Restaurants » Barfly on the wall

Bar seen

50 Chestnut Plaza • 232-8380

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Date City checked it out. Saturday, May 4.

Years in business. One.

Capacity. 140.

Age and appearance of crowd. 25 and older, physically and socially diverse. But all seem eager, thirsty, and hungry. And what may come as a cultural mixed blessing: no Cadillac Hotel leftovers. “No real eccentrics at this point,” says bartender Denise. “But that might be fun.” “We seem to have a lot of Eastsiders mixed with a little bit of everything,” says owner Andrea Burke.

Bartender’s most popular drink. Martinis and Margaritas. Montage offers mixed drinks in fishbowls --- glasses so big you can literally put your head in them. It’s probably wise to share one and not go it alone.

Food. Fine dining with new chef Ken Nicolay at the helm. Montage has recently added a pub menu for less adventurous types or for those who just need a snack. Dig the chicken cordon bayou sandwich, dad.

Five songs from the jukebox. Live music only. With the help of music promoter Jeff Springut’s little black book, Montage continues to draw world-class jazz, rock, blues, folk, etc. to its stage. Stellar acoustics and sound system.

Best graffiti in bathroom. “Frank was here” (just kidding). Real clean cans; bordering on hospital clean. This ain’t no dive.

Ability to carry on a conversation. It’s a breeze, unless Link Wray is on stage.

Amount of smoke. A teensy bit smoky in the bar area, but it somehow adds to the mystique.

Thing you don’t know about the place. Used to be the Hawk & Dove back in the 1970s.

Meat market? People already seemed to be paired off for the most part.

Parlor games. “We’d love to, we just don’t have the room,” says Burke.

Best overheard piece of dialogue. “Fishbowls are fun!”

The last word. Rochester’s only real supper club run by people whose noses aren’t completely in the air. Restaurant vet Gerald Scardino, his daughter Andrea Burke, and her husband Albert have successfully blended classy eats with mondo-cool music. Montage is an excellent addition to the burgeoning East End and a swell place for a first, second, or third date.

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