Didier? or Le select?
I've been meaning to try these two restaurants but am not quite sure whether it is worth it or not.
There doesn't seem to be a lot of info on Didier and le select does not seem to be getting good reviews after JP Challet joined them at their new location.
Anyone been recently? comment?
JP is no longer at Le Select so there may be an improvement (never thought I would say that). I was there shortly before he left and found the food mediocre - I am not sure it was all the fault of the preparation, I do not believe the quality of the raw materials was that good.
Given this I would suggest Didier.
My recent experience at Le Select was mediocre at best. The worst part was the waiter being extremely condescending, and talking down to us like we'd never been to a 'nicer' restaurant before. The bread was almost as hard as a hockey puck, the steak tartar flavorless, and the steak from the steak frites was overcooked, and the frites soggy.
Interesting that you mention that because my last experience was dreadful at Le Select. It was a Sunday night.
We had been to the new location twice before and had excellent experiences there: good food, very nice service, etc. and decided to take relatives from out of town there for dinner thinking it was a safe bet. So very wrong we were. Keep in mind I had made reservations more than 4 days in advance.
We were seated by the host quickly enough and was greeted by an extremely sweaty and harried waiter who had the bread and water brought over. It took more than 15 minutes for him to come back for the 'drink' order by which time we were ready to order the whole meal. What followed was the oddest and most audacious experience I ever remember:
-One person in our party orders the steak tartare. The waiter asks "How well would you like it done?" to which she just asks "What?" and he asks again "How WELL would you like it done?" with tone and she says "I'm ordering the tartare..." to which he just says "Oh right." and moves on.
-There's a boy in our group about 15 who orders the steak and orders it rare. Our waiter sounds like a paranoid health inspector "Are you SURE you want it rare. Most people who order it rare find it's too raw and bloody..." And the boy starts to get all perplexed but the rest of our group pipe up and tell the server want it rare. THe boy's father orders the same and the waiter AGAIN asks if he's "sure" he wants it rare "too".
The whole ordering experience was ridiculous and terribly condescending to a group that has ordered steak often enough.
The waiter of course disappears and it is literally in excess of 40 minutes before our food comes. During that time we see him maybe once at the 30 minute mark and simply explains there's a 'large party' out front. There were no particularly large tables that I saw and really I don't see how that's an excuse given I made the reservation. Nothing was offered (not even an apology).
The food however was excellent, I had the cassoulet which I enjoyed, the steaks were FINE, and the tartare made surprisingly well. All of the bus people were very nice and accomadating to take orders of extra bread and water while our water was AWOL.
On the whole I have to chalk it up to a horrible waiter and regret not calling to complain the next day. Still I will probably return because my other two visits were very nice and the cuisine was uniformly well done throughout each visit. But ugh.
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For bistro fare, Pastis Express, Sequel and Mirabelle, all along Yonge, should provide you with a much more enjoyable experience. Both food and services for all three establishments are consistently good! 'Didier' - just one remark! Way over-rated!!! Mediocre food from both the Fifth and his current location. For the money, I would go to Splendido instead, any time!!