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Simple Bistro

n
neighborguy Mar 2, 2008 05:38 AM

The reports on here were quite good so we gave it a go.

Went on a week night. A nice room, small but the decor made it tailored and just right. I just kept looking around and thinking with other furniture the room would look small but they've managed to do it really well. There were three other couples dining.

Food was fine, starting with the baguette (and I'm not a bread guy) and water quickly poured in tumblers. Everything on the concise menu sounded good, reasonably priced and when our main plates arrived they were pretty, well-portioned, and hot. Afterwards my dinner companion ordered a dessert which arrived with two forks.

So far sounds good. (There was even free entertainment in the form of what I can only assume to be a regular 'friendly' cougar-type. She was quite animated.) The experience was good, but I've been trying to figure out what made it not great. L'Express in Montreal is great. Not sure if I'm being too critical here but I'd say it was the waiter. He was helpful and did everything right, from taking our coats, our glasses were never empty, and he answered our questions. But he wasn't friendly, there was never a smile and there was just something missing. No spark or charm. That would have made the visit great and make me want to go back.

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  1. T Long Mar 2, 2008 07:00 AM

    wow...tough critique! btw, Have you found ANY restaurant in Toronto to be "great";)

    Good food, reasonably priced, nice decor, "professional service"....works for me.

    1 Reply
    1. re: T Long
      u
      uberguy Mar 2, 2008 09:56 AM

      I found the servers to be very pleasant, not overly friendly which is annoying...but really kind of charming

    2. kawarthagirl Mar 2, 2008 10:39 AM

      I know what you mean about the waiter - both times I've been, I found the owner Graham to be quite affable but the waiter to be a bit of a stone wall until I did or said something that broke the ice, so to speak. He's quite funny... but you've got to get past the 'professional' facade he's got going on to find the person inside... When you do... no problem!

      1. p
        peppermint pate Mar 3, 2008 10:12 AM

        Interesting - we tried this restaurant the other night after reading the recent posts on this board. Like kawarthagirl, I would agree that the owner Graham was friendly and charming. But like you, I'd agree that our waiter was quite cold - after he put down my plate of oysters, I asked him what kind they were (menu said they have a rotating selection from Oyster Boy and I had forgotten to ask before ordering) - he responded with "same as what I told you before, Lambertini (sp.?)". Uh, I never asked before and he never told me but let's just pretend for a minute that he had, maybe he could have found a nicer way to respond? Anyway, the rest of the meal was good - not great - but good - add it together with the price point and the location and I would definitely return for a second visit to explore more of the menu. And hopefully the waiter will be friendlier as that can make all the difference.

        1. l
          LTL Mar 3, 2008 10:20 AM

          Couldn't find a menu online. In what range were the prices?

          1 Reply
          1. re: LTL
            kawarthagirl Mar 3, 2008 10:33 AM

            Mains ranging up to $25, if I re-call correctly. Apps around 8-12...

            Pretty good wine selection...

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