rooted in good intention and friendliness. I hate to push myself as a restaurant consultant (and won't), but I could have this restaurant running like a finely tuned machine in just a few days. I honestly don't think the owners recognize the service issues or they would surely address them, and it most certainly was not our server, who was as friendly and cordial as could be - it was all timing and focus, nothing more, nothing less.

More than any other restaurant, Monty's reminds me of Ray's The Classics. However, with the possible exception of the steaks, every single thing we ate here was at a higher level than Ray's. Matt argued, perhaps correctly, that Ray's bisque was as good as our clam chowder, but the appetizers, side dishes, and desserts - as well as the very fine, reasonably priced steak we had - vaults Monty's Steakhouse strongly into Italic in the Dining Guide, as well as securing its place as the top restaurant in Springfield with nary a challenger in view. It is not often I am taken so completely off-guard by a dining experience, but I was extremely impressed by Monty's Steakhouse, and I think you will be, too.
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#8 Kibbee Nayee

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Posted 06 January 2013 - 01:28 PM

....vaults Monty's Steakhouse strongly into Italic in the Dining Guide, as well as securing its place as the top restaurant in Springfield with nary a challenger in view. It is not often I am taken so completely off-guard by a dining experience, but I was extremely impressed by Monty's Steakhouse, and I think you will be, too.


Bravo, Sir. Well done. I'm guessing we'll be bumping into each other there on occasion....

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No, I eat my fingers separately.


#9 ScotteeM

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Posted 14 January 2013 - 12:39 PM

My husband and I had lunch here yesterday. We liked it enough to want to go back for dinner.

 

Husband's burger was tasty and fresh, but cooked well past the medium-rare he requested. He didn't send it back. The fries were crispy, and served with a chipotle mayo as well as ketchup. My steak salad was huge, and the flavors were good, but the steak was so thin and the salad itself so cold that by the time it was served the steak itself was cold--not what I expected.

 

The FOH staff were all very friendly and well-intended. But, considering there was a hostess and two servers for a total of 10 diners, service was glacially slow. I didn't have a watch, but we sat for a very long time after ordering before our food was served. There were many times when no FOH staff were actually in the FOH, and when the other server (not ours) walked past my nearly empty water glass with a full pitcher of water to pour for her tables, I was a little taken aback. Also, the whiffs of cologne that hit me every time any of the staff walked past my table were a little disconcerting.

 

I'll chalk these nit-picky issues up to the restaurant still being pretty new. I'm looking forward to dinner, and since this place is 3.3 miles from my house, I really want it to succeed!


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#10 B.A.R.

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 10:51 AM

Anyone know if there is a bar here? The family is abandoning me this weekend and I'm looking for a spot to dine solo.


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#11 Kibbee Nayee

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 11:20 AM

Anyone know if there is a bar here? The family is abandoning me this weekend and I'm looking for a spot to dine solo.

 

Yes, there is a bar.  There is also outside seating, but that won't do you much good this weekend....


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No, I eat my fingers separately.


#12 Kibbee Nayee

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 02:09 PM

I had lunch at Monty's today with a friend who has a discerning palate and a skeptical attitude toward new restaurants with something to prove.  On the other hand, my expectations were higher, consistent with the good experiences I've had here in the past.  The short version of the story is that we were both blown away.  Monty's is the hidden gem of northern Virginia right now, and in the general contiguous suburban geographical sprawl defined by Springfield, Burke, Lorton, Kingstowne, Fairfax Station and most of Alexandria south of the beltway, Monty's is the best restaurant of any kind, by far.

 

Today's soup special was Bay Scallop Chowder Manhattan Style, and we both ordered a bowl.  It was mind-blowingly good, as if it came the one of the finest kitchens in our area.  The ingredients were abundant and fresh, the flavors exploded in the mouth, and the bracing comfort on this chilly day was perfect.  All I can say is "Wow!"

