Award-winning chef Jamie Knott to open a French bistro in Jersey City

Esther Davidowitz

Acclaimed chef Jamie Knott of fine-dine restaurant Saddle River Inn and Saddle River Cafe is set to open a French bistro in fall in Jersey City, right behind Cellar 335, his funky, boisterous Asian restaurant and tiki bar.

“It’s been a dream for a long time,” said Knott, who had been eyeing Madame Claude Bis, a neighborhood French restaurant that opened its doors in 2002. When its owners, Mattias Gustafsson and Alice Troïetto, decided to retire, Knott said they called him and his business partner, Robert Palmer.

The new restaurant’s name with be Madame; the logo, Knott said, will feature the former restaurant’s name with the word “Claude” crossed out. “It’s really cool,” he said.

As for the food?

“Think Pastis in Jersey City,” Knott said, referring to the beloved Meatpacking District French restaurant birthed by colorful New York City restaurateur Keith McNally, who also owns Balthazar and Minetta Tavern. “And think Blue Ribbon.” he said, especially its decor: subdued lighting, red velvet banquettes, mustard hued walls. “Dark and sexy,” he said.

Jamie-Knott Madame French restaurant jersey city

Jamie Knott, owner and chef of Saddle River Inn. Marko Georgiev/

Everything for the new restaurant has been ordered and is on its way, Knott addes. The chef will be Christopher Abbamondi, who will also continue the chef at Cellar 335. “He is a super talented chef,” Knott said. Gabriel Reiben, Cellar 335’s general manager and beverage director, will perform the same duties at Madame.

Cellar 335 and Madame are connected by a shared door. Knott said once a month, the door will open for a party for the two restaurants with two different DJs.