416-531-4447 | $10-18 entrees
Just when you thought you’ve tried all the spots on Baldwin, something else pops up. Kept forgetting about this place until this afternoon. Its clear now that I won’t be forgetting it anytime soon.
The lunch menu is a perfect size, offering a variety of tartes flambees (think thin flatbread), sandwiches and a sprinkling of other intriguing options. There’s also some surprisingly refined desserts if you’re having ‘one of those mornings’.
To start, we shared pike quenelle dumplings in a mushroom bisque. This was awesome. I’m still craving another serving. Quenelle is a mixture of creamed fish (in this case) with some breadcrumbs and egg to bind everything in the dumpling. The mushroom bisque was hearty and savoury like a stew, and balanced by the white fish in a way I haven’t tasted before. It wasn’t at all strange, the flavours just made sense.
We each followed the app with a tarte given that it appeared to be the lunch specialty. I’d say the best part was the execution on the crispy thin crust. It’s the kind of texture I’d love to see more on pizza. Each one was tasty in its own way, with my friend using the phrase ‘yum, yum, yum’ on more than one occasion.
Grilled portobello (top) and Sauerkraute (bottom) tartes flambées
- The duck confit with potato, onion and gruyere was pleasant with duck flavour front and centre.
- Grilled portobello, sun-dried tomatoes, gruyere and pesto topped a balanced and flavourful veggie option.
- The last we sampled was the house-made smoked sausage, sauerkraut, and gruyere. Mild flavours overall, but again it was enjoyable.
With success up to that point, it was clear dessert was worth a shot. As I said, unusually complex desserts were available for lunch so we took the plunge and went for two options.
- Blueberry cornbread, lemon curd, mixed berry frozen yogurt and candied ginger was great. Tart, sweet, warm, cold, chewy, soft. It had it all. Cornbread in composed desserts is a good call.
- Chocolate terrine, salted caramel ice cream, cherries, dried apricot, and almonds. Definitely the more decadent of the two with the chocolate and ice cream (so good), but the variety of textures and forms of sweetness made it work. A more prominent darker/bitter chocolate probably would have rounded it out for me.
(apologies for not grabbing pics here, dishes were begging to be eaten)
You know it was a good meal when your friend comments ‘I feel so good’ on the stroll back to the office. Very satisfying overall.
Service and Ambience
It’s a pretty small dining area downstairs, with more room upstairs. Pretty sparsely decorated, but in a charming way. I don’t usually comment on the music choice, but it really helped add to the french bistro ambience. A nice touch.
You should go for lunch, dinner, or just dessert. I have faith the dinner menu holds similarly pleasant options. I will definitely be stopping by again.
Posted by: Jacob, Visited Nov 8, 2011