 

My companion followed with an 8-oz. filet, which cam eoff the dinner menu.  He ordered it medium, and he was shocked that it arrived perfectly medium.  Pink in the middle and juicy, with an incredible bernaise sauce on the side.  He instructed me to dip a piece of my meat into the sauce, and I can confirm that the kitchen knows its sauces.  His side of mushrooms was a mix of cremini, oyster and button, and they were cooked perfectly.

 

I had the steak salad, with what appeared to be about 6 oz. of juicy strips of steak cooked to a perfect medium rare over a too-generous mound of greens and olives and tomatoes and onions and peppers and feta....really, really good.

 

The co-owner, Khash, came over and spent some time talking with us.  Of course, I mentioned the Don Rockwell review, and he had seen it and was very appreciative.  He emphasized that everything in his "1920s kitchen" is fresh, that the Sysco truck stops at the Austin Grill two doors up, not at his place, and that his beef is sourced from a special category of A.M. Briggs dry-aged beef.  He has eight cook stations in the back, and two if them are dedicated entirely to vegan dishes like the portobello mushrooms, so he is vegan friendly.  He also pointed out that his multiplier on wine is only about 2.2, so if a bottle of Duckhorn costs him $40, it will sell for under $100.

 

I'm beginning to love this place.  On the way out, a tray of fresh-baked cookies awaits for anyone to enjoy.  I'm thinking of switching my Valentine's Day reservations to Monty's.


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No, I eat my fingers separately.


#13 lovehockey

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Posted 03 February 2013 - 04:10 PM

Last night we went to Monty's to check it out.  As others have mentioned, the staff is very friendly and aim to please, so while there were a couple of service slips here and there they weren't a big deal.  Donna (the owner) was walking around asking people if they liked the food and service, and it appears that they're building up a group of regulars.

 

Our dinner took about an hour and a half (entrees + shared dessert).  The SO enjoyed the Malbec while I tried the Riesling from Washington State (sorry, can't remember the names).  I liked my wine but I'll admit I got it mainly because of the mention of Alberta peaches.  I have since learned that there is a such thing as an Alberta peach but at first I thought it meant the province and I know for certain that they don't grow peaches in Alberta (go next door to BC).  The excuses I have to try wine...

 

One thing that I appreciated right off the bat was that the bread came with soft butter.  It drives me crazy when bread is presented with cold, hard butter so I was very happy to use the soft butter on the rolls and (excellent) banana bread.

 

The SO got the petite filet with pommes frites and broccoli as the sides, and I got the salmon with potato gratin and grilled beefsteak tomato.  They accidentally gave me a baked potato along with the potato gratin but the waiter brought out a piping hot tomato for me when I pointed out my problem.  Both entrees were cooked well and the SO particularly liked the wine sauce that came on the side of his petite filet.  Of the sides, I liked the potato gratin the best.  The grilled tomato was something I don't recall I've had before so it was nice to try something new.  I appreciate the options that they provide for the sides and I'm sure that if we go back we'll give some of the others a try.

 

The one slip-up for us was dessert.  We got the creme brulee trio but unfortunately after breaking through the crust two of the three were more soupy than custardy.  But I'm glad that we split the trio, though, because they were rich and I don't think I'd have gotten through them on my own.

 

I'm sure we'll visit again because it's' not too far away, the food is good, and there are a number of menu items I'd like to try.  Thanks to everyone above for putting it on my radar!



#14 Kibbee Nayee

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Posted 16 February 2013 - 09:32 PM

I took Lady KN to Monty's tonight, and I continue to be impressed with this place. Monty's was packed on a Saturday evening, so I'm happy that they're drawing the kind of crowds that should keep them in business for a while.

 

We began with appetizers that were absolutely delicious. The combination salmon and sea bass appetizer was well executed. Two chunks each of salmon and sea bass, perfectly seared and succulent. I was really shocked by how well I enjoyed this appetizer. We also shared the tuna tartare, which was one of the better renditions I've had. A nice tower of immaculate tuna dices, tomatoes, avocados and onion, accompanied by croutons. 'Spectacular' would an understatement for this dish. All appetizers are available in individual portions, which is what we ordered, or 'to share' portions. I think I can actually come into this restuarant and stick to the appetizer menu and have a really nice meal. Don mentioned the hot spinach and artichoke dip during his visit, and I saw some really mouth-watering calamari and smoked salmon appetizers flying out of the kitchen. And the appetizer menu includes many more items, like shrimp escargot. I definitely need to plow through these appetizers at some point.

