By Anne DesBrisay
The posh name might suggest a fancy French bistro. Not a bit. Chez Lucien is just an old fashioned sort of pub, handsomely rumpled, with a legion of devoted fans. The fans know how to find it. For the rest of us there’s a speakeasy-ness, an air of discreteness about Lucien. On Murray Street, cross Dalhousie and look for the brown wood addition to a red brick building that sports an unimposing neon “Bar” sign above a small windowed door. If you’ve a yen for a good pub lunch just off the core business of the ByWard Market, you won’t do much better than this place.
Chez Lucien offers uncomplicated pub food of good quality and plenty of beer options on tap. One day I’m going to take the plunge and have the liver and onions and a glass of shiraz, but for the purposes of this “Pick,” I played it safe.
I think I’ve munched my way through all the burgers on offer, but I tend to return to the Bourgeois, for the oozy lengths of brie and roasted pear that top the well-charred patty, which, along with greens, is tucked into a soft, white, sesame-ed bun. I like the fact I get both salad (greens, alfalfa, carrots, red cabbage with a creamy tarragon dressing) AND fries (fresh and soft, thin, and chewy) with my burger. None of that Sophie’s choice ordeal of having to pick one or the other. Civilized that.
Cost: Bourgeois burger with salad and fries, $12.
Open: daily from 11 a.m. to late night. Kitchen closes at 11 p.m.
Chez Lucien, 137 Murray St., 613-241-3533.