Simple Bistro - A quick update
When chef Tamaru was manning the kitchen, Simple Bistro was my mid-town go to place for good, value for money and consistently reliable French bistro fare. With Chef T gone to the Left Bank on Avenue Road, I haven't been back to Simple for quite a long while!
I was looking for a 'non-Winterlicious' place to eat tonight, when I decided to give my old favorite a try. I was glad I did! The food was still 'simple', un-pretentious and tasty. And at $40 for a three course prix-fixe, still pretty good value for money.
Dishes chosen included:
- A multi-dimensional beet salad
- Salt cod brandade, micro-greens, horseradish Aioli
- Duck duo - Seared duck breast, truffled duck liver Boudin, braised
red cabbage, herbed Parissiene gnocchi, Port wine jus.
- Lemon curd, butter shortcake crust, blueberry compote, cream
- Made to order, Creme patissieri fried mini doughnut beignets with Bailey's hot chocolate sauce and whipped cream.
Nice plate presentation, gorgeous tasting salad dressing, perfectly cooked duck breast, light fluffy liver sausage and 'to die for' Doughnut desserts! The latter - OMG awesome and good!! Amazing textural and temperature interplay!
Slightly bland Brandade......?? That's it?! Just a simple mishap? Wow!!
And the service, professional and ultra-friendly.
Glad I don't have to drive all the way downtown for good French Bistro food!! Sigh!!!
After reading Charles' review I didn't think there would be much to add, but Simple has changed a little over time.
The good is that the $40 three course prix fixe is still on offer and the menu prices are still low. The bad is that our last two visits the owner was not there and this time we were told that he has taken a job in banking in order to have similar hours to his wife and child. This isn't to say service was lacking, everything was efficient, but he brought a passion, personal touch, and knowledge especially with seen when pairing food with wine.
In a competitive market such as Toronto, with new restaurants constantly opening, and young chefs eager to up the ante, Simple feels like it's running on cruise control. I think it will continue to be a popular neighbourhood spot, it was 70% full midweek, and there are hits to be found on the menu if one chooses carefully, but I think someone travelling across town may not see much different from their own local bistro.