Introducing: Concession Road, a French restaurant from the owners of Pukka, on St. Clair West
(Image: Gabby Frank)
Name: Concession Road
Contact: 760 St. Clair Ave. W., 416-658-0460, , concessionroad.ca @concessionroad
Owners: Harsh Chawla and Derek Valleau (also owners of Pukka)
Chefs: Masayuki Tamaru (Crush) and Mark Cutrara (Cowbell, Hawthorne)
The Food: French cuisine with “classic French roots, but global branches,” says Valleau. Chef Tamaru’s inventive takes on classic dishes include crunchy, chickpea-flour-coated calf’s liver with a Korean barbecue twist; duck kebabs with togarashi peppers; and tempura-battered cod. Of course, there are some traditional plates as well: steak shows up more than once on the menu, both with frites and as a tartare.
The Drinks: Sommelier Peter Boyd (Scaramouche, Skin & Bones, Pukka) is in charge of the Old World–heavy wine list, and there are cocktails and an absinthe program, as well. “We’re going to create a little bar scene, we hope,” says Valleau, “and bring a little downtown excitement to uptown.”
The Place: Bywoods’s barn board and black ceilings have been removed and repainted (respectively) to make the space brighter and airier. The restaurant is divided, separating its more formal bistro dining room from the bar. And, just in time for summer, there’s a street-side patio that’s licensed to accommodate 18 people (with room to spare for a green fairy or two).
313017 Concession Road was St. Clair's original name. (Image: Gabby Frank) https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/toronto-restaurants-concession-road-01-150x150.jpg https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/toronto-restaurants-concession-road-01.jpg https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/toronto-restaurants-concession-road-01.jpg 1200 795  https://torontolife.com/food/introducing-concession-road-french-restaurant-owners-pukka-st-clair-west/slide/toronto-restaurants-concession-road-01/ toronto-restaurants-concession-road-01 0 0
(Image: Gabby Frank)
313018 Fluke and ocean trout sashimi with green peppercorns, olive oil and a walnut oil vinaigrette ($13.50). https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/toronto-restaurants-concession-road-02-150x150.jpg https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/toronto-restaurants-concession-road-02.jpg https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/toronto-restaurants-concession-road-02.jpg 800 1208  https://torontolife.com/food/introducing-concession-road-french-restaurant-owners-pukka-st-clair-west/slide/toronto-restaurants-concession-road-02/ toronto-restaurants-concession-road-02 0 0
313019 Shrimp bonbon with citrus salad and red pepper coulis ($9.75). https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/toronto-restaurants-concession-road-03-150x150.jpg https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/toronto-restaurants-concession-road-03.jpg https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/toronto-restaurants-concession-road-03.jpg 1200 800  https://torontolife.com/food/introducing-concession-road-french-restaurant-owners-pukka-st-clair-west/slide/toronto-restaurants-concession-road-03/ toronto-restaurants-concession-road-03 0 0
313020 Beef tartare with Asian pear, pickled vegetables, a raw quail's egg and toast ($14/$22). https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/toronto-restaurants-concession-road-04-150x150.jpg https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/toronto-restaurants-concession-road-04.jpg https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/toronto-restaurants-concession-road-04.jpg 1200 795  https://torontolife.com/food/introducing-concession-road-french-restaurant-owners-pukka-st-clair-west/slide/toronto-restaurants-concession-road-04/ toronto-restaurants-concession-road-04 0 0
313021 Fried Atlantic cod with tamarind fish fumet (a.k.a. stock), purple potato and golden beets ($19.75). https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/toronto-restaurants-concession-road-05-150x150.jpg https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/toronto-restaurants-concession-road-05.jpg https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/toronto-restaurants-concession-road-05.jpg 1200 795  https://torontolife.com/food/introducing-concession-road-french-restaurant-owners-pukka-st-clair-west/slide/toronto-restaurants-concession-road-05/ toronto-restaurants-concession-road-05 0 0
313022 "JFC": Mennonite-farmed fried chicken with mash, tomato and preserved-lemon mayo ($19.50). https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/toronto-restaurants-concession-road-06-150x150.jpg https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/toronto-restaurants-concession-road-06.jpg https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/toronto-restaurants-concession-road-06.jpg 1200 800  https://torontolife.com/food/introducing-concession-road-french-restaurant-owners-pukka-st-clair-west/slide/toronto-restaurants-concession-road-06/ toronto-restaurants-concession-road-06 0 0
