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Monty's Steakhouse, Owner Mandana Montazami and Chef Marco Camacho at Old Keene Mill Center in Springfield - Closed Jan 12, 2019

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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.

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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.washingtonian.com/restaurantreviews/montys-old-meets-new.php

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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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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.

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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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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-archive2.com/?u=7da991646b3953bad53eba1bd&id=31e49a919e&e=42876428e4

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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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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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This is a good restaurant, worthy of the 2.5 stars that Tom Sietsema gave it. However, all of our meat tonight -- though still good -- was oversalted. Even without that, it's still vastly overpriced. Everything should either be 30% cheaper or a third better. Go for happy hour; stick to appetizers. Beyond that, you'll get a much better steak for the price at Ray's. There's still an old-school steakhouse culture in this town, but it's a hell of a lot smaller than most "big city" chefs think. And, in any event, even that crowd would never go this far up 15th for an average steak when there is as good or better on Pennsylvania Avenue. Stop insulting our intelligence -- there's certainly enough good things at this restaurant to suggest that they know better. Closed by 2016 unless they adapt or the hotel continues to subsidize.

As a price comparison, I went to Monty's Steakhouse tonight.

Rural Society's 12-Ounce Rib-Eye is $42 a la carte, with sides averaging around $10, sometimes higher.

Monty's 14-Ounce Dry-Aged Rib-Eye is $38 with one side order, their sides only costing $4.

So Monty's steak is 10% cheaper, 10% bigger, dry-aged (is Rural Society's dry-aged?), and comes choice of side order (with any second side order only $4 more) - that's a huge difference in price. You can do the math, but any way you do it, it won't be pretty.

The owner told me this evening that they purchase larger cuts, and butcher (and dry-age) them in-house.

And here's a tip for dr.com diners: The hamburgers served at Monty's during lunch are ground in-house from the trimmed steaks (which they must trim to achieve advertised weight). In other words, you're getting not just scraps, but trimmings for their lunch burgers - and I was specifically told that this is only guaranteed to be true during lunch at the present time - so Monty's hamburgers during lunch may be some of the best burgers in town.

The best values in beverages here are beers - they have a fine selection, and the beers are only $5 each. I got a Gin and Tonic, and felt that it was overpriced for the quality - stick with beer or wine here, or accept that you'll be paying too much.

(Shhhh - about the burgers ... save this valuable factoid for our community, please.)

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We are the first to admit that our service suffered for the past several months due to unexpected events that often cause irrecoverable damage to many who may suffer similar tragedy's. We, however, have been blessed to have survived....and I mean this on several levels which I cannot go into on this forum.

Well, I know, and I'm pleased to say that I've enjoyed Monty's very much recently, and that it's still at the top of the Springfield Dining Guide.

And I'm glad things are better. :)

Cheers, Khash,

Rocks

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I almost hate to dignify this post from a forum of dubious distinction (Fairfax Underground), but a reasonable amount of times the posts are correct.  I tried to copy and paste it here, but that is not happening, at least the way I am attempting.

The post says that Monty's, as well as an Austin Grill (in the same shopping center) are closing down this Spring or Summer.

Can anyone verify this?

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I almost hate to dignify this post from a forum of dubious distinction (Fairfax Underground), but a reasonable amount of times the posts are correct.  I tried to copy and paste it here, but that is not happening, at least the way I am attempting.

The post says that Monty's, as well as an Austin Grill (in the same shopping center) are closing down this Spring or Summer.

Can anyone verify this?

I can verify it one way or the other by tomorrow.

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I can verify it one way or the other by tomorrow. 

Hi Don & Friends.

Not sure where the rumor may have started, but as far as Monty's is concerned, the "why" could be because restaurant traffic has slowed significantly since Fall 2013. Also Monty's image as "high quality yet pocket book friendly" proposition has been gradually replaced with "Special Occasion" & "Pricey" tags.

We have been addressing these issues, along with other hardships we've been dealt, and are seeing encouraging results trending upward. We anticipate improved business to continue through Spring and beyond.

Perhaps your readers could help ensure Monty's success by visiting & sharing their experience with friends. Few would criticize Monty's menu when compared to other fine Steakhouse choices such as The Capital Grille, Palm, Del Frisco's, Morton's, Ruth's Chris, and yes, even second tier Steakhouse restaurants. Our quality ingredients & spectacular Chef Marco's creativity is second to no other concept--and we're right here in West Springfield!!!

Indeed, other than Monty's, there are only 3 other restaurants in the DMV that serve Bone-in Filet Mignon (the other three are The Capital Grille, Palm & Del Frisco's). Rest assured, ours compares favorably with theirs, just much less expensive.

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Hi Don & Friends.

Not sure where the rumor may have started, but as far as Monty's is concerned, the "why" could be because restaurant traffic has slowed significantly since Fall 2013. Also Monty's image as "high quality yet pocket book friendly" proposition has been gradually replaced with "Special Occasion" & "Pricey" tags.

We have been addressing these issues, along with other hardships we've been dealt, and are seeing encouraging results trending upward. We anticipate improved business to continue through Spring and beyond.

Perhaps your readers could help ensure Monty's success by visiting & sharing their experience with friends. Few would criticize Monty's menu when compared to other fine Steakhouse choices such as The Capital Grille, Palm, Del Frisco's, Morton's, Ruth's Chris, and yes, even second tier Steakhouse restaurants. Our quality ingredients & spectacular Chef Marco's creativity is second to no other concept--and we're right here in West Springfield!!!

Indeed, other than Monty's, there are only 3 other restaurants in the DMV that serve Bone-in Filet Mignon (the other three are The Capital Grille, Palm & Del Frisco's). Rest assured, ours compares favorably with theirs, just much less expensive.

This is good news indeed.

And if the rumor that Austin Grill is true, then I'm doubly ecstatic!

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Perhaps your readers could help ensure Monty's success by visiting & sharing their experience with friends.

I had dinner here a couple months ago (my son takes clarinet lessons about ten minutes away, and having a quick meal at the bar fills the time perfectly) - I thought it was just as good as it ever was, and saw no obvious reason why business would have dropped off. If you liked Monty's in 2013, you'll like it now just as much.

During his next lesson, I had dinner at Ledo Pizza across Rolling Road, and although the people there were very nice (it's a surprisingly lively place to watch a sporting event), it wasn't the best culinary choice.

I think it's purely a matter of getting your restaurant in the public eye again, and keeping it there.

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Monty's for brunch on Sunday is a good suggestion because you can order from the lunch and brunch menus.  Plus you get the bread basket with the addicting banana bread.

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Dinner tonight at Monty's was really excellent.

Lady KN and I tucked into a unique pile of fried calamari for our appetizer. I call it "unique" because I had never seen such large rings come out of a steakhouse kitchen before. These rings looked like they were cut fresh from a larger squid, like the variety that Asian places will offer as grilled squid. Served with a nice marinara sauce as well as a habanero-spiked aioli, this calamari had a pleasant chew and was better than any version I've enjoyed within recent memory.

As for the mains, Lady KN ordered the Chilean Sea Bass. It was succulent, fresh, tender and sauced to perfection. I overdid it a bit with a really delicious Argentinian Mixed Grill, which included a fresh chimichurri-slathered NY Strip, Lamb Chop, Back Rib, Chicken and Chorizo -- half of which now awaits me in my refrigerator. In its orignal glory, it is attached. Simply scrumptious, and a deal at $38.

post-3563-0-73856600-1431655803_thumb.jp

Monty's continues to dominate the Springfield dining scene, and I join Khash in hoping for larger crowds to keep this little jewel hitting on all cylinders for many years to come.

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