Toronto’s Best New Restaurants: Café Boulud

Okay, technically it debuted in the new Four Seasons in 2012. That was then, and the Café Boulud of today is, as far as I’m concerned, an entirely new creature. It reopened last fall after being stripped down to the studs and getting a new chef de cuisine, Sylvain Assié, who changed course, so to speak, replacing a mishmash menu of Canadian-inflected Boulud dishes with more straight forward, although still incredibly decadent, brasserie classics. Assié, if the name isn’t a giveaway, is a full-blooded Frenchman, the better to execute a repertoire of artery-hardening chicken liver pâté, duck confit with parsley salad, garlicky escargots, and béarnaise in which to dip eager mouthfuls of flatiron steak and frites. The restaurant’s secret weapon is an imported-from-France rotisserie, where Assié bastes plump birds as well as whole pineapples, a dessert option best shared—it’s a lot of fruit. The menu is Gallic through and through, as is the new look: deep green banquettes, panelled walls, brass shelving over the marble bar. This is the Daniel Boulud we like. BEST BITE: An appetizer of airy, savoury beignets stuffed with calamari.

60 Yorkville Ave., 416-963-6000