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Jan 20, 2009 06:14 AM

Le Paradis

I have been thinking about that hole in the wall in Toronto called Le Paradis, this is a place I have enjoyed in the past but it fell from my radar for the last couple of years. Has any one been in the past year, Id love to hear your experience.

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  1. Yes I have been and am a regular -- love it there. Especially love it when they have tajine on the menu. Very competent and lowkey fare. And well-priced.

    1. I used to always be a fan but was disappointed the last few times I've been. It's always been one of the best in town as far as bang for ones buck goes but now I think, "why do they even bother." Much rather go to a good pub like Abbot for the same price. Then again, maybe they've gotten their act together since the last time I've been (just under a year ago). Always worth another shot and with the bill total, what do you have to lose?

      6 Replies
      1. re: chef_vagabond

        I have been there a couple of times over the course of six months. The food was great and the service was even better. This place has been my favourite restaurant for the past 15 years. I am curious to hear about chef vagabond experience. I did notice that the owner David was not there on the evenings that I was there.

        1. re: theresah

          If I lived in the neighbourhood I'd likely go once in awhile but can't imagine going out of my way to get there. It's competent bistro food served in a dated atmosphere. Although the service was good, relaxed and friendly.

          1. re: jamesm

            To me, Le Paradis is the Toronto prototype of what a Fench bistro should be: consistently solid fare in a relaxed atmosphere at attractive prices. It's not great - bistro cuisine rarely is - it's merely very good, and eminently satisfying. Any joint that ordinarily has veal kidneys (an oft-neglected bistro classic) on the menu has my heart, and Le Paradis has had mine for more than two decades. It's even better when David is on the premises to direct the festivities. The locals love the place, and with good reason. It's often hard to corral a table even early in the week. There may be better such bistros around town - Coquine for Yonge&Eg liveliness, Simple Bistro for more cooking finesse - but few places can beat Le Paradis at its price point for all-round satisfaction.

            1. re: juno

              Well put Juno-you've mentioned your affection for Le Paradis before and its warranted. I agree that Coquine at Yonge and Eg has "liveliness" but the buck stops there. Escargots covered in cheese and flavoured with anise is not what I would deem classic (nor tasty). And phyllo pastry wrapped zucchini with goat cheese is something that reminds me of banquet food. Steak was competent but calf livers had a discernable "mushy" texture (not light and moussy as should be the case when well executed). The service was also rather spotty. I dropped my knife and the host literally picked it up, and walked away never to return!? I had to wave somebody down to get a replacement after waiting for at least 5 minutes. Won't be heading back.


              1. re: juno

                Couldn't have said it better myself, juno. The food is safe and satisfying. There isn't much exciting on the menu. However, the price point is exceptional. The service is efficient and more than competent. Some of the best wait staff I have seen - one man alone handles the entire lower floor basically on his own. I wouldn't rush to go there myself, but if someone suggests it - It's definitely a some place I would be happy to dine at. Great value and good food.

            2. re: theresah

              My past few experiences have never been with the service. The food during my last few experiences have been meat never cooked to specs, sauces that have obviously come from stocks that are treated as garbage disposals and just very ho hum take on standards like pot au feu or choucroute, which as far as I'm concerned either specialize in those things or don't do them. Again, for the price, who's complaining but personally, I'd just rather go and spend $14.00 on a really good burger at high end pub and when I really feel like bistro food, spend an extra $10.00 a head and go to Pastis or Batifole. Come to think of it, maybe La Paradis hasn't changed at all, maybe I have. Not to say I'll never go back, it's just that it will be for the service and the dated decor.

          2. I'm sad to hear about the bad experiences, because it's one of the few places I have found that is consistent and reliable. I trust them with difficult to prepare foods like mackerel.

            Could this be an issue of crowds?

            1 Reply
            1. re: arugula

              I think so. They grill chefs work so hard and really are masters at doing a $14 steak to perfection. I don't think their standards are ho hum and the stocks are nothing like a "garbage disposal". The steak frites is wonderful at Le Paradis as is all of their deserts (fresh fruit/custard tartes especially). I kind of like the dated decor. It's comforting to me. To each their own.

            2. Le Paradis is French as it should be. It never fails to please. My only beef is that you have to eat there early before they run out of things... can't tell you how many times I dream of something only for them to say they are out.... it is a testament to the freshness of their food but can be a bummer. Last time I ate there a couple weeks ago we had a feast - 3 courses plus wine for $50 including tax a tip - that can't be beat for what you get!

              2 Replies
              1. re: torontogourmet

                I've eaten there probably 8 or so times in the past 3 years and have enjoyed it every time. My only beef is that they don't always have the dijon chicken on the menu and sometimes they are reluctant to accomodate allergies (though sometimes they can't do enough for you, maybe it depends on the server and if they are in the kitchen's good books?) I have found the service consistently good, if you just want to be left alone they are fine with that but if you need a wine recomendation they are good there too. Plus the bonus of about ever other time I'm there some sort of Canadian celeb is at the next table!

                1. re: k8supergrover

                  I just really wish they would put some money back into the place and clean it up a little! Makes you wonder sometimes. Other than that, a great place for simple straight up bistro fare with always an interesting crowd!

              2. David Currie, who I admire for his sense of business, needs volume in order to keep the prices down. He has great bistro food without the flair. You can look at the website each day and check out the menu in advance.