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Lucien: highly recommended

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My husband and I are fans of fine dining and tend to try most of the recommended places sooner or later. I may be developing a jaded palate but I'm not often blown away any more. My last "great" Toronto meal was at Colborne Lane when they opened but we just went to Lucien last week and it topped that experience. Out of interest we also went to Splendido in the same week and I preferred Lucien.

It is a pretty room with interesting red lighting on the ceiling and a gorgeous big mirror over the bar. The evening we were there every seat was full and there were people at the bar, but neither the music nor the conversation was too loud. We could comfortably converse (which is becoming a rarity in newer restaurants).

The service was good but not fawning - I don't remember anything about our server which is my criteria for a great job. Everything happened as it should and nothing disrupted our enjoyment of one another's company, and of the great food.

The food really blew me away. Sadly I can't remember now exactly what I ate except that every course impressed me. I especially remember a vegetable dish on which the broccoli was crispy - not burnt but dry and crispy - it added a superb texture to the other soft root vegetables with which it was served.

I didn't pay the bill but the prices looked reasonable - certainly way below the level of Splendido!!

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