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Fare Bistro - Leslieville

Hi, I noticed that Fare Bistro has finally opened up in the old Verveinne site . Has anyone tried it?

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  1. Didn't know it had opened... will check it out in the next couple weeks and report back.

    1. The phone just rings and rings. Anybody know how to get a reservation?

      1. They're open right now, with a dinner menu posted in the window. It also says owner/chef Brad Clarke is the proprietor. Menu looks as if they have several apps & several mains of mostly seasonal foods. BTW winelist is posted too! Wonder if they're doing brunch?

        1 Reply
        1. re: purrbollina

          Checked out the menu in the window today, looks nice and the price range seems pretty fair too (apps $7-$12, mains $20-$28). Looking forward to checking it out as well as hearing some early reviews.

        2. We went opening night for dinner. Did not realize it was opening night. Apparently they wanted to open with little fanfare to make sure all the kinks are ironed out. We had a very nice dinner. The manager was very nice and professional without being in your face. They treated us to a kir royale....nice touch! Prices were very reasonable. They did an amazing job on the reno....which it really needed. Love the clean but warm look, esp. the sideboard when you walk in. I won't miss the red velvet drapes!!! Viervienne was really starting to show its age. I would definitely go back. They need to have more selection on the wines but I realize they are just starting out so need to give them some time. Much better than Edward Levesque's Tom Kro, Leslie Jones and all the other sub par restaurants that seem to be popping up in the hood. But still love my Gio's!!!

          1. Made it to Fare Bistro for dinner tonight and it was quite nice, I would certainly return. Aside from the heat (the A/C wasn't working... ugh) and a few blips in the service it was a pretty smooth night overall, no noticeable opening jitters etc. Wasn't too busy but we had an early sitting, maybe half full when we left at 8:30 or so.

            Food wise the apps were the highlight for us, my grilled calamari (perfectly tender, served with grilled zucchini, olives, sundried tomatoes, drizzled with olive oil) was flawless. My wife's goat cheese salad starred a healthy slice of tangy unpasteurized goat's cheese over frisee with potato crisps, figs, spiced walnuts, and a walnut vinaigrette... also outstanding. I thought both dishes were well conceived, perfectly executed and very flavourful. In comparison the mains we chose were a bit 'standard' but still pretty good. We were both in a steak mood so the wife had the flat iron steak frites... excellent frites and a very tasty bordelaise. I opted for the filet, which was served with a green peppercorn/cognac sauce and sided with small stack of tasty scalloped potato and green beans. Dessert was a decent creme brulee (custard base was excellent but the brulee was a bit on thick side and almost burnt in spots) and a very nice blackberry/blueberry/raspberry sorbet.

            Aside from a longish wait for dessert the service was generally efficient and friendly... the manager was very nice and was happy to discuss the menu, design of the room (understated and classy, nice job), the wine list, etc. Overall I'd say Fare Bistro looks to be a great addition to the 'hood, looking forward to trying the rest of the menu and some of the items offered for brunch.

            Assuming they get their A/C fixed asap! :-)

            2 Replies
              1. re: hungryabbey

                With 2 apps, 2 mains, 2 desserts, 2 glasses of wine and a martini it was about $125 with tax/before tip. As mentioned above apps range from $7-12 and mains are $20-$28... desserts are $6-8 or so.

            1. I went last weekend for dinner in a group of six. The reno is lovely, and the seating plush -- I sat on the comfy banquette. Bread arrived quickly, but the slightly stale, room temperature, hefty, marble-rye slices disappointed. A short time after ordering, two appetizers arrived and were placed on the table, followed quickly by a third; but nobody at the table had ordered the escargots. The confused server retreated to the rear of the restaurant with the unwanted snails to consult with some of the other staff. Our two companions with appetizers sat politely, not touching their plates, while the rest of us awaited our food. No fewer than four, and perhaps more than five, minutes later a server reappeared and scooped up the two apps, indicating they were not meant for our table. He then carried them to the back of the restaurant, where he consulted with two other staff members for a minute or two before delivering all three plates (the two plus the plate of escargots) to a group of three a few tables away. These poor fellows had no idea the journey their plates had been on. Some time later, our appetizers arrived, and the rest of the meal went off without a hitch. Aside from the bread, the food was quite good and all was cooked to specifications. Great neighbourhood spot, but it needs a little fine-tuning. I will be back with fingers crossed.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Full tummy

                Hi Full tummy, I had to laugh reading your comments on the bread. My husband and I thought the same thing. We went on opening night and the manager was quite chatty with us. After our meal we told him that we were surprised about the bread. It seemed like it was your basic french bread from Loblaw's. We thought they should be a little more creative in that regard and suggested that they switch to St. John's or at least Ace. He made a note and seemed appreciative of our comments. sounds like they have yet to work it out but I hope they do. The bread thing is an issue that is easily fixed so lets hope they listen to their customers.

              2. Went last night...must say that I was pleased with the whole experience. The decor is simple but tasteful (love the banquette), service spot on (read as there when you need it and not intrusive), food tasty and presentation good. They are open for brunch on Saturdays and Sundays currently 11-3 but apparently considering 10AM based on recommendations of frequent flyers. It was nice to go somewhere with that quality of food and service with the pretense...definitely returning.

                2 Replies
                1. re: Tjokatam

                  I was there Fri June 8, and agree with previous comments. Good food and friendly/professional service. Only complaints were the long delay in food arriving and the air conditioning problem - it was uncomfortably hot. Once these kinks are worked out, it will be a great spot.

                  1. re: DRD

                    I will be the dissenter, then.

                    Two of us went last night. I was never in the previous restaurant in the same location so I cannot comment on the renovations. The restaurant is in a long narrow room. They have not worked out the lighting. There is nice lighting at the front, but then the room gets progressively darker as you move toward the back of the restaurant. Patches of utter darkness. Colours were the ubiquitous mocha and cappucino colours. Very bad art.

                    The music was cheesy elevator jazz that swelled, on occasion, throughout the night.

                    There were a few patrons in their 30s. Most were in their mid-50s. People from the Beach.

                    The wine list was...fine. Whites: a few by the glass including a Cave Spring Riesling for $11 and a NZ Sauvignon Blanc. A good mark-up on the bottles. The Chablisienne that is sold at LCBO for around $24 was $60. I didn't look closely at the list of reds but there were double the number of the whites on offer.

                    The food was poor.

                    We started with the same grilled calamari that is reviewed so favourably above. There was no grill to the grill -- no grilled flavour and no grilled colour. I found the accompaniments to the calamari to be too much: 5 or 6 sundried tomatoes, eggplant, zucchini, roasted red peppers, black olives, and a basil oil drizzled over it. And far too much salt. The calamari was not the focus of the dish.

                    I had the worst Salade Nicoise that I have ever eaten. The tuna was very low quality -- the colouring of the tuna ranged from translucent to light pink. Some of it was so tough that I could not chew it. Poorly cut. Thankfully, there was not very much of the tuna. The tuna came on a bed of...frisee...which was the bulk of the dish. Around the frisee was 4 potato quarters (perfectly cooked), with an anchovie draped over the top of each potato. A few french beans mixed in with the frisee. $21.95.

                    My SO had the steak frites. The fries looked fantastic -- thin and nicely browned. But they were soggy because they were only once fried. Steak ordered medium rare came rare but nicely charred (better than being overcooked). A little tough but fine. The reduction was over-salted.

                    Service was very warm and friendly, but amateur and slow.

                    All in all, would not recommend it and I predict it won't last.