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Jul 30, 2012 11:03 AM

French Bistro

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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  1. 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

      Ariel should be the one your looking for.

      1. re: botamax

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

        1. re: Fintastic

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

      2. How is the bar and restaurant in the Ritz?

        1. 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

            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

              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

                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

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

                  1. re: 514eats

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

                    1. re: Fintastic

                      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

                        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

                          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

                              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.