 

For our mains, Lady KN enjoyed the salmon special, which included impeccable scallops with a filet of salmon encrusted in pastry. I had a bite and it was really good. The scallops themselves were amazing. My bone-in filet mignon was cooked to a perfect medium rare, and tasted about as great as I expected. My accompaniment was the sauteed mushrooms, which came with the entree (two sides are included with each entree, and I chose a double order of mushrooms).

 

All of this, plus a bottle of wine plus another glass, plus tax and tip, came to under $100 per person. Not bad. Not bad at all.

 

Service was a bit slow, but on a crowded Saturday night in the suburbs, about as expected. I repeat, in the general contiguous geographic suburban sprawl defined by Springfield, Burke, Lorton, Franconia, Fairfax Station and south Alexandria, this is the best restaurant by far.

 

To top it off, I chose this venue for Lady KN to receive a nice diamond for her ring finger. At some point in the near future, she will be known as Mrs. KN.


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Do you eat chicken with your fingers?
No, I eat my fingers separately.


#15 DonRocks

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Posted 16 February 2013 - 09:41 PM

To top it off, I chose this venue for Lady KN to receive a nice diamond for her ring finger. At some point in the near future, she will be known as Mrs. KN.

 

!

 

Don't leave the community, man - bring her here ... we'll be here 20 years from now to celebrate your anniversary.

 

I'm so happy for you, Bruce.


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#16 Kibbee Nayee

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Posted 10 March 2013 - 05:08 PM

I'm trying to resist the temptation to post about Monty's every time I eat there....but I can't, at least for today. A group of six adults and two children were graciously accommodated at 3:00 in the afternoon. And the raves flowed all around.

 

Lady KN and I stayed away from mains, and we intend to do that often at Monty's. Notwithstanding the steaks, which I've only a few times, I think the highlights of the menu might just be the starters and the seafood (and from previous visits, the sides). We split a tower of the tuna tartare, another "to share' portion of the salmon and sea bass duo, and a single portion of the salmon bruschetta. We had the tuna tartare and the salmon and sea bass on our special night a few weeks ago, and today it confirmed the consistency of the kitchen and excellence of these two dishes. Fresh, delicious and satisfying are the words that come to mind. The salmon bruschetta was a new taste, with crunchy croutons topped with a slice of cream cheese and a healthy slice or two of smoked salmon, accompanied by diced red onions and capers. We definitely will do that one again, maybe when we come for Sunday brunch.

 

Around the table were enjoyed generous portions of the spinach and artichoke dip, fried calamari, seviche, onion soup, Caesar salad topped with grilled shrimp and and another topped with white anchovies, and the Monty's burger. The seviche deserves special mention....Todd Kliman recently said that it had "snap and sincerity that are too often missing" and I couldn't say it better myself. The Bolivian chef clearly gives this dish its credibility and a whole lot of love. The calamari was first rate, fried to perfection like frying to perfection is supposed to be. The spinach and artichoke dip won raves, and the burger was nailed to a perfect, juicy medium rare.

 

What more can be said? An entire table of diners had an excellent series of plates at a "steakhouse" and nobody had a steak. And not one down note among all dishes. In the middle of a Sunday afternoon. And for an all-in tab with tax and tip for about $25 per person.

 

I will try not to gush about this place every time I eat there....


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Do you eat chicken with your fingers?
No, I eat my fingers separately.


#17 durwoodx

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Posted 04 April 2013 - 02:58 PM

Anyone have a good read on whether this place would be all right to bring a (most of the time) well-behaved toddler or is it a bit too nice? 


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Darrell Partin - beer snob to the stars!


