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Nov 29, 2008 01:04 PM

Petite Thuet - New Kid on the Summerhill Block

Was walking down Yonge Street today, across from the Summerhill LCBO and Five Thieves, and noticed a new little shop - Petite Thuet. Inside was Marc himself, along with his wife Biana and a lovely little shop filled with droolworthy breads, pastries, a bit of prepped food, charcuterie, etc. I didn't get a chance to try anything but the stuff looked spectacular. It's a great addition to the neighbourhood - I think they'll do very well there.

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  1. Now THERE'S a Thuet diversification I could get close to. Any idea if it'll be open Sundays?

    For future reference:

    1 Reply
    1. What, so now we have the Six Thieves?

      20 Replies
      1. re: JamieK

        How about the Excessive Sextet? Don't drink and pronounce.

          1. re: JamieK

            Soon to be Seven Thieves, actually - there's an open retail space next to the renovated Olliffe space.

            1. re: peppermint pate

              Is that not MB CO from Montreal going in there? Thought I saw that on the window.. or are you talking about the other side?

              1. re: OnDaGo

                The other side. MBCO does appear to be opening in the near future - finally. I haven't been a big fan of their Yorkville location - lousy service and meh food - but I'll be curious to see how they do here. As for the open space, it'll be very interesting to see who goes in there.

                1. re: peppermint pate

                  Went into Petite Thuet today. Looked interesting. Prepared dishes, breads, desserts, charcuterie, steaks and sandwiches. I didn't order anything, as the lineup was significant, but it looked good.

                  On the shelves were Malaysian chicken curry (14$), cog au vin (16$), cassoulet (35$), and many other things. I didn't see the prices on the sandwiches, but I'm assuming they'll be less than MBCO. Interesting to see how they'll do against the lesser priced Olliffe and All the Best sandwiches.

                  1. re: Snarf

                    Interesting.... I though that All the Best and the butcher were going back to their previous spots and that where they are now was just temporary until the renovations are complete. Is it possible Theut has opened this spot for the festive season alone? Either way, I must check it out...thanks for the tip peppermint pate!

                    On a side note, speaking of thieves and such, I was at the Avenue Road/Lawrence Pusateri's yesterday morning and what an experience that was. We couldn't get outta there fast enough. Hell, even their own staff are pushing and bumping in to you. And of course, nobody bothers to apologize. It was a horrible experience. I will stick to my beloved Summerhill Market for now on. Much more civilized.

                    1. re: millygirl

                      Summerhill Market really provides an enjoyable shopping experience. Thanks for your recommendation, Millygirl.

                      1. re: millygirl

                        As OnDaGo has said, Petite Thuet is across the street in a permanent location. Olliffe is supposedly moving back into into the renovated space in the new year, at which time Harvest Wagon will move into the portable space. I think Pisces will also move into its new space in the new year (between MBCO and Olliffe). Not sure when All the Best is moving back.

                        Years ago, when it first opened and for years afterwards, I used to love shopping at Pusateri's. But I agree, even during the week, there is a pushiness to the other people - it's like shopping cart derby in there. They carry lovely stuff, and can often cost less than the thieves, but it's become a lot less of an enjoyable experience. I really should get over to Summerhill Market more often - how is their produce (selection and quality)?

                        1. re: peppermint pate

                          The shopping experience at Summerhill Market is enjoyable in large part to the friendly helpful staff there. The produce is of excellent quality and freshness. The only quibble is that they are pricey, I often thick of them as unofficial sixth member of the thieves.

                          Prices are marked up exorbitantly. For example, (and, granted, I know this is not an everday item) I bought Minus 8 ice wine vinegar for my foodie friends last Christmas -- $35 a bottle at All The Best; $49 a bottle at Summerhill.

                          1. re: JamieK

                            Yowza - I've never known anything to be more expensive than All the Best. I bought some Scharfen Berger chocolate once at All the Best as I was in a pinch - subsequently saw the same package for about 30% less at the downtown Pusateri's (not particularly known for its no frills prices either).

                            1. re: peppermint pate

                              Pricing at all of the Yorkville/Rosedale stores is variable. Each are better on different items - Summerhill's fresh-squeezed OJ is $1 cheaper per L than Harvest Wagon. They are sometimes even competitive with Loblaws produce prices (not that often, but sometimes).

                              SHM only gets truly outlandish on household stuff, probably because their volume is so low. It's more convenience store/emergency pricing for that stuff since the clientele (or their staff) will pick normal products up at Loblaws or luxury products at Williams Sonoma/Restoration Hardware/L'Occitane...

