COLETTE GRAND CAFE AND BAKERY

If there was one new restaurant I wanted to try in Toronto, Colette Grand Cafe and Bakery would be it. In most cases, the pictures of the food is what draws people into the restaurant, but in this instance it was the pictures of the decor that sparked my interest in what may be the most beautiful looking restaurant in the entire city.  Colette Grand Cafe opened its doors just a few months ago in June and is the newest addition to the Chase Hospitality Group most famous for one of the iconic luxury restaurants in Toronto, The Chase.

This restaurant exudes a French luxury from the white marble tables, long stretched royal blue Victorian couches, barrel vaulted ceilings, majestic white and beige drapery, down to the customized Colette plates their dishes are served on. The restaurant screams out sophistication and authenticity at its finest. Coming to this restaurant was perfect timing for me as I just came back from my first trip to Paris and was often times reminiscing on the Parisian lifestyle I was once in just over a month ago. Colette Grand Cafe and Bakery seemed like the perfect remedy.

Donโ€™t let the name fool you though. When I think of a โ€œcafeโ€ I think of a small simple place serving the basic sandwiches, pastries, teas, and coffees. Colette is actually quite the opposite. It is a full on luxury restaurant from lunch to dinner filled with your choice of colourful modern French cuisine right down to your favourite alcoholic beverages conveniently made at their in-house bar. During the day however the Colette bakery attached to the restaurant will indeed serve you those sandwiches, baguettes, buttery pastries, and of course macarons that can be enjoyed in their covered terrace or their outdoor pavilion that runs alongside a courtyard pool.

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As many of my restaurant adventures are decided on the spur of the moment, I decided to call the restaurant an hour before we would hopefully arrive to see if I could make a reservation as I expected it to be packed on a Sunday night. Luckily it didnโ€™t seem like it was a problem at all and I got the exact time I wanted to come in at 6PM. I understood why when we arrived as to my surprise the restaurant was very empty and we were one of the first tables there for the dinner service.

I think since we were one of the first people there, we were given one of the more spacious spots in the restaurant which was a corner table with the long Victorian couches as our seat scattered with these big square cushions. It was very comfortable. The waiter was very nice and we chatted about how the restaurant came to life and the inspirations that helped mold the foundation of its food and decor. We started off with an order of lemonade and even though it wasnโ€™t listed on the actual menu, the waiter said the bar would still make it for us. Now that is called great service.

The first dish we ordered was the Tartare De Veau (Veal Tartare) as the appetizer. I was a little hesitant at first eating another raw dish since I had some really bad stomach pains the last time I ordered a Steak Tartare at Origins (read my review here) but this dish caused no problems at all. This tartare dish also has a very unique twist of a hard boiled egg on top as it is almost unrecognizable in taste and in look. I personally put pieces of the veal tartare on the sourdough and ate it together which I believe is how it was meant to be eaten.

Veal Tartare, Fresh Herb Pistou, Horseradish, Hard Boiled Egg, Grilled Seeded Sourdough. Cost - $15

Everyday Colette has a daily special on their menu and as we were trying to decide on which main course to get, the waiter was raving about the Sunday special which was the Dimanche - Le Roti De Porc (Roast of Pork). For people also more on a budget, Sundayโ€™s special is the cheapest at $19. The next cheapest special will cost you $24 on Monday and a whopping $60 on their Saturday. The pork was extremely tender and the peaches gave the dish a nice sweetness to it.

Roast of Pork, Rosti Potato, Caramelized Onions, Glazed Peaches. Cost - $19

I did also manage to eat something new that day, Swordfish. I have never eaten swordfish before so when I saw it on their menu I jumped at the chance to try it. To me the swordfish had the texture somewhere in between a grilled salmon and a halibut. It is a little tough in its texture but still very moist on the inside. It almost tastes like another slab of meat in all honesty. My favourite part of this dish was the fact that the swordfish was placed on top of this broth that complimented the fish so well with its mixture of all its flavours. The broth tied everything in together so nicely.

Swordfish glazed with Garlic & Lemon, Grilled Endives, Tomato Beurre Monte. Cost - $28

The first dessert that graced our table was the Souffle Aux Framboises (Raspberry Souffle). We got warned right away that this dessert will take at least 15 minutes to make so be mindful of this if you are in a rush to leave. The aroma of this dish when it is brought out to you is amazing and is what I remember most. You can tell it came fresh straight out of the oven with the decadent scent of raspberry emanating throughout the air. When the waiter comes out with this, he/she will also ask you if you wish to have any of their custard poured inside. You tell them when to stop pouring and I would recommend that you only pour a little inside as I found that the more custard you pour in it, the soggier it got. However Iโ€™m still dreaming about the scent of this dish! It smelled and tasted so good and the colour red just immediately captures your attention.

Raspberry Souffle, Grand Marnier Creme Anglaise. Cost - $14

After eating their Vanilla Ice Cream Profiterole it became one of my favourite desserts of all time at any restaurant. If you do not know what a profiterole is, think along the lines of an ice cream sandwich. It is a French dessert pastry filled with whipped cream, custard, or ice cream in the middle. Many of us North Americans also know a variation of this called the cream puff. The profiterole here was garnished with warm chocolate sauce and toasted coconuts. The chocolate sauce will also get poured in front of you when they bring the dessert out and just like the raspberry souffle you tell the waiter when to stop pouring the chocolate drizzle. In this case though I found the more chocolate sauce the better!

Vanilla Ice Cream Profiterole, Caramel Cream, Warm Chocolate Sauce, Toasted Coconuts. Cost $12

All in all I was thoroughly impressed with Colette Grand Cafe from start to finish. The food was delicious, the service was great, and the decor was probably one of the best I have ever seen. The only downside is that the price is a little more hefty than most restaurants here in the city (especially the desserts), but I believe every once in a while it doesnโ€™t hurt to treat yourself in some of the more finer things in life. Just for a few hours when youโ€™re here, youโ€™ll get a little taste of the Parisian life and oh what a life that is.

Colette Grand Cafe

550 Wellington Street West, Toronto, ON, M5V 2V5

(647) 348 7000

Hours:

Monday to Friday (11:30AM to Close), Saturday (11AM to Close); Sunday (10AM to Close).

Bakery (Open Daily from 7AM to 6PM)

The Everyday Foodie Report Card

Atmosphere: 10/10

Service: 10/10

Food: 9.5/10

Presentation: 10/10

Value: 7/10

Overall: 93% Everyday Foodie Satisfaction