HOME > Chowhound > Ontario (inc. Toronto) >

Return of Cafe Brussel!!!!

millygirl May 18, 2013 04:17 PM

Roger is back!

He's working on a new restaurant at Queen and Waverly due to open in July.

I am very excited about this.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. m
    mskatsam RE: millygirl Jul 11, 2013 06:39 AM

    Update? Is it open yet or to be opened?

    Brussels Bistro
    1975A Queen St E, Toronto, ON M4L 1J1 416-694-0004

    11 Replies
    1. re: mskatsam
      non sequitur RE: mskatsam Jul 12, 2013 09:23 AM

      Spoke with Roger today, and he says "2 weeks on the safe side".

      I was calling him because, in his former capacity with Saucier Foods, he was the "meat pie king" of T.O.

      Now I will have to resuscitate my years-old thread "ISO meat pies"!

      1. re: non sequitur
        millygirl RE: non sequitur Jul 12, 2013 09:45 AM

        Not only meat pies but quiche, croissants, danish, tarts, etc etc.

        I will miss him at the Farmers Market but this new venture makes up for it.


      2. re: mskatsam
        mnajji RE: mskatsam Jul 22, 2013 09:37 AM

        Wow, that far East?

        1. re: mnajji
          rogerwils RE: mnajji Jul 22, 2013 09:58 AM

          Woodbine is not Far East, just below where I used to be on Danforth , ten minutes from the old place

          1. re: rogerwils
            MissBingBing RE: rogerwils Jul 22, 2013 01:16 PM

            Weren't you at Broadview and Danforth? It might be 10 minutes to Broadview and Queen but Woodbine?

            1. re: rogerwils
              mnajji RE: rogerwils Jul 23, 2013 09:12 AM

              Haha, I will still come!

            2. re: mnajji
              Googs RE: mnajji Jul 23, 2013 10:18 AM

              Woodbine is a piece of cake. I'd recommend leaving the car at home, though.

              1. re: Googs
                mariecollins RE: Googs Jul 24, 2013 07:44 AM

                It has just clicked where Waverley is! Great, somewhere good in the Beach.

                1. re: mariecollins
                  Herne RE: mariecollins Jul 24, 2013 09:14 PM

                  Does anyone have any hints about where to park in that neighbourhood?

                  1. re: Herne
                    eppicurious RE: Herne Jul 24, 2013 09:18 PM

                    Parking, and "the beach" don't really go together (much like food, and "the beach" until now, I hope). Mainly you have to park on Queen if you can get a spot but there is a huge lot at Woodbine park. There is also a green P at Lee but you're looking at a bit of a walk from each - less from the green p.

                    1. re: Herne
                      JennaBean RE: Herne Aug 1, 2013 07:22 AM

                      Maybe park behind the movie theatre and enjoy the walk :-)

            3. Googs RE: millygirl Jul 11, 2013 08:19 AM


              2 Replies
              1. re: Googs
                mariecollins RE: Googs Jul 11, 2013 08:22 AM

                Is this the same guy from the original Cafe Brussels on Broadview? I remember going soon after it opened (in the late 80's?) and having the beers with special glasses and snacks.

                1. re: mariecollins
                  millygirl RE: mariecollins Jul 11, 2013 08:52 AM

                  Yes same guy!

                  Opening is planned for mid to late July.

                  The menu is going to be much like it was and I can't wait!!!!

                  He had the best mussels and frites in town. And champer selection.

              2. d
                dianaroh RE: millygirl Jul 19, 2013 02:12 PM

                I went there all the time. We are excited! His wine menu was amazing. Loved amuse as well.....too bad. What's taking Roger so long? Diana.

                1. m
                  mskatsam RE: millygirl Jul 20, 2013 05:15 PM

                  My fingers are crossed that it will be open this coming weekend. Update please.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: mskatsam
                    millygirl RE: mskatsam Jul 20, 2013 06:13 PM

                    I'm thinking he'll wait until the jazz festival is over.

