City bistro aims to be an ‘everybody place’

  • Restaurant team: Jean-Claude Garzia, left, with team members inside the newly-opened JC’s Bistro, on Victoria Street (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

    Restaurant team: Jean-Claude Garzia, left, with team members inside the newly-opened JC’s Bistro, on Victoria Street (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

  • On the menu: crčme brűlée (Photograph supplied)

    On the menu: crčme brűlée (Photograph supplied)

  • New look: JC’s Bistro on Victoria Street (Photograph supplied)

    New look: JC’s Bistro on Victoria Street (Photograph supplied)

  • On the menu: grilled salmon, green pea riso (Photograph supplied)

    On the menu: grilled salmon, green pea riso (Photograph supplied)

  • New look: JC’s Bistro on Victoria Street (Photograph supplied)

    New look: JC’s Bistro on Victoria Street (Photograph supplied)

  • On the menu: chicken fruit and walnut salad (Photograph supplied)

    On the menu: chicken fruit and walnut salad (Photograph supplied)

  • On the menu: roast rack of lamb with fresh herbs (Photograph supplied)

    On the menu: roast rack of lamb with fresh herbs (Photograph supplied)


Not everyone has the luxury of a long lunch break, which is why a new bistro in Hamilton is focused on efficient service and menu items that can be prepared with minimal waiting time.

A month after opening, the set-up at JC’s Bistro is proving to be to the liking of customers.

“We have got great comments. It is a people place,” said owner Jean-Claude Garzia.

It is at the location of the former Victoria Grill, at 29 Victoria Street, next door to JC’s Café, which opened a year ago.

Customers can sit inside or on the outdoor patio area, and lunch is served Monday to Friday between 11am and 2.30pm, while dinner is served Thursday through Saturday from 6.30pm to 9pm.

The bistro attracts office workers at lunchtimes. It has tailored its offerings and service to meet the requirements of customers who often have only a limited amount of time to sit down to eat.

“We understand that most of the customers are office people,” said Titas Sukys, who is maitre d’hotel at Beau Rivage Restaurant. “You are not going to have to wait too long [for your food].”

The bistro is the sister restaurant of Beau Rivage at Newstead Belmont Hills Hotel and Spa. They are both owned and managed by the J&L Group Ltd, as are Bistro Zanzibar and JC’s Café.

Cesar D. Domingo, executive chef of J&L Group, said: “We are having healthy menu, tuns, multigrain breads. We are offering the light-dressed salad, and mouthwatering pies.”

Also on the menu are appetisers, including tuna carpaccio, crab cake, as well as soup of the day and gourmet sandwiches. The dinner menu includes steak, lamb, salmon, catch of the day and pasta dishes.

Food is only part of the story. Award-winning chef Mr Garzia opened JC’s Café last year with the intention of also reopening the adjacent restaurant space once it had secured a licence to serve alcohol.

During the past 12 months the old restaurant has been visually transformed by Mr Garzia’s wife Veronique. The look and feel of the eatery owes much to her designs and selections, including eye-catching multicoloured hardwood floor, tables and chairs, lighting, table mats and large monochrome and colour wall images of Paris.

The restaurant is on one floor. An old elevator that once connected to other parts of the building now houses a display cabinet.

Mr Garzia, owner of J&L Group, is a celebrated chef. He won the Best Chef of France title in 1996. He is delighted with the new restaurant and the feedback from customers, saying the feel of the place reminded him of Le Figaro, the Reid Street eatery that closed in 2003.

Duane Villagracia, chef in charge at JC’s Bistro, said the restaurant’s reputation was quickly spreading through word of mouth.

While Mr Garzia added: “It’s simplicity, but elegant food. It is very cool. It’s an ‘everybody place’.

“Here at JC’s Bistro, we do everything with passion, love and commitment. We always do our best for our guests to satisfy their needs.”

On Facebook there is a JC’s Café page, which also features the menus for JC’s Bistro

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Published Aug 19, 2019 at 8:00 am (Updated Aug 18, 2019 at 11:55 pm)

City bistro aims to be an ‘everybody place’

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