Introducing: Concession Road, a French restaurant from the owners of Pukka, on St. Clair West
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).