                  2. r
                    rogerwils RE: millygirl Jul 21, 2013 06:31 AM

                    Thank You for that, i really appreciate it

                    I will open on July 31

                    hope to see you , regards


                    9 Replies
                    1. re: rogerwils
                      mskatsam RE: rogerwils Jul 21, 2013 03:46 PM

                      My bf will be so excited to learn about the date you will be back in action. He adored your bouillabaisse.

                      1. re: rogerwils
                        millygirl RE: rogerwils Jul 22, 2013 05:33 AM

                        yay, can't wait :)

                        1. re: rogerwils
                          currycue RE: rogerwils Jul 22, 2013 07:26 AM

                          Looking forward to trying your Carbonnade / Stoverij. Do you make it with tomato or hot mustard?

                          1. re: currycue
                            rogerwils RE: currycue Jul 22, 2013 07:35 AM

                            a little tomato, it will be in a special here and there, not on my regular menu this time,

                          2. re: rogerwils
                            non sequitur RE: rogerwils Jul 22, 2013 11:18 AM

                            Aww, you should do a soft opening for those of us on this thread! (Plus I return to Miami on the 30th). I hope it's a great success!

                            PS - this is my first ever visit to Toronto without a meat pie, now that roger has made his exit from wholesale permanent.

                            1. re: non sequitur
                              MissBingBing RE: non sequitur Jul 22, 2013 01:17 PM

                              I've heard good things about the pies at Bristol Yard.

                              1. re: MissBingBing
                                rogerwils RE: MissBingBing Jul 22, 2013 01:24 PM

                                no more pies, i made those when I had Saucier Foods, i make bistro restaurant fare like before.


                              2. re: non sequitur
                                rogerwils RE: non sequitur Jul 22, 2013 01:24 PM

                                well, you never know, maybe I can be ready, it all depends on the equipment being delivered and installed


                              3. re: rogerwils
                                sizen55 RE: rogerwils Aug 1, 2013 07:15 AM

                                Will you be serving the Duvel cocktail you used to make at your old Broadview location?

                                Stephen (formerly known as "Lassie")

                              4. TheGloaming RE: millygirl Jul 23, 2013 06:17 AM

                                This is wonderful news! Have been a fan for over 20 years.

                                1. Baelsette RE: millygirl Jul 23, 2013 09:32 AM

                                  We are SO excited!

                                  1. syoung RE: millygirl Jul 23, 2013 09:57 PM

                                    We used to go to Café Brussels for weekend brunch. However, as someone else said, Queen & Woodbine is a bit far.

                                    18 Replies
                                    1. re: syoung
                                      mskatsam RE: syoung Jul 23, 2013 10:21 PM

                                      Queen and Woodbine is accessible by car or ttc. I missed Cafe Brussels. I am delighted enough to travel to the beaches for Roger's new venture. I wish him every success and wish to send positive thoughts his way.

                                      1. re: mskatsam
                                        millygirl RE: mskatsam Jul 24, 2013 06:44 AM

                                        Here here mskatsam. Totally agree!!

                                        Personally speaking, I will travel at great lengths if the food, service and vibe appeal to us. But that's just us. Why limit yourself I say.

                                        I am quite confident that Roger will deliver all of this and more making the trip worthwhile.

                                        1. re: millygirl
                                          mskatsam RE: millygirl Jul 24, 2013 07:19 AM

                                          Every once in awhile I think it's good to get out of one's usual comfort zone and try a new neighborhood. Too easy to take all our city offers for granted. My bf and I were crushed when we lost Café Brussels. It will be a good day when we get to see the new place in action.

                                          1. re: mskatsam
                                            syoung RE: mskatsam Jul 24, 2013 03:55 PM

                                            Yes, once in a while, but not as frequently as could be if location is better. Location does matter.

