3237 Sources Blvd (Galerie des Sources Mall)
(corner Sources Boul/Brunswick)
Dollard-Des Ormeaux, Quebec
Telephone : (514) 683-4444
Cost: $ 52.10
Chef Hats: 3.5
The Montreal Foo Foodie is no stranger to Del Friscos in the West Island, having been there many times over the past years since its inception in 2007. But it is not till now that I believe a review is warranted, not only because it has stood the test of time but because it a decent choice on the West Island dining landscape. Over the years, I frequented Del Friscos more because of convenience and proximity to home than anything else. Never really paying attention to detail, I considered it just a local place to grab a quick bite to eat. I also am not a big fan of chain or franchised restaurants as I have stipulated many times. But these days even the best chefs in the city are expanding their brands and have more than one restaurant under their belt. It is the norm these days when running any kind of business.
For those die hard West Island historians, Del Friscos is located in the old locale that once housed East Side Mario’s (circa late 1990’s). The space over the years has been home to many restaurants before and after its many facelifts. Originally part of the space that housed Wings’n’Things in the early 90’s, after its closure it was home to a short-lived steakhouse, which if my memory serves me right, was an early Houston start up. That did not last very long, it was taken over and turned into a Donini’s Pizzeria before East Side Mario’s totally rehabbed the space into a back alley of Little Italy in NYC. I still can remember the décor while dining there, a fake Brooklyn bridge and scenes of famous New York landmarks and how they yelled “TAXI” every time there was an order for pizza. West Islanders can get faddish and theme restaurants were all the rage back then, but it was fun while it lasted and we often dined there we my young daughter who absolutely loved it.
In 2007, Del Friscos turned it into a more serious dining experience to accommodate a different clientele, yet it remains popular with family dining. For those who are not familiar with the west island, Del Friscos is located on the exterior of the Galerie des Sources Mall on the corner of Sources and Brunswick boulevards between Marathon Souvlaki and Elixor restaurants. It has been a fixture on that corner for more than a decade now and has withstood the test of time while others quickly faded. What brings people to Del Friscos is its simplicity, its got a winning formula when it comes to affordable dining at reasonable prices. Del Friscos offers Italian American food in a modern setting. It also has a full-service bar and a terrace for exterior dining in the summer. It is a good restaurant for a quick bite with family before a movie or après dinner drinks with friends. A great lunch spot for the employees of local businesses that have kept Del Friscos busy over its ten-year run.
We decided to re-visit Del Friscos after a long hiatus last week on a Friday evening when we were looking for a pizzeria on the West Island and had run out of options. There is no shortage of pizzerias in the west, as we love our Italian food, but it was long overdue and we were fed up with the other choices in the vicinity after being there too many times. We needed a change. We managed to nab a booth aside the bar as soon as we walked in. We were brought our menus immediately by a very smiley and courteous waitress. Within less than five minutes we were brought our drinks, a glass of Merlot from Sea Ridge California $ 8.00, and a soft drink and our order was taken. We decided to order a Caesar salad $ 11.95 and split a Del Friscos Pizza for $ 16.95.
The wine list is short, but they have some good choices at decent prices and many that go well with pizza. They also have cocktails and beer that could be had at the bar or at your table. The bar section of the restaurant was busy tonight and the music was loud enough to permeate into the dining room, creating a buzz and festive atmosphere. It is not a quiet place and I do not recommend it for a quiet tète a tète. The dining room was filled with people of all ages but as it was 9 p.m., there were no children in sight.
Another waiter served us for the meal part of dinner and he came promptly with a basket of bread and drizzle of olive oil to have with our Caesar salad. The Caesar salad was perfect with a good balance of dressing. Not overly garlicky, acidic or too fishy with anchovies’ slivers, in fact there was none to been seen in the salad and that is probably because many people don’t like them. The salad was light and had the correct amount of parmesan cheese sprinkled on top, with some croutons and an extra slice of plain focaccia pizza to go with it, minus the lemon wedge.
The pizza came served separated, already divided for us. We really enjoyed the flavor and commented on how it tasted like spanakopita. Our waiter smiled at us pleasantly. The Del Friscos pizza comes topped with a mix of feta and mozzarella cheese, spinach and a hint of mint and a dollop of tomato sauce under the toppings. It was a welcome difference from my usual. I had forgotten how good their pizzas were. Our waiter explained it is cooked in wood fired oven. It was not too thin or too thick and doughy. It had the right consistency, crispy on the underside and soft and chewy on the inside. Depending how you like your pizza, this one hit the spot and at its price point its was a good deal.
Our evening was a pleasant one and even though the décor has basically remained the same over the years with a few changes it has kept up its modern look with dark wooden tables and banquettes and subdued lighting. It is casual yet modern chic and it has aged well. After all the times I have visited, it is this evening I noticed its glass and brick encased wine cellar with a plethora of wine bottles its open kitchen with their adage “love more, laugh often, eat well “and for me that says it all. A stress-free evening, close to home to enjoy a good uncomplicated meal, sometimes that’s all I need.