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Simple Bistro - Food not simple at all!!

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In terms of value and taste, the meal we had at Simple Bistro (619 Mount Pleasant Road) tonight must be ranked one of the best western meal this year! All these wonderful food amidst Chef Tamaru's day off! A reflection of the sous-chef and kitchen's high calibre! Not bad!!

Our party of five had the following appertizers:

- Potato gnocchi with truffle /chives cream sauce
- Artichoke heart stuffed with roasted quail eggs and prosciutto crisp
- Mushroom and chicken terrine
Plate presentation was very artistic and the taste, especially the sauce of the super light gnocchi was absolutely amazing! Bread was used all round to mop up every single drop of this sauce.

For mains, we ordered:

- Pan seared wild Pacific Halibut with a ratatoulle reduction.
- Pan seared Ontario spotted trout with a red wine jus reduction
- Roasted magret of Muscovy duck with a black currant sauce
- Roasted Ontario lamb saddle with pan jus.

Accompanying vegetables and potatoes were all perfectly seasoned and cooked. However, the highlight of all the dishes were the fantastic sauces which everyone of us swooned upon tasting! Only down side was the slightly overcooked Halibut! ( though the taste reminds me of a similar tasty sea bass dish I had at NYC's Michelin 2* Daniel sometime back ). This mishap was conveyed to the waiter who immediately apologize on behalf of the kitchen and offered us a complimentary dessert for this slippage! A very nice gesture!

For desserts we settled for the following:
- Fig clafoutis
- Caramelized pear cake
- Wine Poached Ontario peach
- Coconut and chocolate mousse

Again, there was no disappointment. with the stand out being the ultra fruity pear cake.

Service was very professional and friendly. May be other establishments with questionable service ( like One or Lee as mentioned on this board ) should learn from them?!

With consistently good eateries such as Lai Toh Heen, Celestin, Mogette, Zee Grill and now Simple Bistro all within a block of each other, Mount Pleasant is quickly becoming one of my favourite food destination.

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  1. Hi Charles,

    thanks for the review. Roughly how do the prices compare with other places you mentioned?

    1 Reply
    1. re: foodyDudey

      Appetizers $8-10
      Mains $20-24
      Dessert $8

    2. By the way, they also serve fresh plump 'Colville Bay Oysters from the PEI for appertizers! Sold in threes

      13 Replies
      1. re: Charles Yu

        Hello Charles, sounds like a very interesting place ! I will give it a try. Thanks.

        1. re: skylineR33

          Hello skylineR33!
          Yes, food quality is very similar to Sequel if not better. Price is even cheaper!! Their $35 three course prix fix on Weds., Thurs., and Sunday very good value, offering dish from a la carte! Whilst you are in that vicinty, check out Mogette next door as well! Also, Penrose across the road suppose to have the best fish and chips in town?! ( if you are into unhealthy greasy food? Ha! )
          BTW, Enjoy your Kaji Omakase! Saw some Masutake mushrooms in J-Town on Sunday. ( $90 per pound ). May be he'll offer you some since its in season!

          1. re: Charles Yu

            Charles, Mogette's chef, Philippe Coeurdassier, was at Batifole until last year. I have realized this may have something to do with the recent negative reviews (one of which was yours) that Batifole has received. How is his food at Mogette?

            1. re: Full tummy

              Food is very good. The 'Scallop' pot au feu was delicious and original. The accompanying piece of crisy/melt in the mouth pork belly was sooooo good and addictive!

            2. re: Charles Yu

              ?
              Mogette is about 100 yards south of Simple. Same side of the street. Are you thinking of Jules? Some of the best breads and pastries in the city, next door to Simple.

              1. re: Snarf

                Sorry snarf! My 'next door' is +or- 50 yards!

                1. re: Charles Yu

                  No need to apologize. With so many good places in the area, it's easy to get sidetracked. Simple, Celestin, Across the Road, Lai Toh Heen, Pimenton, Culinarim, Thobors, Flaky Tart, Il Gelatiere Artisanale, Mogette, and Debu, which has ironed out a lot of the kinks and seems to be regularly full when I pass by.

                  1. re: Snarf

                    Ah! my chowfriend! You miss out the new Italian Trattoria 'Florentia?' next to Mogette! Ha!

                    1. re: Charles Yu

                      Too much on that strip to be complete! There's also Giorgios, and the Chick'n'Deli if you want fresh cougar.

                      Diolch yn fawr

                      1. re: Snarf

                        Not sure about "fresh" @ the C'n'D, unless things have changed recently. More like vintage!

                    2. re: Snarf

                      Can someone explain to me what is the relationship between Thobors and Celestin (if any)?

                      1. re: Brain of J

                        Not completely current, but Marc Thobors was the baker previously employed by Celestin, who then bought out the operation. It moved to separate premises a door north. Celestin continued to use his breads after the separation. I read here recently that Celestin has now been sold, but I'm not sure to who.

                2. re: Charles Yu

                  Great ! Moguette and Simple will be on my radar. I love greasy stuff such as the deep fried pork skin at Momofuku-Ko and the super unhealthy chinese dish "lard mixed soy sauce on rice" ! You too enjoy your meal at Colborne lane, I wonder how the $99 tasting menu differ from the $120 which they used to charge ?!

            3. Just to confirm several of the posts on this thread, we had an excellent experience at Simple Bistro last week. Total (excluding reaonabley priced, good wine) less than $100 for two. The pork liver pate was exceptional, the squash soup average. The Haddock special , small portion, but fine, the Saddle of Lamb wonderful. Service and attention very good.

              1. This is funny. Your comments jive very closely with an experience that a few of my friends had here. I had to skip the dinner that night and they were all raving about it afterwards. I think it was around the same time as yours as well.

                As far as I recall, their main points were also that everything was excellent in general, but really it was a couple of the sauces that were incredible. Namely the sorrel sauce with the halibut (it was also noted that it was a tad overcooked, though nicely crisped), and an unbelievable gnocchi with accompanying sauce, both in 'best of' status. The other sauces were good, but not at that rarefied level. Only complaint was that the portions were too small. They did urge the kitchen to convert the gnocchi into a main.