313023 The dining room is separated from the more casual bar area. https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/toronto-restaurants-concession-road-07-150x150.jpg https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/toronto-restaurants-concession-road-07.jpg https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/toronto-restaurants-concession-road-07.jpg 1200 795  https://torontolife.com/food/introducing-concession-road-french-restaurant-owners-pukka-st-clair-west/slide/toronto-restaurants-concession-road-07/ toronto-restaurants-concession-road-07 0 0
313024 Here's the bar. https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/toronto-restaurants-concession-road-08-150x150.jpg https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/toronto-restaurants-concession-road-08.jpg https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/toronto-restaurants-concession-road-08.jpg 1200 795  https://torontolife.com/food/introducing-concession-road-french-restaurant-owners-pukka-st-clair-west/slide/toronto-restaurants-concession-road-08/ toronto-restaurants-concession-road-08 0 0
313025 https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/toronto-restaurants-concession-road-09-150x150.jpg https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/toronto-restaurants-concession-road-09.jpg https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/toronto-restaurants-concession-road-09.jpg 1200 795  https://torontolife.com/food/introducing-concession-road-french-restaurant-owners-pukka-st-clair-west/slide/toronto-restaurants-concession-road-09/ toronto-restaurants-concession-road-09 0 0
47 thoughts on “Introducing: Concession Road, a French restaurant from the owners of Pukka, on St. Clair West”
Dude. Surely you must have better things to do than sit around on Toronto Life all day every day waiting to ‘keep score’.
Dude. Surely you have better things to do than pretend that it takes any more than 10 seconds to post what Darren does on here. He likely spends less time on here posting something interesting than you do with your chronic griping. I notice the ONLY posts you ever make are your complaints about Darren’s posts which you could easily ignore. Yet you don’t.
pot… meet kettle. take your own advice C.M. and get a life.
Are you well?
Honestly, C.M. The irony of you complaining that Darren “must have better things to do”, yet you seemingly having nothing better to do than whine about Darren, is evidently lost on you.
another example of pot calling the kettle black. what seems not ‘well’ about her? you keep posting snide little insults but you never actually say anything. elaborate for all of us why you’d ask that. and while you’re not doing that, you can also tell us if you know what hypocrisy means. that is, if you are able to spend even MORE of your day on here.
You’re right. It is actually very healthy to spend your days online trolling Toronto Life’s website over at least 85 different occasions to be the very first each time to comment within minutes (if not seconds) of a story being posted. Very healthy indeed. There is indeed no better use of one’s time and it was quite despicable of me to dare suggest otherwise. I stand utterly corrected and would like to sincerely apologize for my out-of-line remarks to our fare city food crusader Darren and his legion of absolute peckerhead minions such as yourself. Forgive me.
You’re right. It is actually very healthy to spend your days online trolling Toronto Life’s website over at least 85 different occasions to be the very first each time to comment within minutes (if not seconds) of a story being posted. Very healthy indeed. There is indeed no better use of one’s time and it was quite disgraceful of me to dare suggest otherwise. I stand utterly corrected and would like to sincerely apologize for my out-of-line remarks to our fare city food crusader Darren and his legion of absolute peckerhead minions such as yourself. Forgive me.
CM, why do you feel the need to lie to make your argument? And argument which makes no sense to begin with because if has NO impact on your life that Darren simply posts a stat? Are you worried about Darren’s health? Maybe, given a look at your profile pic, you should be more concerned about your own health? But answer one question-even though I know it’s not your M.O.: How do you know that 1: Darren is the very first to comment each time AND how do you know his comments are within minutes? Unless you’re here monitoring the time between the story being posted and when his oh-so-offensive-to-you comments are posted? Please, no more rhetoric and deflection and simply answer the questions. Or go back to trolling.
