Changes You’ll Notice at Restaurants Post-COVID

The coronavirus pandemic has been around for a few months now, and businesses are figuring out how to reopen as safely as possible. Clearly, this is important if we all want to get back to work and back to our lives. But you may not know what to expect when you visit your favourite places going forward. For example, going shopping for clothes or visiting your dentist may require some extra precautions for you to think about. The same is true at your favourite local restaurants. When you know more about what restaurants are changing, you can feel confident going out as safely as possible.




These days, you’re going to see people wearing masks pretty much everywhere you go. Therefore, the next time you show up at Rib ‘n Reef or other restaurants in Montreal, you can expect the servers and staff to all be wearing masks. In addition, guests may be expected to wear masks when they’re not seated at their tables. This helps make restaurants safer environments, so we can all enjoy going out and chowing down on our favourite foods again.


Social Distancing


We all want some more space, whether we’re shopping at the grocery store or at an in-person work meeting. Putting more space between people can help slow the spread, which keeps us all safer. Local restaurants like Rib ‘n Reef are committed to this level of safety, so all diners can enjoy their meals safely and comfortably. Therefore, you might notice some more space in between the tables. Just think … this lets you carry on your conversations in a more private environment. That can’t be a bad thing, right?


You May Want to Avoid Large Dinner Parties


Perhaps you want to go out with your family members or meet up with a few close friends for dinner. However, you may want to avoid dining out in very large parties, especially if everyone will be crowded around the table.


Get Your Own!


Don’t you hate it when you order something, and it looks so good that everyone takes a bite off your plate? You’re all for sharing, but there has to be a limit. You shouldn’t be punished for picking the most delicious item on the menu, after all. Luckily for you, sharing food may not be a great idea right now. But there’s an easy way around this. Everyone can simply order their own dishes. We won’t tell anyone that you really didn’t want to share your juicy steak anyway.


Sometimes, you just need to get out of the house and enjoy a delicious meal with the people you love most. When you want to eat out but still enjoy the safest experience possible, you should make a reservation at Rib ‘n Reef. We are working hard to ensure our customers and staff stay safe and healthy. As always, you can expect our flavorful signature dishes, attentive service, and relaxing atmosphere for your next special occasion … or your next Saturday night.

How Restaurants Are Changing in the Time of COVID-19

Steakhouse Open Montreal

These days, everything looks a bit different. We’re all getting used to a new normal, and Rib ‘N Reef Steakhouse is no different. Not only is it important for companies to keep delivering the same high-quality service you’re used to, but you should also expect a level of safety when you visit your favourite local spots. Let’s take a look at some of the changes you might expect when you visit a restaurant like Rib ‘N Reef in town. It may just make you feel better about going out for some dinner … or just a nice cigar.


Physical Distancing


If you’re like a lot of people out there right now, you don’t want to spend a lot of time in very close proximity to others. It just doesn’t make a lot of sense. Instead, you’ll probably want to stick with your party and that’s it. That’s why you’ll notice more physical distance at a lot of restaurants. When you visited Rib ‘N Reef in the past, you might have been closer to other nearby diners. Now, you can expect a little bit more space.




Everyone’s wearing a mask these days … Are you? Experts agree that masks are critical to slowing the spread of COVID-19, so you’ll probably notice a lot more masks when you go out, whether you’re at Rib ‘N Reef or just going to the grocery store. This is a good thing because it means that other people and staff members at the restaurant care about your health. Want to make sure you do the same? You’ll want to bring a mask with you to wear when you’re not eating, drinking, or smoking. It’s the right thing to do.




You can rest assured that the team at Rib ‘N Reef is taking handwashing very seriously. They’re lathering up on a regular basis, which is one of the top ways you can prevent the spread of coronavirus. Of course, staff members did this before, as it’s important in keeping your food sanitary, pandemic or not. But now, things have been stepped up a notch. Knowing that your servers and the cooks in the kitchen are really going above and beyond when it comes to handwashing and hygiene should make you feel safer going out and enjoying everything you used to love doing before the beginning of the pandemic.


