Royale’s Luncheonette lands in Little Portugal
Toronto’s first self-titled “luncheonette” to open in recent years has set up shop in an old flower store on Dundas West. At the no-fuss counter, Royale’s co-owner Mark Dufort, who previously worked at L’Ouvrier, sends out sandwiches, salads and baked goods. “After working 17-hour days for years, I wanted to open my own place—a community restaurant that’s as casual as casual can be,” says Dufort. In true luncheonette fashion, the only thing separating the kitchen from the tiny room (three tables and one record player) is a low countertop, which allows Dufort to interact with his customers while cooking. He’s not, however, dishing up typical greasy-spoon food: the grilled cheese, for example, is made with Prairie Boy’s sourdough, Balderson’s cheddar and caramelized onions ($6.50), bagels are topped with candied salmon ($4) and jerk wings come with cornbread ($8). And, after much arm twisting by Dufort’s friends, a Royale with cheese ($7) has made it to the menu, too.