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Feb 27, 2014 08:02 PM

' La Croisee ' - Leaside's new French Bistro with cozy, romantic ambiance and delectable Burgundian Food!

During the past few weeks, fellow Chowhounders have been reading a lot about the new "Bistro92", a French Bistro headed by a La Tour D'Argent trained chef. Although the food was good but unfortunately the restaurant is located in a slightly sleazy part of town with difficult parking.

Tonight, fellow chowhounder CanEast and I braved -26C temperature and tried out another new French Bistro. This time, in more 'up-scale' Leaside and with ample of street parking. The kitchen of 'La Croisee' is headed by Andrien Beilleux, a Burgundy born chef.who was the Sous chef of Paris famous Michelin 2* seafood palace - Le Divellec.

We were greeted by a warm and cozy small dining room, with white linen table, fresh flowers and relaxing Mozart symphony as back ground music. They offer a 3 course prix-fixe menu plus complimentary amuse bouche for $45. Dishes involving more exotic ingredients like lobster or Foie Gras are charged an extra $6 supplement.

We selected the following dishes between the two of us:

- Soupe a l'oignon de Meursault ( Onion soup's recipe inherited from the chef's grandmother)

- Tartare de homard a la mayonnaise de Dijon ( $6 supplement )

- Revisite du boeuf Bourguignon sur son lit de polenta ( New version Burgundy beef with smashed potato not polenta, tonight )

- Sanglier Rossini, Foie Gras, Risotto au Parmesan ( $6 supplement )
Rossini Wild Boar steak with seared Foie Gras.

- Moelleux au chocolat avec creme glacee de Vanille

- Poires pochees a la seve de Bourgogne. ( Pear poached in Burgundy red wine )

Overall, the tasty food was very nicely prepared and executed.

Amuse of Cheese crostini and Foie Gras on Ginger bread was a delightful start.

The high light of the evening must undoubtedly belong to the amazing Boeuf Bourguignon! Absolutely fork tender with a nice mix of meat and tendons. The protein morsels, infused with the most complex and delicious sauce, were simply awesome!! This must be the BEST Boeuf Bourguignon I have had in Canada!! Period! Thank God for the never ending supply of fresh crispy and warm Baguette to mop up the sauce!

The Lobster Tartare was nicely done. The fresh succulent meat, just barely cooked, was slightly under-dressed so as to allow the sweet lobster meat to shine through! A reflection of the chef's seafood skill acquired from the Michelin Master 'Divellec'?!

The wild boar was perfectly cooked to medium ( however, for more tenderness, I should have ordered medium-rare instead ). The accompanying truffle sauce was delicate and tasty. However, the star belongs to that 'generous' piece of seared Foie Gras. Wow! What a size! For only $6 more! It was a steal!! (A similar size raw one from Cumbrae costs me $17 last week!!).

The two desserts were equally enjoyable. The poached pear in Burgundy wine a rare tasty treat!

Unfortunately, amongst all the good, there was one slight misses! The rather 'thin and diluted' Onion Soup was a sad disappointment. I was expecting a version with caramelized onion aplenty and a complex, compact broth. But instead, I received only a rather half-hearted rendition. What a pity! Definitely room to improve!

Overall, with 3 Kirs and Kir Royale, a couple of extra supplements, the meal comes to $170 all inclusive. I would say a pretty good value meal in such an upscale neighbourhood.

For my next visit, I will focus on ALL seafood!!

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  1. BTW, similar to Bistro 92, Chef Beilleux also came out of the kitchen to greet and talk to us. A very nice touch!
    Hope he will do well?!!

    2 Replies
    1. re: Charles Yu

      Nice review Charles. It's definitely a higher price point compared to Bistrot 92 so I'm not sure if's truly fare to put them side by side. The boeuf Bourguignon and lobster sounds wonderful.

      Great to see another new restaurant crop up!

      1. re: Nevy

        Thank yu Carles. I must go to La Croisee. It sounds like the chef can cook!
        There is more than ample free and inexpensive parking at Bistrot92. It's neighbourhood is better described as "without airs".
        I will report on La Croisee with special reference to the parking and comparison to Bistrot92.
        Does "Revisite du boeuf " etc. mean leftovers?

    2. You know what my first question is. How's the wine list?

      2 Replies
      1. re: Googs

        Very scant! Work in progress! Nothing interesting by the glass. Hence we opted for a Kir instead!

