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Aug 8, 2007 01:56 PM

Real French bistro

I want to take a special woman to a French bistro. Price not really an issue.
Suggestions? Prefer something with a bit of ambience.

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  1. May I suggest Gamelle on College? They're not quite a traditional bistro, but they are most definitely French and most definitely delish, and the ambience is wonderful.

    1 Reply
    1. re: tartiflette

      You're probably thinking dinner? I was thinking Lunch...Jacques Omelette's on Cumberland (upstairs and across from the Parc) is a slice of lunchtime Paris...correct service and delicious omelettes made exactly to order....if you were thinking 'romance' ....this wouldn't be a choice but it is neat!

    2. For lots of ambiance, I'd suggest Le Select - it's a beautiful room that looks like it could be in Paris. The food? In my experience, hit and miss.
      I haven't been to the Savoy Bistro, but I'm sure others here can weigh in on it. The photos look beautiful:

      3 Replies
      1. re: estragon

        To be completely honest, I didn't find the room at Le Select to be very much like any authentic bistro I visited in Paris in the spring.

        It's just too clinical and lacking any real warmth and/or character IMO.

        1. re: Splendid Wine Snob

          You have a point. It lacks the patina of age and cigarette smoke. And if someone were opening a new restaurant in Paris, it probably woudn't look like Le Select. But it's still a beautiful room -- though I must admit I've only been to the new location for lunch.

          1. re: estragon

            I do think Le Select looks great, but I totally agree with you 2, it has no soul, like a french bistro in Disneyland* would feel...and the food doesn't make up for it...

            *..possibly the cruelest comparison I've ever made, sad but true...

      2. Savoy Bistro is really beautiful -- art deco style decor.

        6 Replies
        1. re: TorontoJo

          I'd second the Gamelle recommendation...

 I have scored each and every time I have taken a "special lady" there...

          1. re: Non Doctor

            By that standard, I bet there are plenty of guys who would recommend the Brunswick House.

          2. re: TorontoJo

            Another vote for Savoy. The room is beautiful. Good wine list.
            I also like Le Paradis.

            1. re: regale

              Fair enough estragon...

              I love Gamelle because of JP's hospitality, the perfectly executed bistro food, the truly interesting and varied wine list (especially regional French), the wonderful romantic atmosphere and the lovely little hidden back patio... oh... and I've always scored.

              1. re: regale

                Le Paradis...

                I've noticed it's been knocked quite a few times on this board but it does remind me of a Parisian style bistro - the service can be a trifle surly. However, the product is fairly good and the pricing very reasonable.

                Le Select...

                I liked it better 20-odd years ago in it's more traditional approach to classic french fare. As one poster has noted, it does lack some soul.


                Good food but not terribly interesting ambience which seems to be the one of the poster's prerequisites.

                Savoy Bistro...

                Truly a favourite!

            2. In the Cabbagetown area, Provence Delices is just what you're looking for.

              1. I'll chime in with Pastis (Yonge and Summerhill). The decor is not traditonal French bistro(t), but it is a very nice room. The food is excellent, very gallic.

                2 Replies
                1. re: hungry_pangolin

                  I 2nd Pastis. The food and service is top notch. They do a great cosmo too! The staff are very professional and we have never been disappointed in our many meals there. They have an escargot ravioli appetizer that is fabulous!!!!

                  1. re: millygirl

                    Thaks for the info. Likely to try a couple of those and will report back.