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French Bistro

markpy Jul 30, 2012 11:03 AM

About 5 years ago I visited Montreal, stayed at the Ritz, and ate at a wonderful french retaurant (maybe it was a bistro) a few blocks from the hotel. I recall the pommes frites were outstanding. Can someone help me recall the name? If not, please suggest a french bistro close to the Ritz as I'll be travelling there next month. Yes, I love french fries, so good FF are a must.

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    botamax RE: markpy Jul 30, 2012 11:17 AM

    Ariel restaurant on 2072 Drummond, just on the corner from the Ritz is very nice. The food is outstanding and the staff extremely nice. However it's very quiet. And they have very good pommes frites!

    3 Replies
    1. re: botamax
      finefoodie55 RE: botamax Jul 30, 2012 12:13 PM

      Ariel should be the one your looking for.

      1. re: botamax
        Fintastic RE: botamax Jul 30, 2012 04:55 PM

        Could definitely be Ariel, but possibly also Entrecote St. Jean? Especially since all they really serve is steak frites...

        1. re: Fintastic
          eat2much RE: Fintastic Aug 1, 2012 12:12 PM

          Entrecote St-Jean has possibly the most mediocre steak in town.

      2. s
        stevewag23 RE: markpy Jul 30, 2012 01:38 PM

        How is the bar and restaurant in the Ritz?

        1. 514eats RE: markpy Aug 1, 2012 10:52 AM

          Ariel is definitely not a bistro. It's more of a wine bar serving light food.

          Not sure what you're talking about, but it could be Alexandre, THE typical French spot downtown.

          10 Replies
          1. re: 514eats
            cherylmtl RE: 514eats Aug 1, 2012 06:26 PM

            Are you talking about the same restaurant? AFAIK, they have a regular menu - I've had full meals there. Perhaps they have a different menu at their bar, or they have changed concepts recently?

            1. re: cherylmtl
              514eats RE: cherylmtl Aug 2, 2012 07:05 AM

              You're right, sorry, my bad. I used to go to it when it was Les Caprices de Nicolas a LONG time ago, before the owners renamed it Ariel. I could have sworn it was a wine bar, but you're right. In any case, it's not really a bistro type of place serving fries.

              1. re: 514eats
                Fintastic RE: 514eats Aug 2, 2012 07:20 AM

                I think what we can decide on is that this could be any number of restaurants, depending on whether or not it was a bistro. Could also be le Pois Penche. Maybe the OP can let us know if any of these places look familiar?

                As for a recommendation, I wouldn't really suggest any of these options. As you're probably aware, the Ritz has been renovating since your last stay there. The new hotel restaurant, opened by NYC superstar Daniel Boulud, may be your best bet for French food in the downtown area. However, they may not have fries..

                1. re: Fintastic
                  514eats RE: Fintastic Aug 2, 2012 07:27 AM

                  Maison Boulud is not a bistro. It's an upscale nouvelle cuisine francaise place. That's why I'm suggesting Alexandre.

                  1. re: 514eats
                    Fintastic RE: 514eats Aug 2, 2012 08:06 AM

                    That's fair. I didn't see the OP's 2nd mention of bistro.

                    1. re: Fintastic
                      markpy RE: Fintastic Aug 3, 2012 10:04 AM

                      None of these restaurants seem familiar to me. Where would you recommend for a bistro within walking distance, though a short cab ride would be acceptable? Gotta have good pommes frites.

                      1. re: markpy
                        514eats RE: markpy Aug 3, 2012 10:14 AM

                        Here are a few bistros/brasseries to try (note: these are very typically French places, not too far from the Ritz, so before everyone starts shitting down a storm on me, keep that in mind):

                        Beaver Hall between Downtown and Old Montreal
                        Holder, Steak-Frites St-Paul or Vallier in Old Montreal
                        Bistro on the Avenue in Westmount, not that good but it's been around forever

                        note: the emphasis here is on casual French food where you would find decent fries, not too far from the Ritz

                        1. re: 514eats
                          SnackHappy RE: 514eats Aug 3, 2012 11:34 AM

                          Note that Steak Frites St-Paul is not a bistro, has a very limited menu and is BYO.

                          If you're willing to take a taxi, I would go to L'Express. My usual bistro pick would be Leméac, but their pommes allumette are not as good as L'Express' pommes frites.

                          1. re: SnackHappy
                            C70 RE: SnackHappy Aug 3, 2012 12:52 PM

                            agree 100%, go to l'express.

                            1. re: SnackHappy
                              causeimhungry RE: SnackHappy Aug 3, 2012 01:23 PM

                              My vote goes to L'Express as well. And it's open late, which is always a plus for me. You'll need to take a short taxi ride (around 7$), but you'll get a much more satisfying meal.

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