Cluny Bistro & Boulangerie Menu Tasting – The Distillery District Toronto

Cluny Bistro and Boulangerie- The Distillery District Toronto
Surprisingly for a large, diverse city, Toronto lacks in restaurants serving well priced French cuisine. That was until today when Cluny Bistro and Boulangerie opened in the Distillery District!

Cluny Bistro & Boulangerie
Cluny Bistro & Boulangerie

Created by the owners of El Catrin which opened last year down the street as well as The Boiler House, Pure Spirits and Archeo, Cluny Bistro is an 11,000 square foot homage to all that is great about the modern French Bistro dining experience. Also designed by the same design team, Munge Leung Design, the interior was inspired by the ornately appointed dining rooms of Paris but with an industrial edge.

Chef Paul Benallick, who has worked in some of the city’s best dining establishments including Canoe, Auberge du Pommier, Stock Restaurant and Jump, has created a non-pretentious French menu.

From the “small plate” section, meant to be shared, we started with a Tuna Tartar Nicoise paired with Piper champagne; a nice, fresh beginning of the meal which was followed by the much richer Roasted Duck Poutine made with duck fat fries, duck gravy and a sunny side up duck egg.

tuna tartare Nicoise
tuna tartare Nicoise

My favourite appetizer was the Qualicom Bay scallop crudo which had just the right amount of heat. This was also true of the spicy watermelon and tomato soup. The Chambord and pineapple in the vodka French Martini were the perfect accompaniment!

An interesting fried spin on both sweetbreads and frogs legs are on the Cluny Bistro menu. The “Buffalo fried” sweetbreads were tender and intriguing when topped with the blue cheese dip. The ginger- chili fried frog’s legs were addictive!

ginger-chili fried frog's legs
ginger-chili fried frog’s legs

Never one to turn down a fresh fig, these ones were stuffed with warm Roquefort cheese and honey and called “Papillon noir Roquefort”.

From the “large plate” section of the menu, diners at our table tasted the veal meatball “tomahawk”, veal meat on a bone-stick with the side of gnocchi which was fabulous!

veal meatball "tomahawk"
veal meatball “tomahawk”

Moroccan flavours or harissa, almond and apricot are popular in France and here too in the Moroccan chickpea and sweet potato stew.

From their large selection of wines, we tasted the 2011 Jean Phillippe Janoueix Bordeaux. But undoubtedly the best was saved for last with the deserts at Cluny Bistro and Boulangerie! The bittersweet chocolate truffle bar and raspberry sorbet was divine but secretively hidden below blue cotton candy. The passion fruit soufflé in which the server placed a vanilla crème anglaise, was probably the best soufflés I’d ever had!

passion fruit souffle
passion fruit souffle

If you’re looking for a foodie vacation to Paris but don’t have the time or money, make a reservation at Cluny Bistro and Boulangerie and you won’ be disappointed!

(photos by Tanya)
Cluny Bistro on Urbanspoon
Cluny Bistro & Boulangerie Menu Tasting – The Distillery District Toronto


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