Just in time for TIFF, Café Boulud reopens with a new look and menu
After closing in late June to undergo a complete transformation, the new Café Boulud is now open, just in time for TIFF parties. The space, designed by Martin Brudnizki (J Sheekey, The Ivy, Drake One Fifty) has gone from looking like a typical hotel restaurant (stiff-back chairs, neutral palette, pop art), to a French brasserie (cozy leather seats, burnt orange and British racing green accents, Hermès herringbone wallpaper). “I think the restaurant called for a more convivial atmosphere,” says chef Daniel Boulud, who’s in Toronto for the duration of the film festival. “We wanted Café Boulud to be repositioned as a modern French bistro, in a style of the great cafés of Paris or Lyon.”
The menu was also overhauled and the dishes now reflect Boulud’s Lyonnaise roots: country-style pâté, Niçoise salad, boudin blanc, duck confit, hand-cut steak tartare and rotisserie everything. Boulud says years living in New York and his travels have inspired some Asian, American and Mediterranean influences (a pho-based bouillon, his Frenchie burger, linguini with clams) but the menu is largely traditional. “I’m French by heart,” says Boulud, “and I shouldn’t hide behind it. I should highlight it.”
The room is much warmer now, and looks less like a hotel restaurant and more like a brasserie.
Frisée Lyonnaise: chicken livers, poached egg, lardons, sourdough croutons ($19).
Escargots Persillade: garlic, parsley butter, mushrooms, garlic toast ($19).
Blanquette au Vert: veal stew with herbs and green vegetables ($29).
Sea Bass “Catalane”: romesco sauce, red onion, tomato, pepper and almonds ($38).
Linguine du Sud: saffron pasta, arugula, clams, fennel, lemon ($18/$26).
The Frenchie Burger: a 7 oz. burger, morbier cheese, dijon mustard, pork belly, tomato-onion compote and arugula on a black pepper bun with pommes frites ($24).
Tarte Fine Aux Pommes: thin apple tart, honey Tahitian vanilla ice cream ($12).
Coulant au Chocolat: molten chocolate cake, maple–black cherry ice cream ($14).
The corner bar is a new addition. Diners who choose to sit there can order from the full menu. (Also: new cocktails.)
These chairs are much comfier than their predecessors.
Executive chef Daniel Boulud (left) with chef de cuisine Sylvain Assié (right).
60 Yorkville Ave. (in the Four Seasons Hotel), 416-963-3000, cafeboulud.com