It’s true that these are hard times for all of us, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be able to grab a delicious meal outside of the house. At the end of the day, it really all just comes down to making sure you stay as safe as possible. When you know a location is doing everything possible to keep its customers safe, you can feel confident about going out and enjoying spending time with friends and family. When you’re ready for your next dining experience, remember to reserve a table at Rib ‘N Reef.

Wait a minute – Dessert Wines?

Dessert wine

Rib n Reef would not be considered the best Montreal steakhouse if we did not offer the complete package. Needless to say, desserts are an important part of this package.


When you think of wine, you may imagine a bottle of Riesling to go along with your seafood dinner, or a hearty red wine to accompany your favorite cut of steak. You may even imagine a hard day at the office, and the salivation that happens at the mere thought of a glass of wine once you walk in the door. But believe it or not, there is a whole class of dessert wines that can cap off any good meal. Dessert wine, which gets its name from being extra sweet, is produced using extra sweet wine grapes – to make these grapes sweet, the fermentation process is stopped right before the yeast turns the grape sugar into alcohol. At vineyards across the globe, this fermentation process is stopped by “super-cooling” or adding brandy to the wine. Either way, the end result is pretty sweet (literally.) Although there are so many different dessert wines, they generally fall into five distinct styles: sparkling, lightly sweet, richly sweet, sweet red, and fortified.


Sparkling dessert wine, which has an abundance of bubbles and high acidity, taste less sweet then they actually are because of those two qualities. Some grape varieties smell sweeter than others, and there is a wide array of flavors and profiles that come from sparkling dessert wine. Some labels given to sparkling dessert wine include amabile (slightly sweet in Italian,) Doux (sweet in French,) and Moelleux (this means sweet on some French wine labels.)


Lightly sweet dessert wines are perfect for a hot summer day – they are refreshingly sweet, and often have less acidity than sparkling dessert varieties. These wines are dripping with fruity flavors that pair well with vanilla-based desserts, but also pair well with fruit-based desserts. Many of these wines are of German origin, including Riesling and Gewürztraminer. Another lightly sweet wine, Müller-Thurgau, is a lesser-known German variety.


Richly sweet wines are made with very high quality grapes and are produced in an unfortified style (meaning the fermentation process was not interrupted.) These wines can age for 50 or more years (unlike Riesling, which is best served fresh,) because of their sweetness and acidity. Ice wine, or Eiswein in German, is extremely rare and expensive because it is produced from grapes that have been frozen over and are often harvested at night. This variety is rich, honeyed, and very sweet.


Although the sweet red wine is on decline because of commercialization by inexpensive brands (such as Barefoot,) there are still a number of Italian varieties that are worth trying and are made with esoteric grapes, such as Lambrusco, Brachetto d’Acqui, and Recioto della Valpolicella, which is incredibly bold and rich.


Last, we have fortified wine – because this wine is often mixed with brandy to impede the fermentation process, it will have a higher alcohol percentage; so watch out if you have already consumed wine with dinner and plan on driving home! These wines, which include Port and Sherry, have bold, rich flavor profiles that make them a perfect end to a meal.

The Best Wine and Seafood Combinations

Wine and Seafood Combination

Everybody knows that Rib n Reef has the best steak in Montreal, but our Seafood is pretty great too. When you think of the best foods for summer, a few things may come to mind – whether it’s a salad with fresh dressing, a glass of white wine, or a steak cooked in a loved one’s backyard, your taste buds will surely be salivating. But during the summer, seafood (including fish and caviar) may be the best bet when combating the heat.