#18 DonRocks

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Posted 04 April 2013 - 04:50 PM

Anyone have a good read on whether this place would be all right to bring a (most of the time) well-behaved toddler or is it a bit too nice? 

 

Yes (this is Burke-Springfield, man - Family Central), but the tables can be a bit close together. I would call in advance and speak with a manager just to let them know you're coming (you don't have to, but it can't hurt - sometimes, with an infant, being seated near the door or the restrooms can be a blessing as I'm sure you're finding out). :)


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#19 Barbara

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Posted 05 April 2013 - 10:38 AM

How handicapped-accessible is this place?


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#20 Kibbee Nayee

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Posted 05 April 2013 - 12:41 PM

How handicapped-accessible is this place?

 

I would call them and ask -- (703) 942-8676.

 

I would say that the outdoor seating area, with the nice weather coming up, looks pretty doggone accessible to me....if you can make it over a small curb, you're there.


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#21 DonRocks

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Posted 05 April 2013 - 12:42 PM

I would call them and ask -- (703) 942-8676.

 

I would say that the outdoor seating area, with the nice weather coming up, looks pretty doggone accessible to me....if you can make it over a small curb, you're there.

 

There's no way that shopping center doesn't have curb ramps.


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#22 khashmon

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Posted 14 April 2013 - 04:05 PM

Thank you to all of our newly found friends & supporters. Without your acceptance to the community we would not be who we are.
I am pleased to confirm that Monty's is toddler friendly. We also have three designated handicapped seating in the dining area, one in the lounge/bar and one on the patio.


Feel free to contact us with questions and/or special requests.



#23 Kibbee Nayee

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Posted 20 April 2013 - 11:22 AM

I'm not sure Sietsema got it right today:

 

http://www.washingto...1c63_story.html

 

I will agree that the steak might not be the star of the show. My preference is for the seafood dishes and the sides, and I could -- and I have -- ordered entire meals off the appetizer menu. But one and a half stars almost appears condescending, like "I'll show those upstarts from Springfield a thing or two about restaurants...!"

 

Meanwhile, he gives an automatic two stars to anything in the District, and every now and then allows Candy Sagon to disgrace his column's space with two stars for every mom-and-pop northern Virginia restaurant that you'll never go to....


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#24 monavano

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Posted 20 April 2013 - 11:57 AM

I'm not sure Sietsema got it right today:

 

http://www.washingto...1c63_story.html

 

I will agree that the steak might not be the star of the show. My preference is for the seafood dishes and the sides, and I could -- and I have -- ordered entire meals off the appetizer menu. But one and a half stars almost appears condescending, like "I'll show those upstarts from Springfield a thing or two about restaurants...!"

 

Meanwhile, he gives an automatic two stars to anything in the District, and every now and then allows Candy Sagon to disgrace his column's space with two stars for every mom-and-pop northern Virginia restaurant that you'll never go to....

 

I thought the review read more like a 2-star review. I guess the big issue was that Monty's bills itself as a steakhouse, but does not excel at that very thing. Plus the desserts got dinged.

 

At a glance, it could turn someone off to trying Monty's if they just saw the paltry 1 1/2 stars, but if you read the meat (sorry!) of the review, I think it makes Monty's sound like it is a worthy eatery to at least give a try and see for yourself.

 

The reports on the staff always sound lovely.


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#25 Pat

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Posted 20 April 2013 - 07:36 PM

Meanwhile, he gives an automatic two stars to anything in the District, 

 

Suna?



#26 mdt

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Posted 21 April 2013 - 06:57 AM

I thought the review read more like a 2-star review. I guess the big issue was that Monty's bills itself as a steakhouse, but does not excel at that very thing. Plus the desserts got dinged.
 
At a glance, it could turn someone off to trying Monty's if they just saw the paltry 1 1/2 stars, but if you read the meat (sorry!) of the review, I think it makes Monty's sound like it is a worthy eatery to at least give a try and see for yourself.
 
The reports on the staff always sound lovely.

 

Exactly. You bill yourself as a steakhouse then the steaks better be the star, period. I am happy to hear that there are many other dishes worth ordering.