                                            1. re: syoung
                                              millygirl RE: syoung Jul 25, 2013 06:57 AM

                                              He's opening up in the heart of the beach!!!

                                              It's unfortunate it doesn't suit you syoung however it's a perfect location for countless others.

                                              1. re: millygirl
                                                JennaBean RE: millygirl Aug 1, 2013 07:24 AM

                                                Even the people in the beach deserve something worthwhile! ;-)

                                      2. re: syoung
                                        AverageJo RE: syoung Jul 24, 2013 04:58 PM

                                        Your loss is my gain; there are plenty of us east-of-Woodbine residents who are happy Cafe Brussels has opened in this neighbourhood.

                                        I do have to echo Carolla's observation that this really isn't THAT far east. It's not like the place has opened at Kingston Road & Meadowvale; now that would be far!

                                        1. re: AverageJo
                                          non sequitur RE: AverageJo Jul 24, 2013 07:48 PM

                                          Hey! I'M at Kingston and Meadowvale - at least we have a zoo out here...
                                          Ok, it's pretty much a culinary wasteland.

                                          1. re: non sequitur
                                            AverageJo RE: non sequitur Jul 25, 2013 06:23 AM

                                            And a very nice zoo it is too! Now we just gotta work on the restaurants...

                                            Seriously, though, I didn't mean to diss your 'hood. Apologies.

                                            1. re: AverageJo
                                              non sequitur RE: AverageJo Jul 25, 2013 10:36 AM

                                              No offense was taken. Just thought it was funny that I happened to be so close to your random intersection pick.

                                              And yes Googs, we can walk to Fratelli, which is a great re-addition to the community.

                                              1. re: non sequitur
                                                AverageJo RE: non sequitur Jul 25, 2013 01:13 PM

                                                Ah, that's all right then.

                                                I was trying to think of the easternmost intersection before the city limits.

                                            2. re: non sequitur
                                              Googs RE: non sequitur Jul 25, 2013 09:01 AM

                                              You live practically on top of Fratelli Village Pizzeria. I WISH I were so lucky. I'd be there every week!

                                            3. re: AverageJo
                                              syoung RE: AverageJo Aug 1, 2013 01:08 PM

                                              It's not a loss at all! With all due respect, you guys seem taking this personally. All I said was it's a bit far. I'm sure the beach is a great place but it's not as convenient a location for the majority as the original Danforth/Broadview location.

                                              I'll go once and if it's great, I'll be a repeat customer. If not, then there are many decent restaurants closer to the Toronto core. So when exactly does it open? End of July has past.

                                              1. re: syoung
                                                Googs RE: syoung Aug 1, 2013 01:33 PM

                                                It opened last night.

                                                1. re: Googs
                                                  millygirl RE: Googs Aug 1, 2013 01:39 PM

                                                  We're going in the week after next. Can't wait!!!

                                                  1. re: millygirl
                                                    Herne RE: millygirl Aug 1, 2013 09:14 PM

                                                    I still recall the beef stew I had there about 15 years ago on Broadview. But I don't recall the name:(

                                                    1. re: Herne
                                                      cheesymama RE: Herne Aug 2, 2013 04:32 AM

                                                      Most likely the carbonnade. I was hoping it would be back on his menu this time around but unfortunately it's not. I believe Roger commented somewhere down thread that it will be a special from time to time.

                                                      1. re: cheesymama
                                                        Herne RE: cheesymama Aug 2, 2013 05:24 AM

                                                        I think you are right. A Belgian or Flemish Beef Stew. Several years ago but I still remember it including the plate.

                                          2. c
                                            Carolla RE: millygirl Jul 24, 2013 01:50 PM

                                            I WALK from Queen/Kingston Rd to Broadview/Danforth in less than one hour! Why does everyone think the beach is so far away?
                                            I'm glad to hear the Queen East strip is getting a good restaurant finally.

