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Alex H.
5557 Monkland. Villa-Maria métro BYOB

RESERVATIONS: 486-9300. HOURS: 11:30 a.m.—2:30 p.m. for lunch, Mon.—Fri. 5:30 p.m.—10 p.m., 7 days a week. NO-SMOKING SECTION: Yes. WHEELCHAIRACCESS: Yes. PRICES—TABLE D'HÔTE: $13.90—$16.90, includes soup, salad, or pasta.

This restaurant has been through a number of transformations as of late, going from a BYOB to a licensed resto and, now back again to a BYOB. As well, they've done a redecoration job which highlights two-toned Dijon mustard and antique green walls, separated by a wood coloured wainscotting. The soft lighting is recessed, the tables are burgundy and white, and the gold lamé gathered drapes and the art exposition (most of the works are for sale) will surely pique your interest.

The terrasse, too, is new, with its warm globe lighting and its window boxes with a riot of red coloured flowers. There’s even a moody green awning to make sure your evening isn't interrupted by a sudden downpour.

The food? The ever-attentive Alex himself surveys every customer that comes in from his perch in the kitchen, and he still offers his trademark cuisine du marché on a blackboard that the waiter brings to your table. While his cuisine has a firm foundation in French classics like medaillon de filet de porc aux prunes, the filet de saumon aux deux poivres and the steak maitre d'hôtel, we tend to go for the dishes that have little twists, like the recently tasted medaillon de veau balsamique (subtle, light, but satisfying) or the crevêttes créoles. If this isn't the most elegant food in town, it is a comfort to know that Alex has stayed true to his vision, offering solid, traditional French-influenced comfort food that promises perhaps the best value for money in the city.

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