Le Rossignol French Bistro
Is opening up where Pop Bistro used to be on Queen. Not sure when, I've only done a streetcar pass-by. Not sure if it's open or opening soon. There was a date of Nov 1 floating around the internet, but I didn't feel like it was open.
Of course, this is at 10:30 in the morning, so...
686 Queen St E, Toronto, ON M4M1G9, CA
Arrived for our reservation promptly and were immediately seated. The waitress gave us a complimentary glass of champagne while we perused the menu. Ordered the frisee, pate, cassoulet and roast boar chop. While we waited, the waitress placed an amuse bouche of shrimp dressed w/ a cream sauce.
Frisee salad w/ lardons and poached egg: nice and yolky, an excellent salad. Frisee was properly dried this time so when the yolk is broken, the salad is creamy w/o being watery.
Pate main served w/ toast and jam. Meaty w/o being salty and the jam added a sweet note. Lovely.
Cassoulet: It was -5C out so this dish really hit the spot. Two confit duck legs, rosemary herbed sausage and white beans slow cooked until al dente and flavorful. The duck legs might've been a little chewier than usual, but still a good, hearty, filling dish.
Roast wild boar chop: Cooked medium w/ an excellent, slightly sweet glaze, mashed potatoes, baby carrots and crunchy broccolini. The flavors and textures were wonderful, an excellent dish.
Chocolate cake: deep, chocolatey flavor, with just enough sweetness to allow you to enjoy the chocolatey taste w/o being sugary, sickly sweet.
Pear poached in wine and honey, served w/ vanilla creme in phyllo. Man, this dessert was amazing. I'll definitely get this again.
It's not haute cuisine, but it is a French restaurant and service is appropriate and friendly.
We'll definitely hit this place again as the seasons change and different things come into season like ramps and fiddleheads.
I've in the hood and the BF and I decided to check it out for our Sunday date night.
Overall it was it was ok. Not stellar, not bad, but a good local restaurant.
When we arrived just after 8 p.m. we walked in behind what appeared to be the first table of the evening.
The wait turned to us, looked around the room and said "oh you can sit anywhere, (looking to the front) even up here, I don't think the door will be opening much tonight."
From that introduction we really got the sense that the place maybe be feeling a bit of the January blues and hurting for business. This was later confirmed when they were not able to make changes for our bill. The waiter even went to the back to get the change box and was still unable to to make change for our cash.
We got menu's quickly and decided on our dish and wine.
Frisse salad and duck confit for me. The BF has the onion soup and the wild boar.
For dessert we shared the creme brulee.
The our apps appeared and the frisee salad looked beautiful. The presentation really was lovely. The egg on top was perfectly cooked and the lardon surrounding the frisee where brown and crispy. However, the frisee itself has not been properly dried. In fact, it was so full of water it left a little puddle on my plate. Really such a shame b/c it wrecked a very good app.
Of course I tried the BF's soup. It was truly tasty! Pipping hot, the right amount of cheese, not too salty but truly a rich broth with great mouth feel. Overall the winner of the two.
The kitchen was then trying to get out a large amount of plates for the table the arrive just moments before us so we waiting a while longer that what one would expect for our mains, but the waiter was attentive and we were enjoying ourselves so no big deal.
The mains arrive and while my duck is and beans are steaming hot, the BF's risotto which was served with the wild boar was at best warm.
My duck's skin was the prefect crispiness and a tad salty but I enjoyed every bite. While the flavour of the beans was lovely, they could have benefited from some additional cooking time. They had a a good bite to them and I would have preferred them to be a bit softer. The one true miss on my place was the small piece of garlic sausage. It was old. Actually too old IMO to have made it out of the kitchen but it did. Again, a very small thing but really a shame. In retrospect, I probably should have said something, but generally I just don't do that unless something is really terrible or just plain wrong.
The BF's boar was a shank braised and served with a really lovely sauce and a saffron risotto. While the sauce was tasty, and the shank was hot when served it was DRY. Seriously dry. When the bf and I discussed it his take is that it was likely braised at too high a temp for a shorter period of time. The flavour was great but it just needed a lower cooking temp some more time in the braise and then to be cooled in the liquid before being brought back up to temp for service. While the risotto was only just warm, the texture and flavour were great and actually a really nice pairing for a big winter meal.
We then moved onto the creme brulee which was great. I would have liked it to have been chilled a little more but that's just a personal preference and who cares b/c it was excellent. Great flavour, great top, great mouth feel. A simple but well done dish.
In addition to the food we have three glasses of wine and one coffee. The bill was $115 before tip.
I do have to say that I'm glad I didn't read jlunar's review before I went b/c we didn't get any of the extras that he experienced. I know they don't do these things all the time, but we didn't even get any bread - which I still think is kinda weird!