                              SHM produce is usually at the same level as Harvest Wagon. The mix is less adventurous and more focused on WASP staple produce, while HW has a wider selection, but not the same quantities. SHM is, unsurprisingly, better on bagged salads, while HW focuses more on Cookstown's offerings.

                              To get the best pricing, analyze what store is going to sell more of the item. The higher the volume, the lower the acceptable margin. High volume products also create price impressions for stores - they'll be well priced on their signature products and get margins on things you pick up while you're there. Just like traditional grocery retailing, though a more refined process with far better cars in the parking lot.

                              All The Best does lots of business in hostess gift items - vinegar, oil, home stuff (not too much home stuff until they get the new store). Their selection is better and more keenly priced than that of SHM.

                              Pusateris Yorkville does really well on the prepared food and bakery items. I find the grocery section at the back exceedingly claustrophobic and high priced. Whole Foods is just not that interesting after so many disappointing prepared food items and the effort of finding the conventional produce that's only somewhat expensive instead of obscenely expensive.

                              All those stores withing a few minutes of each other makes a great market place that can't be beat for quality, selection, convenience, and price to value ratio. Toronto is lucky to have it. I just wish more areas had comparable offerings. King W doesn't come close to being so well served, despite the dizzying pace of condo construction and a large supply of high end units.

                        2. re: millygirl

                          the butcher should be up and running in january hopefully

                        3. re: Snarf

                          I'd be interested to try the Coq au vin since the one from All the Best has no discerable "vin" in it and the mushrooms are chopped into small bits instead of whole. What is the portion size for $16?

                          1. re: KitchenVoodoo

                            Looked like enough for two people. Have you tried All the Best's food recently? I remember reading that they poached the chef from Summerhill Market sometime this year.

                            1. re: Snarf

                              Yes I tried several things lately from All the Best.
                              Pea & ham soup - excellent.
                              Shepherd's pie - a bit gristly in spots and tasted of sausage
                              Coq au vin - no wine flavour and a very dull dark beige colour

                            2. re: KitchenVoodoo

                              Bought a shrinkwrapped tray of coq au vin from Atelier Thuet last week ($19 for 8 bone-in pieces) and enjoyed it for dinner tonight. Absolutely divine, great flavour and texture.

                  2. re: Googs

                    A little off topic but before Mbco and Thuet opened here what was the fifth thief? All the Best, Oliffe, Harvest Wagon, Pisces, and what else?

                    1. re: Carruthers

                      Good question. All the Best had 2 connected stores - a bakery on one side and then a little party shop on the other. I don't know if they counted for one or two thieves. The only other potential thief was Patachou when it was on the corner.

                      1. re: peppermint pate

                        Ding, ding, ding we have a winner. Patachou.

                2. I just paid a little visit to Petite Thuet. It is a lovely little shop, with pastries, croissants/pain au chocolat/pain aux amandes, etc., monsieur's fabulous breads, jams, preserves, jarred sauces, as well as some prepared foods, sausages, and the like. Similar to his Atelier, but smaller in scale and no seating.

                  Aside from some flaky, buttery croissants, I purchased a section of miche, the style of sourdough country bread that made Lionel Poilane famous. Having eaten pain Poilane fresh from the Poilane bakery in Paris, I can safely say that Thuet's miche comes very close in flavour and texture (both of interior crumb and crust). No need to buy days-old pain Poilane at Holt's.

                  I also picked up an Alsace sausage and sauerkraut sandwich (already prepared) for $4.50. It's not huge, but contains a nice little assortment of various sliced sausages and good sauerkraut. Certainly well worth the price!

                  19 Replies
                  1. re: Tatai

                    I agree - Petite Thuet is a great addition to the neighbourhood. Very pretty little store with a nice (small) selection of prepared foods & pastries. Croissants are not very good (Thuet doesn't actually make them, nor the Danish) but his breads & charcuterie are great. Really, really good espresso. It's a short term lease though - they're only there until that building goes under the wrecking ball.
                    FYI - Oliffe & Pisces will be open in their new locations, back in the old block, early next year. Harvest Wagon moves into the temporary building, and then the north end of the buidling gets renovated. All the Best & Harvest Wagon are scheduled to reopen in renovated digs in early 2010. The store front that is currently for rent in the block is tiny - 400square feet.
                    Anyway - Thuet can only be great for the neighbourhood, even if it's only for a short while. Goodness knows it's easier to get to than Liberty Village.

