Most people know Montage as the place to order alligator. It’s the place with a flaming kitchen. The place where grizzled chefs and baristas shout “oyster shooters!” at the highest of decibels late into the night. What most people don’t know is that Montage offers a killer breakfast on Saturday and Sunday, with most items priced under $6. Most people don’t even know it’s open during the daylight hours at all. Who knew you could get brunch under the Morrison Bridge?
Inside, hundreds of dusty wine bottles line up under a strange rendition of “The Last Supper” while beaten can lids cover ancient cracks in the floor. All of this melds into the dimly lit atmosphere that Montage is known for, yet in the daylight, it is delightfully, and surprisingly, exposed. The white tablecloths look stunning in the daytime; the forks perfectly aligned on crisp napkins. Service is excellent, with a lovely waitress in a striped dress frequently checking in on us.
I sample a few dishes, including the savory Eggs and Grits, for $4.50. It is comforting and not overly buttery. Over easy eggs and tart cheese permeate the hominy grits rather than over encompass the dish entirely. The Banana Rum French Toast with crème anglaise sauce, maple syrup, and strawberries is excellent, priced at $5. The sauce and strawberries pleasantly accompany each bite of warm toasted goodness covered in powdered sugar. Even their freshly squeezed orange juice impresses. I grew up with navel orange trees and had the luxury of my Dad’s freshly squeezed juice every morning, so I have extremely high standards.
Montage carries a drink so peppery and strong that I literally “whooped” out loud. It’s called La Bonita Borracha – a kick in the pants drink that you are almost forced to take down with one closed eye. It is a strong blend of Aviation gin, Sriracha hot sauce, lemon, lime, and mint, served on the rocks with a salted rim for $7. Then there’s the amusingly titled, “Emergen-C You Next Tuesday” with tangerine Emergen-C, Loft Tangerinecello, lemon, and sparkling wine, for $6. Delicious.
Not to differ from their usual entertaining standards, Montage transforms your leftovers into an aluminum sculpture of whatever animal, vegetable or appendage they think fits your personality. I left with a snail.