And since Khash is posting here, where do you get your beef, local farms? Do you do the dry aging in house and for how long?


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#27 Michael Landrum

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Posted 21 April 2013 - 08:52 PM

Exactly. You bill yourself as a steakhouse then the steaks better be the star, period. I am happy to hear that there are many other dishes worth ordering.

 

Unless you are a celebrity chef housed in a luxury hotel. Then you receive an automatic 3 stars and the obligatory fawning, gushing and slavishly striving-to-matter praise. The quality of the steak, in these instances, is somehow irrelevant. (Why is it that whenever a celebrity chef is involved, or even the rumor of one, Tom S. turns into Sally Fields at the Oscars?).

 

I myself have enjoyed some excellent, and excellently prepared, steaks and prime rib at Monty's--far superior to what I have been served at Bourbon, J&G, and, of late, sadly BLT (I thought they did some things really great there previously).

 

Even more so, I have enjoyed the warm and engaging atmosphere and hospitality--again, quite unlike at the above-mentioned places. (Of course, for many of those who matter, they're the ones who know what they are doing and who do it right).

 

Monty's does a great job across the board, and the loyalty and enthusiasm of their fervent regular crowd, night after night many of the same people, speaks more deservedly and more truly of their work than this review.


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#28 khashmon

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Posted 26 April 2013 - 12:07 PM

Exactly. You bill yourself as a steakhouse then the steaks better be the star, period. I am happy to hear that there are many other dishes worth ordering.

And since Khash is posting here, where do you get your beef, local farms? Do you do the dry aging in house and for how long?

 

The steaks are the star. Ironically, Todd Kliman's review just came out in the Mayissue of The Washingtonian with a different caption. It will be posted online at some point, but the headline reads, "OLD MEET NEW". I feel Todd's review does Monty's justice, whereas Tom seems to like almost everything about us except the steaks.


In a recent post, Todd makes a good point on one of his blogs in response to why his & Tom's reviews vary. Tom said, "As for two people having differing opinions on the place — why is that so surprising? Happens all the time in theater, with books, with music."


With regard to our beef supplier, A.M. Briggs is our beef supplier and we use their facility (only because we do not have the necessary "foot print" to dry-age in-house). We age the beef 21-28 days, then hand trim and cut our own portions in-house. Their source consists of some 200 local/family farms, with a foot print from New Jersey, Ohio and South Carolina. None of the farms use animal feed, and the like, to raise their cattle.

 

I'm not fond of "name dropping", but Bobby Van's in DC, Greenbrier Resort in WV, and the Homestead are all dry-aged in the same facility. So, Tom 'implied' that the beef is not dry-aged. He did not assert it. His inability to distinguish between dry-aged and non is surprising, but not offensive to us.


Most important, I think, as I explained to my sons who love basketball, no player in the NBA "sucks". Fans may be thoughtless in their comments of them, but only a finite number of players qualify to be in the NBA. Therefore, the worst player in the NBA is better than the best player who didn't make it.


Monty's, a startup founded on principals instilled in my sister and me by our parents, is being compared with some of the finest restaurants in the area...indeed outside of the area as well. Regardless of the ratings, we know who we are. We know who we serve. We will continue to "under promise, over deliver".

 

We appreciate Don Rockwell and all of the other fine friends we are making along the way. Posts from the community are what make Monty’s special. National recognition feeds the ego, yes. But a supportive community, employing unemployed community members, being considered an extension of our diner’s homes….that’s the stuff that builds communities.


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#29 mdt

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Posted 26 April 2013 - 02:07 PM

The steaks are the star. Ironically, Todd Kliman's review just came out in the Mayissue of The Washingtonian with a different caption. It will be posted online at some point, but the headline reads, "OLD MEET NEW". I feel Todd's review does Monty's justice, whereas Tom seems to like almost everything about us except the steaks.


In a recent post, Todd makes a good point on one of his blogs in response to why his & Tom's reviews vary. Tom said, "As for two people having differing opinions on the place — why is that so surprising? Happens all the time in theater, with books, with music."