                    1. re: Prok

                      In this economy doubt anything will be going under the wrecking ball, as that ball would also have to take out Rosedale diner and Patis as well. Also the Croissants & danishes (as all of the pastries & desserts) are made in their Liberty Village location...

                      1. re: OnDaGo

                        Hmmm - unless they started making them at the LB location in the last couple of weeks, they're still being outsourced. Anyway - the building owned by Franco Provodello (which is Pastis & Petite Thuet & the little store south of Pastis), is going under the wrecking ball. The application for permits went into city hall early this year. The Diner is a separate building and is owned by Dubi Filar who owns the Diner & the building.

                        1. re: Prok

                          Early this year the economy was good :-)

                          1. re: Prok

                            Hmm, interesting. What is the wrecking ball meant to give way for? Condos? Ugh. Maybe Petite Thuet can move into the teeny space across the street (perhaps as Plus Petite Thuet)? I'm missing it already! And Prok, do you know if Pastis is planning to relocate? Hey, I know, maybe it can knock out Le Petit Castor...:)

                            1. re: peppermint pate

                              I made a visit to Petite Thuet after work yesterday and I thought it was a lovely place. The two young gentlemen working were very helpful and friendly. I purchased the sausage and sauerkraut sandwich based on the recommendation of Tatai, and it was delicious!

                              I also purchased a slice of this tart/cake they had right in the front- the base is a tart crust, then pears, covered in a huge layer of meringue. Oh my god, it was heaven! I wish I had asked for the name of this dessert so you wouldn't have my silly description, LOL.

                              I found the prices of their prepared foods were too high- I mean, a small container of beef bourguignon for $34.00?

                              1. re: czthemmnt

                                Agree. Very high prices - but for quality that is O.K.
                                What bothered me was the lack of ingredients on almost everything (including jams, bottled goods, and prepared foods). I thought that it was a health requirement to label with ingredients. Don't recall seeing ANY jam anywhere else that didn't have an ingredients label.
                                And the lack of prices on just about everything (except pre-prepared foods, which are seemingly based on weight) also made me a bit wary. I mischievously considered asking the price of every cake/pastry/macaron etc., before making my choice - but figured it would inconvenience the patrons rather than the store - which wouldn't be fair!

                                1. re: estufarian

                                  i asked! too rich for my blood...macaroons are 2 bucks each patachou sells them for $1

                                  1. re: estufarian

                                    estufarian, I am fairly certain that the Food and Drugs Act requires the ingredient list to be present on each food product.

                                    1. re: pinkprimp

                                      So was I - but couldn't find a reference.
                                      And the non-existence of ingredients still bothers me.

                                      1. re: estufarian

                                        I did find this:


                                        "Prepackaged multi-ingredient foods require an ingredient list (extra care may be needed in regards to food allergens). Some exceptions may apply."

                                        1. re: pinkprimp

                                          So there are a dozen requirements (some of which don't ncessarily apply) and the goods here break over half of them (I'm referring to the prepackaged items - not the pastries) - that certainly makes me a bit nervous. Indeed I DIDN'T buy any od their jars because I had no idea what was in them - fortunately I don't have any known allergies, but some friends do (very serious life-threatening) so I'm always cautious.
                                          Next time I'm passing (and it's empty) I think I'll ask them about it.

                                          1. re: estufarian

                                            I'm with you, Estufarian. And I certainly don't believe that it has to be empty for you to pose the question. Just think of it as a public service for the good of all of us!

                                            I'm a fan of Thuet, but I think it's a bit arrogant to think that we'll just blindly buy whatever he's selling.

                                            1. re: Raquel

                                              Back to basics - there are NO ingredients on the jams (or sauces). That's what started me wondering. In my experience, if it's a good product the first item is 'usually' sugar (not exactly the healthiest ingredient - but usually one of the cheapest). I try and avoid gums and other gelling agents as it ften tells me that the contents lack 'pure' ingredients. Ultimately (of course) it is the taste that matters - but I'm wary of 'uningrediented' sources. Having suffered genuine food poisoning through another 'celebrity' chef (name withheld as it isn't relevant to this thread and only occurred once so probably not endemic) I always check. And also find excuses not to accept 'I'll bring a dish' offers from friends as I don't have control over the quality and hence the risks. Having once picked up a very serious bug from incorrectly prepared food I'm probably over-sensitive to this (and now avoid all buffets). Let's just say a companion was on the final exam of the graduating doctors at Toronto General, thanks to the rarity of the bug. Fortunately my immune system responded.

