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Le Bistro Montage

Name: Le Bistro Montage
Location: 301 SE Morrison Street
Portland, OR 97214
Contact information: 503.234.1324
Web address: https://montage.citysearch.com/
Hours: Monday-Friday 11:30 a.m.- 2:00 p.m., Friday-Saturday 6:00 p.m.- 4:00 a.m., Sunday-Thursday 6:00 p.m.- 2:00 a.m.
Cost: Entrees around $12
Reservation recommended: If you can convince them to give you one
Good for: Loud, raucous dining after midnight
Insider tip: For good Cajun and Creole, go elsewhere. For good fun with a side of food, go to Montage

Review: Cookbook author Faye Levy once said, “No one is indifferent to garlic. People either love it or hate it, and most good cooks seem to belong to the first group.” In the case of Montage, the first group has found a home.

This under-the-bridge bistro beckons the under-30 crowd to late night dining and fun. Who cares if the food is good when there’s a Montage-alternative version of The Last Supper hanging above your head – and the waiters can shape your leftovers into two-foot high aluminum plants?

The later you go to Montage, the longer the wait, so expect to spend some quality time bonding with the type of people you would expect to hang out under a bridge at midnight, smoking cigarettes. There’s not a lot of privacy – long tables are packed and customers are seated side-by-side – look forward to interesting comments coming out of the mouth of your inebriated next-chair neighbor.

The variations of mac-and-cheese make this place famous, but they mix up linguine and jambalaya too. My green basil pesto scallop dish ($12.50) – heavy, like most dishes, on the garlic – would have been fine if it wasn’t served cool. The sauce started to harden around the edges by the time I gave up. Skip the smoked cocktail ($5). The prawns were practically frozen.

When you finish eating, good luck flagging down a server – the lack of interest they take in their customers is notorious. I suggest asking for a bill if and when they come to see if your food is ok, or, more likely, if you want another cocktail.

Le Bistro Montage should definitely be experienced at least once – preferably late at night after a few drinks, when all food tastes amazing and artistically shaped leftovers are the coolest thing you’ve ever seen.