Disclaimer: Statements are my opinion and my opinion only.
My POV: I don't mind paying more for food if it is a restaurant that friends and I can chill at for long periods of time. I believe average expected service deserves 15% (poor service half the standard and excellent service twice the standard). Expensive tiny meal dishes better make my mouth go "wow", but I'd only try it once. I'm not a fan of eating for volume, I like to feel good while leaving. With this self opinion out of the way, let's get on to the review of Fibo Resto Loft.
Location: You might get lost trying to find it with it's small paper size advertisement on the window. It's also in the same building as l'assommoir which might be confusing. The door is small and you have to go up about 4 flights of stairs to get to the top loft.
Atmosphere: It was 'loft' like with a nice big sofa at the entrance and dining tables towards the back. Brick walls and lots of wood. Quiet place with lots of space for guests. You won't find yourself crowded there. You can have drinks at the bar or chill on the cough if you just want to lounge around.
Staff knowledge: We were greeted by the host and also waiter. He explained how things worked and also explained the meals from the menu and also in detail when it was served. The bartender (and assumed owner?) was making crazy cocktails with liquid nitrogen, making sure to detail his very steps and interact with the clients. New cutlery for each round of dish served.
Food: It's not your typical restaurant, but when it comes to taste, Fibo does it well. Their methods of cooking are what you would see from a food network show (like Iron Chef America). As I was a accompanied by a group of friends, we managed to taste 70% of the menu. Meal preparation was new to us, taste was a new experience as well. Some appetizer dishes were good value (Duck drum sticks), and others were expensive (mini fois gras burger). Tartar was on price with just about any other type of proper sit down restaurant, but like I said, we were a group so we ordered 1 of everything.
Hungry now now now: The wait times were reasonable, we were about the 4th group in for a 6:30pm sitting. We made our order then headed to the bar for about 10mins of being dazzled by fun cocktails. Appetizers came in a couple minutes after. Main course was a bit of a wait and dessert was "did they forget about us" type of feeling, but it wasn't that long. From a 6:40pm sit down we left almost 2.5 hours later. After dessert, we had to track down the host for the bill as no one was passing by (I expect it was because they felt that we were just relaxing and talking, vs kicking us out, fine understood).
Final comments: Not all restaurants do this, but I would like to congratulate the Chef on coming out and meeting the clients. Mad respect for people that love their work as much as he does. It's a special type of training and cuisine that he is preparing, not many restaurants are like this in Montreal so if you want to keep doing what you love, make sure the people love the restaurant back. Also all members of the staff helped to clear tables for clients and it was not just 1 persons job, it was team work for the better experience. Fun experience, relaxed place, comfy chairs and quiet place to talk. I don't think it's a restaurant that I would visit to have "this meal, or that meal" but I would definitely go back for appetizers and drinks with some friends. I prefer tapas style anyways.
Overall rating: From my experience, a 4/5 is justified although it is held on by the sweat and tears of these fine staff workers. If any aspect of the business slips, food value, food experience or the service attitude changes, it would be a fall in rating. Pushing a 4.0/5 will also be difficult. Maintain what you have and you'll be good.
Cliff notes: Quiet place with coolcrazy drinks (entertainment) and some reasonable taste/portion/valued menu items. Pleasant small staff and detailed explanation of what you're about to eat. FOOD IS ART, DO YOU WANT TO EAT IT?
Thank you to the staff and accommodating our request regarding gift certificate. It made our experience much more enjoyable and expect to see us return.
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