For Ryan Silkey, opening a new restaurant on the main drag of the town he grew up in is special for many reasons.
Randy’s Bistro is named after Ryan’s late dad. It debuted last September on Westminister Avenue in the space that formerly housed Pasteizza. There is a seating capacity for just over 40 inside, a nice bar and a seasonal terrasse on the way. On the latter front, Ryan would like to have one in the front and another in the back.
Ryan was able to persuade his friend Tyler Casey to come aboard as the chef. He most recently ran the kitchen at Sumac in Old Montreal. “I was there for eight years and looking for a new challenge,” he said. “It was not much of a creative outlet for me after all of that time. Here I am part of creating a new menu, with weekly specials.”
Ryan, who attended Edinburgh Elementary School in Montreal West and Centennial Academy in NDG, also worked in a number of restaurants. Most recently he was the chef at Le Bird Bar in Griffintown. He had perfected his skills at the Pearson Adult Professional Cooking program as well as Cordon Bleu Ottawa to earn his pastry diploma. At the age of 38, opening his own dining establishment, seemed like a logical move. It is hard work and long hours. The restaurant is open from noon to 10 pm Tuesdays and Wednesdays and from Noon to 11 pm Thursdays to Saturdays. On Mondays, Ryan and Tyler do inventory, purchase food and undertake prep work.
The restaurant has quickly gained a devoted following in the West End, with many from Montreal West coming by regularly for lunch and dinner. It was one of my regular readers, Carol Rabinovitch, who urged me to sample the cuisine.
Everything here is made from fresh ingredients. I dropped by for lunch and I also took an order to go home later on. Ryan started me off with a piping hot bowl of tomato soup. It was delicious. I then sunk my teeth into their already trademark grilled cheese and bacon sandwich. For dessert, the warm beignets with chocolate and strawberry dipping sauces were oh-so fine. The latter was enough for three people to share.
Later on, we enjoyed a steak bavette with fries and a plain thick-crust pizza with tomato sauce, mozzarella and basil. I have never had a pizza categorized as “plain” so tasty!
There is plenty to choose from on the menu. Besides a weekly table d’hôte, as well as oyster and themed nights, you can enjoy a variety of salads, their popular fish cakes, nachos, the Silk-dil-A fried chicken sandwich, popcorn chicken, chicken wings, chili and whistle dogs, fish and chips, nachos, mussels, short ribs, pasta, some other flavored pizzas and more. The MTL pizza, with grainy mustard bechamel, smoked meat, pickles, mozzarella and red onion, will be one of my future selections.
Randy’s Bistro carries Sleeman beers on tap, as well as Guinness and Sapporo brands, in addition to wine. By the time the terrasse season starts, Ryan hopes to have a permit to sell alcohol outdoors.
Randy’s Bistro is located at 45 Westminster North. Delivery is available via Uber Eats and DoorDash. For more information call (514) 481-7731 or log on to https://randysbistro.wixsite.com/my-site