This has to be a short review because there are no photos. No photos because the place is dark as a tomb and I don’t want to be one of those clowns taking flash pictures of my dinner. Good thing we have iPhones so we could use them as flashlights to read the menus.
This is the sister restaurant to Metro in Lafayette. They have a very different ambiance, but the same menu. The Lafayette iteration is much more modern and chi-chi. Metro Montclair is more like an old bar with a good kitchen, and what seem to be the wall hangings from what was the Left Bank when it was in Pleasant Hill–I’m sure I recognize those huge Parisian posters.
Restaurants in places with cold weather have two sets of doors so the whole place doesn’t get a blast of frigid air everytime somebody enters. The night we were there, I wished Metro had them, too. We were seated right in the front, and froze with every entry and exit. I think I will be quite literally a fair weather friend of this bistro.
I started with the salad Lyonaisse (which I think should be salade Lyonaisse, to be consistently French), a delightful bowl of frisee topped with a poached egg–breaking the yolk and stirring coats the frisee and makes a dressing. I wasn’t a fan of the extra-hard bread slices passing for croutons, but loved the rest.
Gail and Beth, the Travel Goddess, both had the pork schnitzel and scarfed it down. A pounded pork cutlet breaded and fried, served with mustard sauce, accompanied by braised red cabbage and roasted potatoes, this is the kind of dish you rarely see anymore and it will remind you of your youth and cold winter nights.
I had the gnocchi Parisienne, potato pasta with butternut squash, toasted pumpkin seeds and manchego cheese. It was wonderful, and I kept biting into tiny toasted sage leaves which just lit up my mouth with joy.
Service is decent, but the iced tea is more of that fancy mango hibiscus broccoli stuff instead of just plain Lipton, the way God intended, so they lose a point.
Montclair is only about 4 blocks big, and the parking is horrendous. I’d go again just for the gnocchi, but not until the weather is warmer.