Yikes. Pathetic much?
cm is angry that he has no ”minions”. you post on here for attention cm, then when you get it you cry about that too. not only are you a troll AND a poser but you’re a crybaby.
i like that about his profile pic. if there was any doubt he’s an attention whore before, that poser profile pic leaves none. keep jumping for everyone’s attention cm. jump higher for us.
you know what is funniest about the kid? he has one vote up. and it’s from himself.
Lol you nailed it, Dr. Laughter Train. Remarkable insight. (You’re also clearly quite a pathetic zero.)
says the guy who upvotes his comment. and is the only upvote comment. here’s the thing about being a troll: you’re not supposed to show your hand so quickly and so obviously. you need to ease into it. you blow your load too quickly Poser.
again, says the guy who has nothing to do but complain about someone else’s posts and then upvotes his own. poser.
not disgraceful. just phony and hypocritical. somehow that’s lost on you. while we’re NOT answering questions, which you’re very good at, why does it bother you so much, to see a simple stat? how does it impact your life? you think if darren stops, it will fix that glaucoma you suffer from?
Get a life.
Keep it coming, you’re making my day.
you think people don’t know that THIS is what makes your day? it’s clear from the start that your validation in life is jumping up and down on the internet saying ‘look at me’. but you’re too fragile to admit it or answer a simple question. and all you have is trotting out stuff like ‘get a life’ and insulting others with lame insults for being a lot less of what you are yourself. i bet you’ve got some really bad tattoos. poser attention whores always do. it’s sad that you’re too weak to answer a simple question though. i bet i know what REALLY drives you crazy though.
why are posts by c.m. turning into posts by ‘guest’? and he asks about being pathetic?
You’ve incorrectly described what Darren does, your “peckerhead” comment suggests that you are an eight year old, and you still seem to be missing the point completely.
Everyone, just ignore C.M. (some of his comments how appear as “guest”). Don’t feed the dimwitted troll.
Get an education.
Because unlike you aimless cretins, I don’t need to stain my online trail by staying involved in this garbage lol. Had I any idea that posting on here would subject me to the lamentable assaults by this worthless army of anonymous (nay cowardly) dopey dickheads and keyboard warriors, I wouldn’t have wasted the morsel of energy. But I digress. As I have stated before: seek help. If anyone disputes this, gladly go take a look through “Laughter Train’s” regrettable history. Disqus and Toronto Life sadly seem to play a very central role in your life. But good luck with everything!
Sorry. No tattoos. Expensive education, lucrative career, and proper grammar though.
Yes well you are very, very tough and credible behind your anonymous online alias and no picture, so believe me, I’m taking all of this to heart.
You caught me. Great work, Sherlock.
i like the irony of your post that ends with your claim of ‘proper grammar’ that has improper grammar. not to mention you’re another guy bragging on the internet about your great education, your great career. between that, your hypocritical posturing and then embarrassment of your own trolling to the point of covering it up, you’re nothing more than a cliche. that lucrative career you brag about (like all kids on the internet) must not be that important if, in the middle of the day, you’re trolling with nothing to actually say. what i can’t understand is what job, at toronto life, could even be considered lucrative.
staying involved int he garbage that you initiated and sought out. so you understand you’re more of an aimless cretin than anyone else on here but you just don’t want your fellow poser friends to know what an aimless cretin you are? got it. what WAS your purpose though? i mean, when you started all of this today, and previous times? what is your concern? why do you care? why does it SO get under your skin?
Expensive education, lucrative career, self-described ‘proper grammar’ (you might want to re-evaluate that one)… All of these things that clearly make you such a great, superior person yet you have no minions of your own. Do you often find yourself thinking that it’s always everyone else that’s wrong and stupid?
I love how C.M. upvotes his own childish comments. I’m not quite sure whether he is a troll, a source of amusement, or both.
I’m asking because I actually don’t know and do see Mr. Robinson post very often. Is he putting this score up to underline the paucity of articles related to Scarborough/East Toronto or to emphasize the maybe more transient but energetic Western Toronto social scene?
