Saturday, June 27, 2009

Le Paradis, a French restaurant in Toronto

Le Paradis, a French restaurant in Toronto, on Flickr by beFOODled.

A funny coincidence happened when S and I were in Toronto and looking for a place for lunch. He had downloaded a random restaurant-finder app on his iPhone and it recommended a French restaurant called Le Paradis. We found it, and it looked charming with deliciousness on the menu, but it was closed :(

Later in the day, I got a call from Peanut Butter and Jelly, my Ottawa friends who are former Torontonians and who have an unerring instinct for quality food on a student budget. As soon as they found out we were in Toronto, they recommended Le Paradis without knowing that we had already tried to go there! It was a sign that we should try again.

Try again we did, this time with success, for supper. We ended up on the tiny patio, a humble and deceptive front for a huge multi-level restaurant inside. We sat next to a francophone family that looked like they had stepped out of a Parisian magazine. They were reason number two that I knew we had made a good choice (PB and J being the first). And as soon as I saw the table d'hôte on the menu for $20, I had my third.

The table d'hôte, which S ordered, was a fantastic three-course meal (taste-tested by me at every interval ;) for $20 including coffee or tea. The selection changes every day, but that night it started with mixed greens with cruditées, braised duck leg served with sauerkraut (in the foreground in the photo), and blueberry lemon custard.

I got the poulet à la Basquaise, braised chicken with tomatoes, onion, garlic, red pepper, black olives and bacon (also pictured above) for $15. It was very good and had a lot of my favourite ingredients, although I found the chicken a bit dry and the rest with a bit too much oil.

The menu changes every day. There were many different things I would like to try when I go back. The table d'hôte is, I think, more my size: the portions are smaller that the à la carte entrées, which include no less than four different kinds of fish every day for between $15 and $17. Le Paradis also offers a daily choice of fruit tart, and assorted French cheeses on their dessert menu — I tried the small one and for $8, you get several kinds of cheese and they come with condiments and crackers.

It was lovely and I would like to go again and recommend it to anyone who finds themselves hungry in Toronto.

Le Paradis
166 Bedford Rd.
Toronto, ON Canada

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