What’s on the menu at La Banane, Brandon Olsen’s fancy, French-inspired restaurant on Ossington
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Name: La Banane
Neighbourhood: Trinity Bellwoods
Contact: 227 Ossington Ave., 416-551-6263, labanane.ca, @labananeresto
Previously: The Saint
Owners: Bradon Olsen (CXBO, Bar Isabel, The Black Hoof) in partnership with King Street Food Company
Chef: Brandon Olsen and Basilio Pesce (Biff’s, Porzia, Cheese Boutique)
A smattering of classic French dishes, like a fluffy omelette, as well as some with Olsen’s own twists, including his take on liver and onions. “This is the food that I want to eat,” Olsen says. “I want to be here for the next 25 years.” For dessert: the “Ziggy Stardust Disco Egg,” a chocolate egg embedded with apricots, ancho chilies and coffee beans, and filled with hand-rolled Peruvian dark chocolate truffles. The limited-availability creation from Olsen’s CXBO line is like a Kinder Egg for grown-ups.
Besides wine, beer and cider, head bartender Christopher Weaver (Momofuku, Skin and Bones) mixes up revamped classic cocktails and house specialities, which will always include a banana-based number (currently it’s La Banane Royale made with dark rum, banana, cream and egg). Also on the drink menu: low-proof and virgin cocktails.
The 80-seat restaurant is split into three areas: a front “garden” room with marble tables and booth seating, a “brasserie” with a raw bar and snazzy banquettes, and the rear salon. Each area is decorated with brass finishes, original artwork and antiques, like vintage glassware, from Olsen’s own collection.