Some hits, some misses, some easy fixes that would make this a really great local place but they still have some work to do.
as a note: didn't get bread either. Just the two amuses (I was surprised that I got even one! Not the kind of thing I was expecting from a bistro). The first amuse was also served to the other 4-top that came in after me, so it was consistent that night, but maybe not an always thing? Not sure.
They are still pretty new at .. 6-8? weeks old and similar to your evening JennaBean, there were few people in the house the night I went - my table of 1 and the other table of 4.
The guy who owns this place apparently bought the old Barrio too...
Thanks for posting this review. My husband and I had dinner here about a month ago. We wanted to really like it, but there were a couple things that just didn't work. (The house made wild boar terrine was really nice, but the monk fish I ordered consisted of two tiny, (and slightly rubbery), medallions of meat, a top a limply pile of swiss chard. My husband, excited to see cassoulet on the menu, was somewhat let down when it arrived; the components appeared to have been (curiously) cooked separately and then assembled on the plate.
I want to give it another chance. (Judging by the other reviews, it sounds like their meat dishes may be a better bet.)
On the plus side, I do like the interior changes they've made since the days of Pop, and the wait staff made for a fun evening! I'm also in the area and glad to see new businesses popping up along the Queen E strip!
A yep! Short: I liked it. Will be going back soon, so hopefully, it will be as good.
On the edge of Leslieville, Le Rossignol French Bistro had been busy turning over what used to be Pop Bistro’s space. Every time I passed by on the street car, I would eye the progress being made. They finally opened at the end of November and I quickly pounced with a conveniently-timed coupon from one of the many daily-deal sites that abound. With the cold hammering away on all fronts, what better than some comforting classic French dishes to fight off the chill?
Not long after I settled in at my table, an amuse came out from the kitchen. It was a butternut squash soup with coconut foam and the scent of five-spice wafting up from the toasty ceramic shot-glass. A lovely and delicious way to warm up.
Up next: a hot bowl of French onion soup; not too salty and a with a really nice onion base. Islands of floating toasted crisps were tangled in a mess of stringy melted cheese. It was a hefty portion of soup – good for sharing. Of course, I ate it all by myself.
With just one stomach and two mains to go, the kitchen clearly thought I hadn’t ordered enough. And so a toasted crisp with a quenelle of duck terrine on it was placed in front of me. A jaunty cap of pork skin topped it off. Meaty and a little vinegary, this mouthful was a nice way to perk up the taste buds. This could have been because they’d noticed the camera by then.
Straying from my “classic French” theme, I couldn’t resist and got the house-made pasta of the night: linguine with pulled-boar, mushrooms, and laced with truffle-oil. Rich and delicious, this was a deceptively large portion of pasta (about 2x what you see) due to the plate being more bowl-like than you’d think. Very filling and worth a try if they still have it on the menu.
Suffice it to say, I was pretty full at this point. And what’s next? Cassoulet. It landed on the table, and this lovely plate of beans, half-sausage, and two confit duck legs just mocked me. The peanut gallery of lardons laughed. I tried valiantly, but I got through half a leg, a slice of sausage, and a few spoonfuls of beans before I called it quits. Though I had known before I placed my order that most of this was slated for lunch the next day, I felt I should have done the dish more justice as it was sitting in front of me. The cassoulet did make for tasty leftovers, however.
I had a glazed look in my eyes as the waitress bustled on over to enquire if I wanted dessert. But of course!
I opted for a pot de crème trio (it’s small, right?) in berry, mango, and apple (left to right). The mango was light and delicious, and not as mangoey as it could have been – to its credit. The berry (cassis, I think), in contrast, was quite strong and worked well. The texture was a bit grainy though. I’d have opted to pass on the apple in the end, given that I had no room in my stomach. Not even the pot of loose-leaf tea (earl grey. hot.), strong and black, could do much for me.
All in all, Le Rossignol is a promising new neighbourhood place I’d return to sometime. Added atmospheric bonus is the fact that French gets bandied about between the front-of-house and kitchen. And on a cold wintry night, there’s nothing more satisfying than classic French cuisine to fuel and fortify a body against the chill. Of course, I was a glutton and went way beyond just-full. But I certainly didn’t feel the cold after my meal!
Le Rossignol French Bistro
686 Queen St E, Toronto, ON M4M 1G6, CA
To be honest, I didn't like Batifole the few times I went. It was okay, but I found Le Rossignol to be much better. Now, I haven't been in a couple years now, so maybe things have changed, but while I have good memories going to Batifole, it's not the food that I remember!
I also think they have two different vibes somehow and Rossignol pulls it off way better, imo.
Just reviewed my photos: http://www.flickr.com/search/?q=batif...
and yeah, I didn't like it that much. Okay, but not good enough to elicit really strong/positive comments.
744 Gerrard St E, Toronto, ON M4M1Y3, CA