With regard to our beef supplier, A.M. Briggs is our beef supplier and we use their facility (only because we do not have the necessary "foot print" to dry-age in-house). We age the beef 21-28 days, then hand trim and cut our own portions in-house. Their source consists of some 200 local/family farms, with a foot print from New Jersey, Ohio and South Carolina. None of the farms use animal feed, and the like, to raise their cattle.

 

I'm not fond of "name dropping", but Bobby Van's in DC, Greenbrier Resort in WV, and the Homestead are all dry-aged in the same facility. So, Tom 'implied' that the beef is not dry-aged. He did not assert it. His inability to distinguish between dry-aged and non is surprising, but not offensive to us.


Most important, I think, as I explained to my sons who love basketball, no player in the NBA "sucks". Fans may be thoughtless in their comments of them, but only a finite number of players qualify to be in the NBA. Therefore, the worst player in the NBA is better than the best player who didn't make it.


Monty's, a startup founded on principals instilled in my sister and me by our parents, is being compared with some of the finest restaurants in the area...indeed outside of the area as well. Regardless of the ratings, we know who we are. We know who we serve. We will continue to "under promise, over deliver".

 

We appreciate Don Rockwell and all of the other fine friends we are making along the way. Posts from the community are what make Monty’s special. National recognition feeds the ego, yes. But a supportive community, employing unemployed community members, being considered an extension of our diner’s homes….that’s the stuff that builds communities.

 

Thanks for the response. Despite the fact that I live <5 miles from here I have still not been. That will be remedied shortly.


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#30 Kibbee Nayee

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Posted 27 April 2013 - 09:00 AM

The steaks are the star. Ironically, Todd Kliman's review just came out in the Mayissue of The Washingtonian with a different caption. It will be posted online at some point, but the headline reads, "OLD MEET NEW". I feel Todd's review does Monty's justice, whereas Tom seems to like almost everything about us except the steaks.


In a recent post, Todd makes a good point on one of his blogs in response to why his & Tom's reviews vary. Tom said, "As for two people having differing opinions on the place — why is that so surprising? Happens all the time in theater, with books, with music."


With regard to our beef supplier, A.M. Briggs is our beef supplier and we use their facility (only because we do not have the necessary "foot print" to dry-age in-house). We age the beef 21-28 days, then hand trim and cut our own portions in-house. Their source consists of some 200 local/family farms, with a foot print from New Jersey, Ohio and South Carolina. None of the farms use animal feed, and the like, to raise their cattle.

 

I'm not fond of "name dropping", but Bobby Van's in DC, Greenbrier Resort in WV, and the Homestead are all dry-aged in the same facility. So, Tom 'implied' that the beef is not dry-aged. He did not assert it. His inability to distinguish between dry-aged and non is surprising, but not offensive to us.


Most important, I think, as I explained to my sons who love basketball, no player in the NBA "sucks". Fans may be thoughtless in their comments of them, but only a finite number of players qualify to be in the NBA. Therefore, the worst player in the NBA is better than the best player who didn't make it.


Monty's, a startup founded on principals instilled in my sister and me by our parents, is being compared with some of the finest restaurants in the area...indeed outside of the area as well. Regardless of the ratings, we know who we are. We know who we serve. We will continue to "under promise, over deliver".

 

We appreciate Don Rockwell and all of the other fine friends we are making along the way. Posts from the community are what make Monty’s special. National recognition feeds the ego, yes. But a supportive community, employing unemployed community members, being considered an extension of our diner’s homes….that’s the stuff that builds communities.

 

This is a thoughtful and measured response. This is one of the reasons I like Monty's so much....


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#31 mdt

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Posted 28 April 2013 - 02:30 PM

Thanks for the response. Despite the fact that I live <5 miles from here I have still not been. That will be remedied shortly.