                                            2 Replies
                                            1. re: Carolla
                                              julesrules RE: Carolla Jul 24, 2013 02:27 PM

                                              Well, there's the metaphorical distance of being off the subway and having no good restaurants :)

                                              1. re: julesrules
                                                Carolla RE: julesrules Jul 24, 2013 02:56 PM

                                                Yes, the beach does have that reputation of being self contained. Too bad though, as I think nothing of going to Ossington or whatever...I think the east end has this "isolated feel" to it. Fortunately there's enough locals this place should be successful. I've already emailed all my neighbours about it.

                                            2. g
                                              gembellina RE: millygirl Aug 12, 2013 07:59 AM

                                              We had a great dinner here. Wonderful rich salty butter with the bread. Crabcakes hot and fresh from the pan, full of chunks of crab. Brussels salad with strong salty blue cheese fine but unremarkable.

                                              Moules marinieres had a lovely translucent white broth with green peppercorns, no cream. Frites were very very good - golden and hot and crunchy, and lots of them! His steak was a perfect med-rare, and the Roquefort sauce was "demi-glace spiked with blue cheese" according to the waiter. It was gone before I had a chance to sample!

                                              No desserts for us. One glass of champage, two Belgian beers, two glasses of wine, $160. We'll definitely be returning. Reservations seem to be essential, as we were turned away on the first Saturday it was open.

                                              1. j
                                                JennaBean RE: millygirl Aug 20, 2013 12:13 PM

                                                I'm going with a friend at the end of next week and would love suggestions as to what to try.


                                                1. syoung RE: millygirl Sep 14, 2013 09:01 PM

                                                  I went today with a foodie friend. The drive to the Beach took about 40 min from my house in North York with no traffic down the DVP (an extremely rare case!).

                                                  I was seated at the "chef's table" which is basically the bar facing the kitchen. The back of my chair was broken so I couldn't lean back so I was never completely comfortable, but they said there was nothing they could do. The restaurant is small with modern décor.

                                                  Wine markups were very high (I collect wine so I know a little bit about prices), so I ordered what I know to be one of the least overpriced bottle which was one of the Rioja. They do not offer BYOW option.

                                                  I ordered the crab cake appetizer which had a decent amount of crab (good!) but otherwise unspectacular. My friend ordered the Escargot that he said was below par because it was burnt.

                                                  For the main, I ordered the Duck Confit with green peppercorn. It was decent with tender meat but not crispy skin. The flavors were a but muted but otherwise fine and, again, unspectacular. My friend had the lamb rack which he ordered medium but came medium-rare, but overall he thought was good.

                                                  There were only 2 dessert options (excluding fruit) a crème brulee and some kind of chocolate dish, IIRC. We decided to skip.

                                                  Overall, we both thought it was fair to good. If they were located nearer to the city central, we'd likely return, but it's not nearly special enough for us to be driving this far again anytime soon.

                                                  5 Replies
                                                  1. re: syoung
                                                    KAYLO RE: syoung Sep 15, 2013 01:27 PM

                                                    THanks for the info! I will take gembellina's hint and order the moules frites.

                                                    1. re: KAYLO
                                                      JennaBean RE: KAYLO Sep 16, 2013 10:50 AM

                                                      I ordered the moules snob and they weren't really all that good. Lacking in any mouth feel or richness for the broth. I suggest you avoid that option on the menu.

                                                      1. re: KAYLO
                                                        syoung RE: KAYLO Sep 17, 2013 11:48 AM

                                                        Talk about frites, we did order a side order of frites. Like everything else, they were OK, a few notches below the best we've had in Toronto. I recall frites at Café Brussels on Danforth were very good, but times have changed and the bar has been raised.

                                                        The kitchen was pretty small, though fitting for the small size of the restaurant and only Roger (owner) was cooking. He was going non-stop during the 2 hours we were there. It was pretty full by 7:30pm but dwindled to less than half full by around 9pm on that Saturday night. Also to add, service was very friendly.