The fresh, vibrant flavors of tuna tartare and salmon tartare are perfect for summer. Because these dishes (which are hand chopped and served at your table) are rich and tuna has a fatty quality, Sauvignon Blanc pairs perfectly with tuna tartare. For salmon tartare, which has a different yet equally delicious taste, Sauvignon Blanc and Riesling are perfect matches. For these dishes, you want to avoid ordering or a wine with residual sugar or pronounced fruitiness, as this will distract from the dish’s flavor. If you loved tuna tartare at the restaurant, you can make your own at home to dazzle your dinner guests. You will need:


– ½ sheet gelatin
– 1 avocado
– 3 ounces yuzu juice
– 1 small red onion, finely diced
– 1 lime, juiced
– Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
– 8 ounces sashimi grade yellow fin tuna, diced into ¼-inch cubes
– 2 radishes, thinly sliced
For the dressing, you will need:
– 1 tablespoon wasabi powder
– 1 tablespoon mustard, Dijon-style
– ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
– ½ cup white balsamic vinegar
– 1 teaspoon Sriracha sauce
The dressing for this recipe can be prepared the day before you serve the dish, and is prepared by simply whisking all of the ingredients together. The full recipe can be found here.


Aside from tuna and salmon tartare, another perfect summertime appetizer is calamari. The sweet-tasting squid, which is floured and fried, pairs perfectly with wines with a bright, citrusy flavor such as Pinot Noir or Chardonnay. In this case, you want the wine you select to play off of the fried flavor of the calamari – you want to avoid ordering any wines that are too dry, or heavy wines like Cabernet Sauvignon that may overpower the taste of the dish. Another perfect appetizer, Oysters Rockefeller, tastes perfect with a vintage Sauvignon Blanc. The fruity profile of this wine pairs well with the baked oysters.


Once you’ve moved past appetizers, there are still a number of seafood options you can order for lunch or dinner – and are equally perfect for hot or tepid days alike. If you order a halibut filet, which has an excellent yet briny flavor profile, pair it with a Riesling or Chardonnay – the vivid, tangy flavors will play off the shellfish well. More hearty fish, such as salmon and halibut, have a flavor profile that can accommodate both white and lighter red wines.

A beginner’s guide to DIY steak rubs

Steak Rub

Steak already tastes delicious on its own, or simply sprinkled with salt and pepper. But to take your steak game to the next level, why not experiment with steak rubs you can make at home? By combining simple ingredients (many of which you can find around your house,) you can quickly create a plethora of flavors for your next barbeque or grilling session. It is important to note that any of the below options for DIY steak rubs have different flavor profiles – and the rubs can be used depending on what kind of flavor you’re looking for, or the occasion you’re serving the meat for.


For grilled or smoked meats, you can create a “sweet rub” for your steak, using a combination of sweet and savory ingredients. Below is a starter recipe you can use as-is, or adapt to whichever ingredients you have on hand/would like to use.


  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons coarse sea salt
  • 3 teaspoons cracked black pepper
  • 3 teaspoons of paprika (you can use mild or hot, whichever you prefer)
  • 3 teaspoons of garlic powder (avoid using garlic salt, as you’ve already added salt earlier) you can also use fresh, minced garlic
  • 3 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1-2 teaspoons ground mustard
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 dash of basil


In addition to “sweet” rubs, there are also savory rubs, which are perfect for everyday cooking and special events alike. Even though many rub recipes say to add X amount of any given ingredient to the mix, you can pick and choose which ingredients you would like more or less of depending on your personal taste.


  • 4 tablespoons coarse sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon cracked black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon dehydrated onion
  • ½ tablespoon oregano
  • ½ tablespoon garlic
  • ½ tablespoon red pepper flakes
  • ½ tablespoon thyme
  • ½ tablespoon rosemary
  • ½ tablespoon coriander
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seed

Both of these recipes can be kept in an airtight jar after initial use, because each batch makes enough rub for about 20 steaks, depending on how much seasoning you usually add. If your guests love the rub you’ve made, you can always give some to take home with them or even gift it for birthdays or Father’s Day. When paring these steak rub recipes with other foods, be sure to keep the type of steak rub you’ve used when serving other dishes. If you’ve used a sweet rub, shy away from serving too much sweet fruit (even though it’s summer,) so your meal isn’t tipped towards the sweet side of things. In terms of summertime drinks, you can pair these recipes with wine (depending on the cut of steak) or mixed drinks. Steak rubs offer the perfect opportunity for you to get adventurous with ingredients, and utilize spices you may have growing in your garden or greenhouse during warmer months. Experiment away, and see which rub recipe is best for you!