 

Had dinner here on Friday night and left very happy. The ceviche was enjoyable and surprisingly spicy. Had the porterhouse for two and it was certainly easy to tell it was dry aged from the wonderful aroma. Our waiter brought us a selection (all?) of sauces since it was our first visit, but the kitchen still sauced our steak (veal demiglace IIRC). The top three were the chimmichurri, horseradish, and black peppercorn. The sides were green beans (ok) and roasted mushrooms (good).

Dessert was an almond tart with vanilla ice cream that made for a pleasant finish to the meal.

We will certainly return.


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#32 khashmon

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Posted 28 April 2013 - 09:47 PM

Had dinner here on Friday night and left very happy. The ceviche was enjoyable and surprisingly spicy. Had the porterhouse for two and it was certainly easy to tell it was dry aged from the wonderful aroma. Our waiter brought us a selection (all?) of sauces since it was our first visit, but the kitchen still sauced our steak (veal demiglace IIRC). The top three were the chimmichurri, horseradish, and black peppercorn. The sides were green beans (ok) and roasted mushrooms (good).

Dessert was an almond tart with vanilla ice cream that made for a pleasant finish to the meal.

We will certainly return.

 

True to your word. Thank you for giving us a try, mdt. We appreciate your support and are delighted to know you enjoyed your selection.



#33 khashmon

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Posted 01 May 2013 - 03:31 PM

The steaks are the star. Ironically, Todd Kliman's review just came out in the Mayissue of The Washingtonian with a different caption. It will be posted online at some point, but the headline reads, "OLD MEET NEW". I feel Todd's review does Monty's justice, whereas Tom seems to like almost everything about us except the steaks.

 

Thought you would like to read Todd Kliman's review.  http://www.washingto...d-meets-new.php


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#34 Kibbee Nayee

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Posted 01 May 2013 - 04:59 PM

Thought you would like to read Todd Kliman's review.  http://www.washingto...d-meets-new.php

 

Kliman provides a more balanced view. Sietsema was having a few bad days and was probably in a snit that anything south of Arlington or Alexandria has the gall to be good.


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#35 mtureck

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Posted 01 May 2013 - 05:22 PM

Kliman provides a more balanced view. Sietsema was having a few bad days and was probably in a snit that anything south of Arlington or Alexandria has the gall to be good.

 

Um, no...Kliman provides a view that's closer to yours. God forbid Sietsema can simply disagree with the DR majority...there has to be some sort of conspiracy theory behind it.

 

Here's what Kliman said in his chat:

 

"Monty’s, to me, is a gestalt kind of place. It’s the sum of many things.
Great dining? No. Desserts need a complete overhaul, many dishes are
too salty, there’s a heavy-handedness to a number of preparations. But
it does many things well, too. There’s warmth in the welcome. The space
is soothing and exceptionally comfortable. There’s a fantastic waitstaff
— they’re very pro and very assured on the floor. I’ve had some good
cooking there. There are a handful of dishes I’d gladly order again.
I’ve had good steaks. Would I go out of my way to dine at Monty’s? No.
But if I lived within 20, 25 minutes, I would make it a regular part of
my rotation."

 

Take out the line about steak, and it's almost exactly what Sietsema said.

 

Either way, I look forward to trying Monty's soon..I grew up in Springfield, and would have loved to have this place back then.


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#36 khashmon

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Posted 01 May 2013 - 07:55 PM

Um, no...Kliman provides a view that's closer to yours. God forbid Sietsema can simply disagree with the DR majority...there has to be some sort of conspiracy theory behind it.

 

Here's what Kliman said in his chat:

 

"I’ve had good steaks. Would I go out of my way to dine at Monty’s? No.
But if I lived within 20, 25 minutes, I would make it a regular part of
my rotation."

 

Take out the line about steak, and it's almost exactly what Sietsema said.

 

Either way, I look forward to trying Monty's soon..I grew up in Springfield, and would have loved to have this place back then.

 

Thanks for the post, mtureck. We are glad to know that you will be giving us a try soon.
Kliman also had the following to say in the same chat that led up to the quote above:


"As for two people having differing opinions on the place — why is that so surprising? Happens all the time in theater, with books, with music. So much, when it comes to food, has to do with expectations. If you read a review, and that review is positive, you come to that restaurant with vastly different expectations than a person who has never read a review. I came to Monty’s via a tip from a reader. That’s different from reading a review.