                                              I don't want to make a scene so willl try to avoid asking when there are customers there

                                          2. re: pinkprimp

                                            Cumbrae's doesn't list ingredients either. I asked last year, and Steven said they would be doing so in the future, but they haven't.

                                            I think the the "exception" includes packaged foods made by the seller. The rationale would seem to be that the ingredients in any item would be available on request. I have found, at Cumbrae's Bayview location, that one can learn the ingredients in a dish if, but only if, the person who made it happens to be in the shop.

                                            Most prepared foods, whether at restaurants or at retail, do not list ingredients, whether they are prepackaged or not. Supermarkets, with some exceptions, do not list ingredients on bulk prepared foods packaged to order, though the contents of the dishes are as unknown to the counter help as the ingredients in stuff on the shelf.

                                            So Thuet is actually following "normal" practices. I agree with those who want to know exactly what's in the food I eat.

                                            1. re: embee

                                              Labeling requirements are aimed at large scale manufacturers. Thuet, ATB, Oliffe, etc are exempt when they're selling their own products, thanks to the direct relationship between producer and consumer and the tiny scale of production (how many jars of any jam is Thuet going to sell?).

                                              You see the same non-labeled products at farmer's markets and fall fairs. Many people do provide lists but not always and they don't have to (ATB has labels for the packaged food and sandwiches from their catering operation but not for the prepared food sold deli-style).

                                              1. re: preppycuisine

                                                Are you positive on this? Doesn't the Consumer Labelling Act require ALL food that can be potentially sold to consumers to include labels, listing things like anything one might be allergic to, dietary considerations, etc. I find this too good to be true for stores otherwise everyone would be doing it?? Or is it maybe that there's just too much for this agency to keep track of?

                                                1. re: Raquel

                                                  If you go to any grocery store and look at the nutrition panels on most of the products, a good lot of them will be violating the laws. No one seems to really be following up on this for the most part, and only really bad offenders are ever targeted, mostly with slap on the wrist fines.

                                2. re: Prok

                                  does that mean bye bye pastis??

                          2. And just for a point of comparison, it's $25.25 for about a pound and a half of beef bourgignone (700 grams) across the road at All The Best. No idea what kind of beef but likely not mini-cows.

                            7 Replies
                            1. re: JamieK

                              Thank you OnDaGo for clarifying the price- I did see something in the prepared foods window that was $34, obviously I got the items confused. I didn't know about Dexter beef. That's very interesting. I may have to bite the bullet to try it now, and suck up the $26 because you've piqued my curiousity.

                              1. re: JamieK

                                and for the record, the prepared foods at All The Best have labels with complete list of ingredients.

                                1. re: JamieK

                                  There are labels on the sandwiches and prepackaged foods. The food from the deli case doesn't have a label (since it gets packaged in containers as the customer orders it, though they will provide ingredients when asked).

                                  I'm shocked that people don't realize that there are exceptions (the existence of which is noted in this thread as well as on the relevant federal regulator's site).

                                  1. re: preppycuisine

                                    I think we understand that items from the deli case may not have to be labelled (similar to food served to you in a restaurant).

                                    The concern here is the lack of disclosure/list of the ingredients in the jam.

                                    1. re: pinkprimp

                                      Yes, lack of disclosure on jam, mayo, preserves, anything of this sort, really.

                                      And, preppycuisine, don't be so shocked - having been in the food/restaurant industry all my life, I still am not 100% on the facts--and unless you are with the Food Labelling Agency, perhaps you are not positively aware, either. My past knowledge tells me that Thuet should disclose the ingredients on ALL prepared items. I'm pretty sure that's the consumer protection that the government requires.

                                      And I don't know where you shop, but pretty much everything I buy in the deli case lists ingredients.

                                      I'll try to double-check on these facts, I have a source who will know for sure.

                                      1. re: Raquel

                                        Here's the regulation (not verbatim):
                                        Any food that is sold pre-packaged & self serve is required to have ingredients AND nutritional analysis on the label. The label also must have net weight or volume. Food that is "clerk served" does not have this requirement. The selling establishment, however, must have the ingredient list on hand for "clerk served" foods and make it available upon request. The government (CFIA) has a very uneven/spotty record of label inspection. Any stores that are selling packaged foods without proper labeling simply have not been inspected. Non-compliance penalties are enormous and can include confiscation of whole inventories.

                                      2. re: pinkprimp

                                        "All The Best" house made jams have no ingredient listed either, I checked today when I was in...

                                2. The pain au chocolat gave me really bad heartburn, I was actually clutching at my chest...