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Colette Grand Café (Dinner): Toronto, Ontario

Colette Grand Café (Dinner): Toronto, Ontario

Name: Colette Grand Café
Address: 550 Wellington St W, Toronto, ON M5V 2V5, Canada
Website: Website
Instagram: @colettetoronto
Phone: (647) 348-7000
Wifi: Yes
Tender: Debit, Credit, Cash
Neighbourhood: King West, Toronto
Type: French

Colette Grand Café is located in Toronto’s King West neighborhood. In true Chase Hospitality Group fashion no expense has been spared on the interior. With marble flooring, marble tables, and plush seating the space is exactly as the name indicates – it’s grand. Sectioned off into separate, yet distinct, areas that transition seamlessly into one another Colette has areas for casual bakery/café style seating, a bar/lounge area, interior dining room, and outdoor patio which flanks the perimeter of the restaurant. I certainly feel like I’ve been magically transported into a Parisian paradise right in the middle of downtown Toronto.

Colette Grand Café: Interior
Colette Grand Café: Interior dining room area
Colette Grand Café: Interior, bakery café area
Colette Grand Café: Interior, bakery café area
Colette Grand Café: Interior, bakery café seating
Colette Grand Café: Interior, bakery café seating

On the day I arrive I try out the dinner. It’s my first time dining here in the evening having only previously come for weekend brunch or for casual coffee and pastries in their bakery café area.

The evening starts with an amuse-bouche consisting of roasted cauliflower on top of lettuce with a citrus aioli and pickled onion. The cauliflower is roasted to sweet perfection and blends perfectly with the citrus aioli. Plus, what’s there not to love about a tasty mini complimentary appetizer?

Colette Grand Café: Amuse-Bouche
Colette Grand Café: Amuse-Bouche

Next we move onto some quintessential French appetizers including the Nicoise Salad ($19 CDN + tax), Roasted Foie Gras ($26 CDN + tax), and Escargots Persillade ($15 CDN + tax).

The Nicoise salad consists of slices of lightly seared tuna on top of a bed of anchovy, black olives, haricot vert, sliced hardboiled egg, and confit potatoes. Everything is then dressed in a light mustard vinaigrette. It’s a French Nicoise, that’s been done right and tastes fresh. I’m also thankful that they’ve used real slices of fresh tuna as opposed to canned tuna, like at most places in Toronto, and it goes a long way to elevating the dish while only using a handful of simple yet beautiful ingredients.

The Foie Gras is exactly what you would expect of a foie that’s been skillfully done. A thick slice of foie sits on top of a slice of brioche, and is topped with hazelnut dukkah. A roasted peach accompanies the foie and the entire dish is drizzled with a balsamic reduction. It’s rich and flavorful and definitely reminiscent of an indulgent evening in France.

Colette Grand Café: Nicoise Salad + Roasted Foie Gras
Colette Grand Café: Nicoise Salad + Roasted Foie Gras

The last of the appetizers we try is the Escargots Persillade. Bergundy snails are enveloped in almond, garlic, and parsley butter. The snails are cooked perfectly with just the right texture and taste and the garlic parsley butter is dangerously tasty. I’m definitely guilty of asking for extra bread to sop up the remainder of the butter and I do not feel any remorse about it.

Colette Grand Café: Escargots Persillade
Colette Grand Café: Escargots Persillade

We move onto the mains and decide to test drive the Moules Frites ($24 CDN + tax) and the Trout Meunière ($29 CDN + tax).

The Moules Frites are presented in a simple, yet beautiful, navy Staub cast iron pot and are drenched in a herbed white wine broth. Alongside the dish is a perfectly portioned amount of fries and a rosemary aioli for dipping. The mussels are definitely larger than expected and take on a perfectly thick and meaty texture. The broth is so intoxicating I seriously contemplate drinking it directly from the pot, but since there are other guests in the dining room that evening I opt to once again use extra bread to soak up the rest of it like with the escargots. There seems to be a theme developing. Also not to be forgotten though are the French fries which are cooked and seasoned perfectly. The rosemary aioli dipping sauce definitely takes the French fries to a whole new level and makes them an item that can easily standout on it’s own.

The final main we try is the Trout Meunière. An entire trout is sliced lengthwise and is served topped with halved new potatoes, parsley, and lemon. A brown butter sauce is then ladled  over the entire dish. The trout flakes perfectly upon contact with my fork, but even more importantly it completely melts in my mouth with the first bite. If all trout tasted this good I would eat trout almost exclusively. I’m convinced that even the most adamant of seafood haters would deflect after one bite of this trout.

Colette Grand Café: Moules Frites + Trout Meunière
Colette Grand Café: Moules Frites + Trout Meunière

Lastly, we end the evening with dessert. It’s honestly the best looking dessert menu I’ve ever seen as the server brings over an array of desserts  to choose from. Yes, it’s a scenario out of dream as you mull over an actual tray of desserts that are presented beautifully on an antique style tray. It’s hard not to ask them to just leave the entire tray while I take care of “clean up”. More places should give you the option of seeing the actual item before ordering and it’s both dangerous and deliciously fun to be able to eat with my eyes first.

Ultimately I decide on the lemon tart and the pecan pie. The tray of dreamy desserts are whisked away and the lemon tart and pecan pie return, each plated with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on the side. The lemon tart has just the right balance of sweetness and tartness and the shortbread crust crumbles perfectly and deliciously in my mouth. The pecan pie is warm and comforting and of course a scoop of vanilla ice cream makes for the perfect pairing.

Colette Grand Café: Dessert Menu
Colette Grand Café: Dessert Menu

My first dinner experience at Colette Grand Café was much different than my previous experience having only had brunch or pastries in the more casual café. Definitely a much more upscale dining experience the space, style of service, and dishes make this the perfect place for date night or any night where you’re looking for an experience with extra special touches. Needless to say the space is breathtaking, but dinner here easily matches the exquisite interior with perfectly executed classic French dishes. If you’re not in the position to jet off to France for the week on a whim then dining at Colette will give you that Parisian experience you’re after, without the cost of the plane ticket.

 

 

Disclaimer: This post was done in collaboration with The Chase Hospitality Group

. All opinions expressed are my own. All menu offerings and prices are accurate as of time of posting. Please refer to restaurant/shop for most up to date information.

*All images are copyrighted Allons.Y Styling & Photography. Please do not use or re-post without written consent and provide credit where applicable

 

 

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