And there are times, as well, when part of my excitement for a place has to do with a sense of discovery, of finding something good that hasn’t been unearthed previously. Of course, when I write that review, I automatically spoil that same sense of discovery for readers. They can’t have the same experience I had. Expectations are different."

 

My favorite part is the bit about "sense of discovery." I know personally that when I discovered Ray's The Steaks, for example, based on a casual conversation--not any review I had read--I took at least 20 friends with me over time, and referred countless of others only because of my sense of discovery (and of course, the good food). And Ray's, to this day, remains one of my favorites.



#37 DonRocks

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Posted 01 May 2013 - 08:28 PM

Um, no...Kliman provides a view that's closer to yours. God forbid Sietsema can simply disagree with the DR majority...there has to be some sort of conspiracy theory behind it.

 

[There *is* no DR majority. I'll lock my pit-bull jaws onto this ongoing fallacy just like Rogue Brewery, and bite anyone's head off who insinuates otherwise.

 

Further, any member here is *always* free to disagree with any other individual (me, Todd, Tom, anyone), and the individual is *always* welcome to come here and defend their position. Always welcome, every time, no exceptions. Tom and Todd are both members, so they're seconds away from posting anytime they wish, and their opinions, or at least their right to express them, will always be embraced with open arms.]

 

Let me cite The Georgetown Metropolitan's recent piece on me as an example - at one point, they flat-out told me I was "wrong." I was free to go in and write a comment, and I did. That's the way it is there, that's the way it is here, and that's the way it should be everywhere.


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#38 khashmon

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Posted 31 May 2013 - 08:30 AM

Hello Everyone....
Thought you would like to know that Monty's Steakhouse turns one today, May 31, 2012. To celebrate, we have the following promotion through this weekend with our compliments:

  • Cup of Lobster Bisque Soup during lunch
  • A Surf & Turf Appetizer for dinner

Hope you can join us. And, thank you for your comments & support.

 

The following link is to an email we sent out this morning.  http://us4.campaign-...9e&e=42876428e4



#39 Kibbee Nayee

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Posted 06 June 2013 - 07:07 PM

Dinner at Monty's tonight was up to its typical standards. Lady KN and I both enjoyed the soup special, a hearty cold gazpacho with jumbo lump crab chunk and a spicy kick of habanero. The flavors were bright and fresh. I would order this dish again.

 

Not being too hungry, I went with the Monty's Steak Salad for my main, and I was really surprised by how good it was. I had not tried it before. The chunks of beef were cooked with onions and peppers, and they were a perfect, tender, juicy, beefy medium rare. The rest of the salad was unimportant, but stood up well as the accompaniment to the beef. I would definitely order this dish again.

 

Lady KN ordered the counterintuitive wedge salad with grilled shrimp. That would not have been the topping I would have selected, but she insisted that it worked well.

 

So, this meal joins a long line of meals I've had at Monty's that ring in at "very good" or better.


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#40 Smita Nordwall

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Posted 10 October 2013 - 08:33 PM

Had my first dinner at Monty's tonight. We weren't hungry enough for starters and went straight to the entrees. My companions ordered filet mignon steaks while I opted for the lamb chops . All the meats were perfectly cooked. My lamb chops were incredible. Very flavorful, tender and perfect. My companions seemed to really enjoy the steaks.  The sides we really loved were the sauteed mushrooms and roasted tomatoes. The one major oddity was the sweet zucchini bread like offering with the bread basket. Way too sweet for the start of a dinner. The bread basket over all was a bit of a dud. 

 

For dessert we shared the mango panna cotta. I was not very impressed. It wasn't awful, but I found the texture a little rubbery and the mango flavor too subtle. 

 

At one point during the meal, out server found out that though I lived in the area, it was my first trip to Monty's. "What took you so long?" he said. What indeed. 


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