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Mar 21, 2009 03:30 PM

Best of the New Bistro Bunch?!

I have noticed in the past year, a huge number of Bistro type eateries have sprung up all over the city. These include Grace, Fare, Atelier Thuet, Bite Me, Coquine, Tati, Merlot, Black Hoof, Harbord Room, Deluxe, Melanie's, Weezies.......etc., to name a few. ( I left out Nota Bene since the place is too big to be catagorize as a bistro ).
Question - Which of these new comer has the BEST food? OK! May be to single out the best is kind of tough. How about the top 3?!

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  1. I've not been to many on your list but did want to point out that Weezie's is not new. They've been around at least 2 years. That is one that I've been to and the food is very good and great price point. Not a huge menu but what they do, they do well.

    1. I've missed a few on that list but my favourites thus far have been Harbord Room and Delux.

      1. If by Bistro, you mean small-ish neighborhood spots. I'd go to:

        Black Hoof
        Harbord Room
        Atelier Thuet over Bite Me

        Merlot on Bloor W is a snore and has been around 15 years or so.

        3 Replies
        1. re: Dimbulb

          My mistake about Merlot, I mean Loire. Also, there's Mogette?!

          1. re: Charles Yu

            Don't forget Sauvignon! haha - can't resist a bad pun. (actually is kind of a cute place)

            My favourite bistro is delux on Ossington (and it's a real bistro in the rudimentry sense that it's lovely and honest casual comfort food).

            I've heard good things about Loire (Chatto, Kates et al) and of course the Harbord Room too.

            1. re: Sui_Mai

              Sauvignon has been around for a while, though, so not one of the "new bunch"....

        2. Hi Charles - I've been to many, but not all, on your list. I really enjoy the food at Harbord Room - it's a cool, cozy space, romantic and has a real buzzing energy. Also nice to sit at the bar. I also enjoyed my meal at Grace last summer, out on the very pretty patio. The room is quite beautiful - light, airy. I've heard of service issues there but we had a totally friendly unpretentious waitress so no issues for us. Black Hoof has great charcuterie and dishes with marrow - for me, it's more of a bar with very good snacks but that's because I find the food a bit rich to fill up on for dinner. With all that said, I don't think I'd categorize any of these as "bistro" - they are small, neighbourhood spots with very good food, though.

          Of the others on your list (above and below), I've heard pretty consistently great things about Weezie's and Loire and mostly great about Delux. All of those are on my list. Can't speak to the others. What/where is Melanie's? That one doesn't ring a bell.

          2 Replies
          1. re: peppermint pate

            Melanie's Bistro is on Danforth, at Coxwell. It's been getting a lot of press lately. I've not been. We went to Mogette and it was just okay for us. The room is quite lovely but the food was forgettable. I doubt I would make a return visit which is unfortunate, I really wanted to like the place.

            1. re: millygirl

              Melanie's: Go.

              Have to admit I'm prejudiced as it's in my neighborhood but I find the food on their well edited menu always well executed and satisfying on all counts (I'm not crazy about the room -- it's still going thru development phases) Good thing I don't have a sweet tooth as we are frequently seated next to the cake cooler and the house-made desserts look great and tasted great when I have indulged.

              There were some previous postings here over whether or not Melanie's deserved the three stars awarded by that culinary authority Toronto Life. All I can say to that is everyone in the blogosphere is allowed to have more than his opinion. LIke I say, I'm a fan.

              To address the OP, I the only other place I've been to on Charles Yu's list is Weezie's. I liked very much and would return. Nice room, more grown-up than Melanie's, if I were to compare the two.

          2. I've been to about half on your list and would choose The Harbord Room, Weezie's and Delux. Not on your list I would recommend Forte Bistro & Lounge.


            1 Reply
            1. re: always_eating

              I enjoy eating out at the Black Hoof, Weezie's and the Harbord Room. Out of the three, I think the Harbord Room has the best food -the atmosphere is lively and charming and Weezie's has decent well priced food but the atmosphere is more understated-don't really find desserts great there in terms of selection or quality. The Black Hoof is nice too but it is more casual surroundings than either the Harbord Room or Weezie's and the menu is limited to well you know ...charcuterie, meat. And it gets quite smokey inside easily you will definitely walk out smelling like food!

              Am also wanting to try Tati and Deluxe