Perfecting your Summer Barbecue

BBQ for Summer

Now that we’re in the heart of summer barbecue season – you may be asking yourself, “how can I throw the best summer bash?” Whether you’re celebrating a birthday, marriage, or anniversary, a summer barbecue is the best way to entertain guests with a whole slew of steak cuts and (plenty) of cold drinks. Many people make the mistakes when throwing a barbecue, so it’s best to keep a few things in mind when planning your party.


As we’ve written about before, selecting the right cuts of steak for your barbecue is important  but as the year goes on and temperatures change, it’s important to realize how your meat selection should change as well. Just as you wouldn’t serve Moscow Mules in the blistering July heat, you wouldn’t want to serve a very fatty cut of steak during the summer either – keep your cuts mean, lean, and full of summertime flavor. Even though your steaks arrive perfectly from the butcher, many people overlook adding rubs to their meat; this can greatly reduce the amount of flavor in the food you serve. Adding flavor to your steaks is incredibly easy – all you need are herbs, citrus, butter, or any combination of the three you wish to add. Some people also add caramelized onions to their steaks to add an extra layer of flavor. Because it is the summer, citrus flavors like lemon pair very well with summertime cuts. Because steak is often the “star” of your barbecue, some hosts forget about the other food they will serve to go along with the fresh meat. But contrary to popular belief, other food options aren’t as difficult as you may think. While your grill is already working to cook your steaks, corn on the cob is a summertime favorite. You can even experiment with different flavors, such as adding parmesan cheese or different kinds of butter. For guests that may be vegetarian or vegan, one of the biggest (and most obvious) mistakes you can make is not having anything for them. Grilled peppers, salad, and even vegetarian burgers can be great substitutes for the cuts you’re preparing for the rest of your guests.


Where some guests may be vegetarian or vegan, some of your guests may also not drink. Serving non-alcoholic drinks such as freshly-made lemonade or different sodas can give your guests who don’t drink alcohol options. For those who do drink, creating cocktails for each person may become laborious – for larger summer gatherings, you can create a punchbowl-style drink that can serve many guests at once. You can do this by adding different alcohol, juices, and fresh fruit to create a delicious beverage. Even though it is stressful to think about – there is one circumstance that can negatively impact your barbecue – rain. If you were planning on grilling/hosting guests outside, rain could make this very difficult. Luckily, there are many options for indoor grilling, such as an electric grill top or grilling pan.

Did your barbecue get rained out? What to do next

BBQ with rain

Often, life doesn’t go as planned. Whether you arrived late at the airport and missed your flight, forgot your anniversary, or planned a barbecue but it began to rain uncontrollably, these setbacks can often bring on headaches and embarrassment. Luckily, for the latter of these incidents, there are many steps (or alternatives) you can take to rectify the situation.


So you started up the grill, purchased two pounds of beautiful porterhouse steaks, and have bottles of vino ready to pour, but right as your guests arrived the heavens opened up in a torrential downpour. “What do I do now?” you may ask yourself. Bringing your barbecue inside may seem like a large obstacle to overcome, but with the right tools and mindset, can be accomplished in routine time.


Grilling inside is very, very feasible – but don’t forget, you’re still grilling. Although this may sound trite, many indoor grillers walk away from their pans and return to find burnt meat or even fires. When grilling inside, it’s important to remember that fumes and smoke won’t be carried away with the wind; these fumes and columns of smoke will rise to the ceiling of your kitchen and have the potential to set off fire alarms (which isn’t exactly a good thing while entertaining guests.) Indoor grilling pans can’t drain liquids as well as outdoor grills, so baste your cuts sparingly and be sure to drain any excess liquid from marinated meats. To lessen the amount of smoke produced by your cuts, be sure to trim excess fat off of steaks and chops before putting them into a pan.