        1. re: Googs

          A glass of cremant is $15 plus tax and tip - so rounding up to the price of a bottle!

        2. We went yesterday and agree that the boeuf bourguignon is wonderful, as is the fois gras that comes with the boar steak. Asking for the boar medium-rare didn't seem to help with the tenderness, unless yours was really tough. Next time I'm going to ask if they'll serve the boeuf bourguignon with fois gras (for some extra $, of course).

          Our wine was wonderful, seeing as we brought a '93 Nuits-St-Georges 1er cru from our own cellar. Corkage was a reasonable $20 (weekdays, which seems to include Sunday) and $25 on weekends. They had a considerable display of wine bottles that people had brought to the restaurant, so that's the way to go. We never even saw their wine list, so I don't know what it's like.

          We both had the chestnut soup (nice) and for dessert the moelleux au chocolate (wonderful, but be warned that the chocolate was very bitter, as you'd expect in France) and the petit panier de fruits (very good).

          Service was enthusiastic and very friendly, but a little ragged (a new waitress apparently). The waitress forgot my wife's latte until reminded, but then comped us for it, so we couldn't complain.

          What was worrisome was that for the entire time we were there (7:30 - 9pm) we were the only customers. Granted, it was Oscar night and bitterly cold, and they did say that they were crazy busy on Saturday night, so perhaps it was a fluke. Let's hope they stay around for a while.

          We'll be back, and we recommend it.

          7 Replies
          1. re: Ted Richards

            Phew!!!! I'm glad you liked the food!!

            Yes!, for some reason, the current two chowhound favorite French Bistros ( Bistr92 and La Croisee ) both lacked customers! Must be disparaging being the owner! Sigh!

            1. re: Charles Yu

              We have not been (yet) but drive by regularly, as we live in the general vicinity. It has been busy on the past number of Thurs, Fri, Sat nights we have driven by.

              There is a dearth of good restaurants in the neighbourhood (L'Avenue being an exception). Too much Asian fusion, the horrid Amaya, and sushi roll places.

              Mr. Vuitton and I are looking forward to trying it. Sadly, given the current crazy at work/work travel, it is looking like late April. :(

              1. re: Charles Yu

                The design is miserable. I walked by there before I had heard anything about the place on a trip uptown to Cumbrae's and Rahier and it looked very unappealing. Hearing the reviews here, I want to go, but I fear that too many skilled chefs forget that restaurants are places where people go to eat and they have to spend time in those places. The room needn't look plush or expensive or even swish, but it must look welcoming or charming or comfortable (think Edulis). While most people want a good meal, not everyone is as focused on the food as we are here. The lack of a marketing footprint probably doesn't help them either. I wish them well and hope to get there soon, but I worry that they've made some missteps.

                1. re: BigBabyYeezuS

                  What is misrible about the design, from the pictures it looks perfectly fine? White tables cloths, wood chairs - whites and wood tones... Looks comfortable to me and about what I would expect from the type of restaurant that it is.

                  What would you expect?

                  1. re: BigBabyYeezuS

                    IMHO, modern, minimalistic design does not equate to 'miserable'! Most of the bistros in the area like Simple or Mogette are all like that!
                    Personally, I quite enjoy the cozy, warmness of the place.
                    To each its own!

                    1. re: Charles Yu

                      It looks dated. The sign, the painted drop ceiling, the weird stones, even the table clothes (neither Simple nor Mogette, both of which have cleaner and warmer designs use full table clothes) give the impression that not much care has been put into the place.

                      The food looks great, and I hope they succeed, but it's a tough dining neighbourhood for serious food (there's been nothing particularly great since Celestin and Jov, maybe the early days of Simple) so you've got to create a place that draws in the neighbourhood. Design's important. Probably too important.

                      Anyway, I hope to get there soon and I'll leave the design criticism for elsewhere (or at least until I eat a meal there)!

                      1. re: BigBabyYeezuS

                        I really disagree with your statements on the decor. It looks like a modern french bistro - I haven't seen it in person, but from the walls, the banquettes - it looks quite fresh.

                        If you want to see a dated look, go to Scaramouche or Little Anthony's.

              2. That's better. Thanks Charles.

                1. You can tell Charles didn't like it that much - only one exclamation point!

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: MissBingBing

                    sorry, I didn't really recommend your post, just clicked on it by accident and there is no way to "un-recommend" it!

                    1. re: foodyDudey

                      Yes there is. You just click on "recommend" again.