The Artisan Baker, a new bakery café at Yonge and St. Clair, opened with little fanfare last week right beside the space left vacant when grab-and-go shop Le Panier Rouge closed. Chef-owner Bruno Beaudoin began his culinary training in France when he was only 13, and left a career in hotel management to launch the restaurant. It took exactly six months from the day casual Italian restaurant Passione pulled up stakes for Beaudoin to renovate the space, with the help of Glen Peloso Interiors. The 40-seat café is a very midtown Toronto take on Paris, with wall-mounted Edison bulbs and seat-to-ceiling tufted banquette backs. Toward the rear of the restaurant are display cases from which Beaudoin dishes up what he calls “food with a European flair but using Canadian products.”
Beaudoin serves set menus at lunch ($9 to $15) and dinner ($22), which draw from soup, sandwich, quiche and hot entrée selections that are made in-house and change daily depending on market availability. There are also fresh breads (most are $3.25) and pastries (croissants are $2.10; everything else is $3.10), all made using specialty flour from Quebec’s Moulins de Solanges. Beaudoin takes pride in sourcing ethically raised and chemical-free pork and vegetables from Ontario, beef from Alberta and Quebec cheese made from either raw or thermized milk. To satisfy the local office crowd, all food is available for takeout, and once the liquor licence comes in (in four weeks or so), the Artisan Baker will offer beer from Ontario microbreweries, a short wine list and a small selection of whiskies.
The Artisan Baker, 1423 Yonge St., 416-967-1423, theartisanbakers.com