La Société Bistro http://lasociete.ca/ 416-551-9929 Sun to Thurs 11:30am-12am, Fri to Sat 11am-2am, 11am weekend brunch
Just as I was getting comfortable on the street level patio I noticed the menu had very few items, a café menu. So I gathered my things, settled the bill and moved upstairs. I was seated quickly, the patio packed with the usual Yorkville crowd. The menu of French influence is modernized by Chef James Olberg, who creates refreshing spins on Parisian classics. The items may be a tad pricey, but the atmosphere is very European. The escargot aux champignons des bois – a deconstructed spin on the classic dish. The escargot is mixed with wood mushrooms in a roasted garlic sauce, a phyllo pastry on either side float you down a dark path into a wild forest – firm, rich and glorious. Terrine de Foie de Canard is a velvety smooth duck liver terrine that is topped with macerated cherries; the savory and sweet flavours play so well on a crisp crostini, my only complaint is that they don’t give you enough crostini. I also tried the tartar de filet de bœuf which I found to be more relish than tartar and dreadfully under-seasoned. La Marseillaises looked so promising with clams, shrimps, halibut, mussels and saffron in a fish broth, I sigh – regrettably flat in flavour. Moules à saffron so beautiful and bright with its gold saffron broth, P.E.I mussels, and shallots again under-seasoned. I’m beginning to wonder if they’re afraid of salt. The bistro frites are angelic, saturated and served with a garlic aioli, its pleasure in every bite.
Bravo to the bartender on the lower patio. Before moving upstairs we grabbed a round of drinks from the patio bar – a cute setup on the Bloor street sidewalk. The Cesar was perfect, the sangria was perfect, the martini was perfect. It’s like going out after work to your favorite local bar, taking a that first sip of your favorite drink, letting the stress melt away; it tastes so good, its so perfect, and you lean back in your chair and smile.