You have two main options for indoor grilling – in a grill pan, or on an indoor electric grill. One of the best ways to simulate an outdoor grilling experience while inside is by using an indoor electric grill (such as this one ) As opposed to other indoor grilling techniques, this grill has elevated grates over a heating surface, so the food you cook is closer in taste to that of a grill. Because the heated surface is raised as opposed to in a pan (another common method for indoor grilling) you don’t have to worry about trapped moisture or grease that has the potential to catch on fire. If you don’t have an electric grill and are in a pinch, you can use a grilling pan. The indents in the pan can give cuts of meat that signature grilled “look,” and produce a similar flavor profile. As mentioned before, however, watch out for trapped moisture that can steam your meats as opposed to grilling them. Just be consciences while using a grill pan.


All in all, a rained-out barbecue isn’t the end of the world, but you have to know how to adapt to not being able to use your outdoor grill.

Marinades and cocktails to step up your dinner party game

Marinate Steak

Grilling is an inevitable part of the summer – although this may sound like an ominous thing to say, inevitable doesn’t carry any negative connotations in this scenario; who doesn’t love a steak during the summer? But when faced with hosting an evening Soirée, spicing up your steaks (literally) with a fresh, summertime marinade can make all the difference. In addition to marinades, pairing your steaks with tropical cocktails can leave unmeasurable smiles on your guests’ faces.


There is no one-step process for marinating a steak – there are seemingly thousands of iterations of spices and dressings you can use to increase your cuts’ flavor. During the summer, however, avoid using hearty dressings. Take advantage of fresh herbs, spices, and citrus while they’re in season! Adding lemon juice to your marinade can accent your steak’s flavor, and herbs such as fresh basil, white pepper, minced garlic, or even orange zest can add a pop of flavor to your cuts. A few hours before grilling your steaks, fill up a plastic bag or baking dish with your desired combination of dressings and spices – don’t over-do it, though. Steaks are already packed with robust flavors, and drowning them (for lack of a better word) can mask some of those naturally-occurring flavors.


Where there are delicious cuts, there is bound to be an ample supply of drinks for your guests. It’s important to note that it’s summertime, so avoid drinks that you would serve in the dead of winter. Look, I enjoy a Moscow Mule as much as the next person does, but there is a time and place for that soul-warming beverage. For summertime, as mentioned before, take advantage of fresh fruits and seasonal ingredients to craft the perfect beverage. There are a few drinks, however, that you should avoid when serving steak, solely for the reason that they don’t pair well with meat. Although the summer heat begs for the refreshing taste of a margarita, drinks containing tequila don’t match well with steaks because of their acidic nature. Look for something more along the lines of a Manhattan or Old Fashioned – something that puts hair on your chest, but doesn’t distract from the steak. When all else fails, have a cooler full of beer handy.


Although these may seem like loosey-goosey suggestions for your dinner party, they are anything but. What these suggestions entail is you putting a little more thought into your party. Yes, serving steaks and wine is a very refined choice to begin with, but taking that extra step will pay off (and your guests will notice, too.) If you’re unsure about what you should be serving, or what drinks to pair with your choice steak cuts, ask someone. Don’t fall into the trap of being someone who is afraid of asking for advice or guidance when having people over. Whether you’re looking for a marinade recipe or the perfect cocktail to serve, asking a bartender or store clerk may set you on the right path.

How to Create the Best Summer Barbeque

Summer BBQ

Summertime – the blistering heat may ward off some, but nothing beats the taste, smell, and ambiance of a summer barbeque. Although some people consider “throwing a barbeque” to be an easy task, there are many steps you can take to bring your barbeque to the next level.


The centerpiece of any barbeque is the meat, of course. Some steaks, such as rib roasts and tenderloin roasts, aren’t the best choices for summer – if you’re looking for something that both fills the stomachs of your guests but doesn’t cause any heat-related illness due to over-eating, lean towards asking your butcher to turn one side of the short loin into porterhouse steaks, and the other side cut into top loin and filet mignon steaks. If you want to make sure grill newbies don’t over-cook your cuts, have your butcher cut the steaks into 38mm thick pieces.


