A French woman has set up shop in Toronto and her name is Colette. Last week, the highly-anticipated French restaurant located in the Thompson Hotel opened its doors and has already become a destination restaurant for many. Living just across the street, I have been watching the evolution since they started building. Watching beautiful white arches put up, walls being painted, and furniture arrive made me hungry for French food, so last Friday my boyfriend and I dined at Colette with two friends.
My first impression was, Wow! Brought to us by the team from The Chase Hospitality Group, it is no surprise that the décor is nothing short of perfect. Decked out in white, blue and yellow, the plush décor gives you a sense of being in France. Black and white marble flooring, beautiful antique white chairs, a huge bar in the center of the room… they have successfully transformed the space so there is no sign of its predecessor, Scarpetta. Two patios, one very dramatic in the center of the Thompson Residences and the second running along the Wellington Street sidewalk overlooking the park, make the entire experience at Colette very romantic.
The menu is also quite romantic with staple French dishes that have been given a modern twist. Executive Chef Micheal Steh effectively created a mouth-watering menu making it difficult to choose what to eat. We tried a few different things so that we could all share. Being a true French girl, I cannot go to a French restaurant and not try the foie gras. In this case, the foie gras is served three ways: torchon, parfait and bruleed (think foie gras crème brulee). All were delicious, though my favourite remains the torchon while sipping on a nice Sauterne wine. Then we shared the Tuna Maurice, a fresh and deliciously light dish; the “Tour de Colette”; the Soufflé au Chevre; the Chanterelles; and the Pan Bagnat. We all enjoyed each dish thoroughly and I actually don’t have anything negative to say. I personally loved the Tour de Colette, which includes fresh seafood, prepared vegetables with dips, and bread sticks. It’s a great sharing dish and well worth the $58 price tag.
I did wonder about prices as the area of King West is currently undergoing a surge of new restaurants all offering great value. While the prices are definitely not cheap, they are also not too bad given the size of the dishes and the fact that sharing is encouraged. If you don’t go nuts, it’s easy to eat a fantastic meal for under $50 a person.
All in all, Colette is a welcome addition to our King West neighborhood – and chances are they will know me by name because the vibe is fantastically French, the food phenomenal, and the service spot on. Can’t get much better than that. Next time I go I will head to the bakery – let’s see if they can wow me with an almond croissant…
Have you checked out Colette yet? Let us know your thoughts about this new French restaurant in the comments below or tweet us @ViewTheVibe.