                                                      2. re: syoung
                                                        juno RE: syoung Sep 17, 2013 12:58 PM

                                                        Re syoung's mention of Cafe Brussels' wine markups: I recall Cafe Brussels' old location having some of the highest wine markups I'd ever encountered at that time in a mid-level resto in Toronto. I remember thinking that, compared to its markups, the Scaramouche list was a bargain. The food at Cafe Brussels was decent, the atmosphere was nice, the service was good, but nothing turns me off a joint quicker than what I regard as excessive wine markups. After three or four visits, ever searching for a respectable wine or beer markup, I never went back to Cafe Brussels. Looks like it hasn't changed in its new incarnation.

                                                        1. re: juno
                                                          syoung RE: juno Sep 17, 2013 01:27 PM

                                                          Exactly! For example the Trinity Oaks is $48 at Brussels Café but retails for $8 in the US or about $12 in Ontario.

                                                          It's gotten to the point where we almost always only go to restaurants that allow you to BYOW. Even if it's high corkage, it's still worth it if their markups are 300-450%.

                                                      3. m
                                                        mskatsam RE: millygirl Nov 16, 2013 04:36 AM

                                                        I took an out of town guest to Café Brussel last night. My guest was a big fan of Café Brussel - Danforth location. We took a $20 cab from King and Yonge. I am pleased to report that the new restaurant lived up to our expectations. My partner adores the bouillabaisse. We also enjoyed fresh bread with a charcuterie plate. lamb (him) and a steak frites (me). We had a 930 reservation on a Friday night. I recommend a reservation as all tables were full but in the midst of leaving. Service was wonderful especially a lovely server from Germany. It looks like Roger's hand and attention to detail touches every plate that leaves the kitchen so we would likely not book a table during peak dinner hours if you are in a rush. We sat in the front window. The restaurant has a charming appeal well suited to the Beach. It's a nice setting for an anniversary dinner. I could see bring my folks here for a birthday dinner celebration. No brunch hours yet. A wine bar is about to open upstairs but I stayed on the main level. I do have a soft spot for Roger. I enjoyed many evenings in the Danforth location so I am happy to report that we had another magical evening.

                                                        1. m
                                                          mskatsam RE: millygirl Mar 6, 2014 02:50 PM

                                                          I have heard that the restaurant may be in trouble.

                                                          6 Replies
                                                          1. re: mskatsam
                                                            atomeyes RE: mskatsam Mar 6, 2014 05:51 PM

                                                            the real estate listing's a giveaway, eh? :)

                                                            1. re: atomeyes
                                                              mskatsam RE: atomeyes Mar 7, 2014 07:10 AM

                                                              I don't live in the Beach. I learned of Roger's new venture on the board so thought I would pass along the info sent to me in a forwarded email.

                                                              Thanks for the confirmation.

                                                              1. re: atomeyes
                                                                JennaBean RE: atomeyes Mar 7, 2014 07:12 AM

                                                                Do you have a link to the listing? I can't find it. Thanks!

                                                                1. re: JennaBean
                                                                  dianaroh RE: JennaBean Mar 7, 2014 07:48 AM

                                                                  Listing is on Homefinder, but only the business is for sale and not the building. There is no MLS number. Sad to see this happen. Sorry to say that the menu was not that appealing, and reviews over-all were not up to the standards either. One must always be careful of reviews when you are a business owner. There is always competition and complacency is not an option no matter how much money you throw into your business. Tough market, tough patrons.

                                                                  1. re: dianaroh
                                                                    JennaBean RE: dianaroh Mar 7, 2014 08:03 AM

                                                                    Hmmm I was more interested in the building not the business. I really love the coziness of the space.

                                                                    Thank you for the additional details.

                                                                  2. re: JennaBean
                                                                    Jacquilynne RE: JennaBean Mar 7, 2014 08:56 AM

                                                                    http://www.icx.ca/propertyDetails.asp... This seems to be the listing.

                                                              Show Hidden Posts