Where there is steak, there is also bound to be wine. Your guests will most likely bring bottles of whatever they had laying around the house, which can pose a tough dilemma to you – do I serve what they brought even though it doesn’t go along with the cuts I’m serving, or do I “save it for later,” and bring out my bottles? If you know which wines pair best with different steaks, you may be able to save yourself some embarrassment. If your guests bring a California Zinfandel, for example, this will pair well with porterhouse steaks due to its moderate tannins and high acidity. Practically perfect with any cut is Cabernet Sauvignon, which has a higher alcohol content and high tannins which can cut through the fat of your steak and make the wine taste less bitter. If wine isn’t for you, there are still many options you can provide for your guests – serving Manhattans with steak can complement well, especially when using an aged bourbon or rye.


Last and certainly not least, you will need to serve other food at your barbeque (even though the wine and steak will be the main players in your summer Soirée.) For those who prefer something green with their steak, salads with a simple balsamic vinaigrette will pair well, because of the acidity of the dressing. Avoid heavy dressings such as ranch when serving steak – the creamy, thick texture of ranch and other fatty dressings will coat the palate and distract from the meat. In addition to salad, a number of fruits pair well with steak, especially those that are much sweeter, such as kiwifruit, pineapple, and mango.


All in all, sit back, relax, and watch your summer gathering come together. As long as you pair everything just right, your guests will leave with full stomachs and smiles on their faces. Once your guests have been fed and the conversation is flowing, finish off the night with a cigar to seal the deal – your friends and family members will come back for more.

The Best Steaks, Wines, and Cigars for the Father Who Does it All

Montreal steakhouse

With father’s day fast approaching (June 17 in case you didn’t know,) you may be prepared to walk into the store and buy what you always do for your dad – whether it’s a new tie, funny socks, or a gift card to a home improvement store, these gifts can seem impersonal and rushed. If you’re looking for something that will knock your dad’s socks off and show him how much you care about all he’s done for you, consider stepping up your gift-giving game with steaks, wines, or cigars.


Treating your dad to a steak dinner, or even offering to man the grill for the night, will take some of the pressure off of your dad and allow him to enjoy the night. If you’re grilling at home, be sure to ask for cuts about 40mm thick – even if you’re a newcomer at the grill, this size will guarantee you won’t overcook the meat. In terms of summer cuts, porterhouse and filet mignon are two classic summer cuts. Roasting steak with vegetables or even lemon (depending on the cut) can bring your Father’s Day dinner an extra summer flair. Just be careful to pair your steak with the right wine; otherwise, the taste of the meat and wine will be altered.


Although wine may sound like a strange choice for Father’s Day, especially given the connotations of it as a “girly drink,” this isn’t the case whatsoever. Wine can be paired perfectly with everything from steaks to cigars and can help ward off the wretched summer heat. Crisp, light wines are best for summer, so this usually means white wine. Even though this may be the case, chilled, easy-to-drink red wines are also perfect for hot days. Some of the best wines for summer (and for your hardworking dad) include Pinot Grigio, Riesling, Chardonnay, Rosé, and even Merlot. This helpful tool can also help you pick the best wine based on someone’s personality.


After a long day of sitting out in the sun, mowing the lawn, or standing behind a hot grill, the perfect nightcap while socializing or watching the sunset is a cigar. Although the summer heat may be dreadful, enjoying a cigar can help you escape from it all, plus – they make great gifts. While sitting by the fire, a La Dueña cigar is the perfect pairing for summer nights. It has a medium body and hints of cocoa and leather. The cigar also has a mild spice to it, which helps compliment the scent of burning wood. They can be purchased here. If you’re looking to spend some quality time with your dad on Father’s Day over a glass of scotch and a lively conversation, try picking up a La Gloria Cubana Serie R Maduro. These medium-bodied cigars are a little on the strong side and are meant to be enjoyed over a long walk in the park or over a delicious steak dinner. They can be purchased here.