Code Ambiance: Exceptional Wine Cellar & French Cuisine
A love story between a cooking enthusiast and his neighborhood of Griffintown
And for good reason: Bastien Gérard, the manager of this French restaurant, “fell right into it when he was just a child”. The son of butchers, going back 6 generations, he decided to embrace the restaurant business and studied as a chef, waiter and sommelier in France and Germany.
“I wasn’t sure if I wanted to be in the dining room or the kitchen so I chose to do both!”
You can taste his French roots in his cooking!
“They call me Mr. foie gras”; that sets the scene!
100% home-made French cuisine, original and contemporary
Bastien and his team of faithful cooks offer a wide range of meat, fish, but also vegetarian dishes tinged with French flavors and exotic spices.
Between the arugula orange and passion calf heart confit, the timeless salmon tartare, the torchon block of foie gras (recipe made in Alsace!), or even the pork rillettes and paprika dried pork (delicious recipe from his butcher brother in France)… we have more than enough to choose from! Fortunately, Bastien is there to give you expert advice and make your choice easier.
For a long time now his deep involvement with his restaurant, his clientele and even his neighborhood have been indisputable.
The young Frenchman put his suitcases down in Griffintown in 1992 and never left: “When I arrived, I felt at home.” That’s when this long love story began!
He worked lunch every day at this restaurant back then, although it wasn’t his. Then one day his boss asked if he wanted to take ownership.
“I had never thought of having my own restaurant. But my desire for a challenge and adventure was too strong. A week later, everything was settled.”
11 years later and Bastien is still passionately running his restaurant-wine bar in Griffintown. A success that is built upon each year, and we can see why!
At Code Ambiance all dishes are homemade and cooked in a manner that best respects the product. Bastien and Céline, his chef for 6 years now, use sous-vide cooking (vacuum sealed bags in hot water) to keep all the flavors intact. The quality of the food is superior, the result of a long research process for the right producers.
“I select my suppliers according to the freshness of their products, the quality of the meat and their method of production. For example, all our meat comes from the internal parts of the animal, that is to say the best parts.”
What made us practically faint? The tartares! For those who love this type of dish, you won’t be disappointed. Prepared by hand and knife, one is better than the next. We were tempted by the newest addition to the menu, the tenderloin tartare. Since being introduced this past spring it has been a huge hit. The mixture of flavors and the tender meat are both divine!
“The meat comes from a sustainable agriculture farm in New Zealand where the animals are semi-free, which makes all the difference in terms of taste”.
To accompany our delicious food, we followed the sommelier’s advice. A true wine enthusiast, Bastien has grown his cellar over the years and now offers a selection of more than 150 wines from all over the world. Among others, there are several wines exclusive to his restaurant, as well as a large selection of organic wines!
As for the desserts, no chance of going hungry here … A small “foie gras tarte tatin” to finish? Yes, you read correctly! Bastien is just as adventurous in his life as he is with his cooking.
The restaurant also offers a profusion of sorbets, ice cream, tarts and more! Sweet tooths will surely find their poison.
A Griffintown restaurant where you feel right at home
Monsieur foie gras, as his friends call him, brings a touch of warmth to the decor by passing from table to table and sharing anecdotes about wines, his kitchen, etc.
“This is the place to go if you like home but don’t want to be at home. You can hear yourself and your companions even when the room is full, thanks especially to the thoughtful layout that was designed with the help of an artist.”
Overall, it just feels good being here. Is it due to the manager’s energy and kindness, its refined and intimate design or the many wine and culinary finds? Surely the delicate mix of the all three have something to do with it.
We leave you with a new item… in September Bastien will be serving his new house bread and buns… We can’t wait to taste them!
1874, Notre-Dame Street W.