He is simply keeping tally of articles related to the food scene east and west of Yonge, to emphasize that Toronto Life’s gaze does not extend too far past its own little bubble of its own making.
Bywoods was pretty decent, but had it tough competing with Ferro and The Rushton nearby. The split dining room didn’t help either.
What the St. Clair stretch west of Christie really needs is an Indie Alehouse kind of place (minus the investment and dedication of a microbrewery). Casual but attractive surroundings, family and single friendly, music that’s easy on the ears, great beers on tap and great food. It’s a guaranteed money-maker. I’m stumped as to why restauranteurs in this area either shoot too high / too glossy (Catch, etc.), too low (sports bars), or too middling (Bywoods). De Soto’s would do if their food weren’t such an abomination. Do it simply but do it really well, and create an atmosphere and menu that people will flock to not because it’s date night, but because they don’t feel like cooking that night, or just want to unwind at the bar. Hopefully the condos being built along St. Clair will bring enough young blood to give some entrepreneurial type the courage to open up a place such as this.
As someone who lives in the area I totally agree. Many decent to excellent restaurants to choose from along that section of the strip, but the bars/”pubs” are nothing to write home about.
I’ve always thought the same but having lived along the strip now for ten years I think that sort of high-end pub food is a tough sell on St Clair, particularly given easy transit access to the rest of the city.
A bunch of the “glossy” places do that type of food really well and if you don’t want to have a fantsy-pants sit down dinner there is always Stockyards. The singles and couples don’t want their experience ruined by the families and the families don’t want to pay through the nose for ambience that their kids will only ruin.
The other thing is that there is still a strong market for “sports” bars in this part of the city. The new British pub opened a few years ago with an intent to rise above that crowd but has since fallen into the trap of a rotating array of constantly smoking single men outside the door all night long.
But one can hope!
Hmmm…I gotta disagree. People want a place they can walk to. A true local. I get so tired of having to get on the TTC or in my car or on my bike just to dine out on really good but not fancy food accompanied by a pint of craft beer. I’m not talking about cutting edge restaurants like Bar Raval or the like.
For that reason I don’t think high-end pub food is a fair description of what I’m seeking. Our brains have been poisoned by the Firkins and Fionn MacCool’s of the world into thinking that pub food is reheated garbage from Sysco, therefore anything that rises above that dreck is high-end. There are too few middle ground options between chain pubs and places like The Rushton, but Indie Ale House nails it. The food is somewhat similar between I.A.H. and The Rushton, but Indie’s menu is definitely simpler and has a more broad appeal, not to mention the price point is much more wallet-friendly. The Rushton, while great in its own right, definitely appeals to the lower Forest Hill crowd in atmosphere and menu. It’s just a little too “done” to be a regular for a more broad demographic. Catch was the same, and even that higher end sports bar you mentioned suffers the same problem. That place looks like it would be more at home on King West. Too clubland in style. None of the places we’re talking about on St. Clair are a comfortable fit for families, but at I.A.H. (and a few others around the city) everyone co-exists beautifully.
As for Stockyards, sure, if they had a liquor license and a more sit-down versus grab-and-go atmosphere, it would definitely hit the mark. Doubt that’s ever going to happen.
Yes, one can only hope. In the meantime I’m starting to go grey, so change may come after my time ;) .
I do agree that the new place doesn’t seem to be the right fit. Neither does La Créole further west. We’ll see if they last.
“Judy”.. until you can prove to me that you (and a few other Darren defenders conveniently using aliases) aren’t just Darren yourself, conversation over. If ‘Darren’ even is the pest’s real name.
To everyone else: just look at this Darren piece of work’s profile and how willing he is to engage in snarky, combative exchanges on countless other posts… yet never to address criticism of his stats. However there is always conveniently a whole fleet of the same phantom accounts who DO chime in… every single time out. In a remarkably identical tone and sharply critical manner as to each other and to him in his other posts. And the only time they ever do seem to show up on Toronto Life forums is to defend their man. Seriously, NOWHERE else on here. Always to voraciously stand behind the stat of an absolute online stranger… again, every single time out. Interesting!
So anyway, that’s that. You can draw your own conclusions.
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