The beloved neighbourhood watering hole Barrio shuttered its French doors last summer, and hungry Leslievillers have been gazing at the space longingly ever since. Well, no longer. Richard Henry, the proprietor of Le Rossignol, a few blocks west, has opened up his newest venture, Le Canard Mort. “They closed the place on Saturday and I put an offer in on Monday,” Henry told us. “I had to move fast since there was a lot of interest in it—the Ruby Watch Co. people were down here looking.”
Whereas Le Rossignol is a traditional bistro, Le Canard is more of a bar, with 150 classic cocktails on their list. In the fresh, 48-seat space, Henry has kept the original Barrio layout, making only cosmetic changes—a palette of silver-grey, taupe, tin and steel. The anticipation for the space was so great that it’s been slammed from day one—even without proper lighting or a sign.
Part of the credit for the response must go to the 24-year-old chef Craig Madore, a Windsor native and recent graduate of the George Brown Chef School. Madore worked at the Royal Canadian Yacht Club for three years, where he met chef Jeremie Seguinot, who brought him over to Le Rossignol (Seguinot has since moved on). Le Canard’s 31-item menu is reasonably priced and offers both bar bites, like the toasted spiced nuts ($6), and more filling mains, like chicken cordon bleu ($21) with raclette, Niagara prosciutto and horseradish mashed potatoes. “I wanted to do fun pub food with a French twist, by using better ingredients from the best suppliers and cooking from my heart,” he says. Case in point: the whimsical veal sweetbreads, Buffalo wing–style with a quenelle of blue cheese aioli and a play on carrot and celery sticks. The dinner and bar service will be joined by lunch and brunch, which will be offered later this month.
For Henry, however, the focus is on the drinks menu. “I love the cocktail culture of the ’20s and ’30s,” he says. “It was such a great, elegant era for drinking—prohibition and speakeasies.” Bartender Emily Schulze (Uva and the Four Seasons in Vancouver) is a cocktail purist and master of each of the 150 concoctions on the list. All juices are freshly squeezed, and Schulze promises she’ll be making her own syrups, fruit purées and grenadine soon too.
8 thoughts on “Introducing: Le Canard Mort, the new Leslieville restaurant and cocktail bar from the people behind Le Rossignol”
awesome looking forward to it….
As a French-speaker I find the name (“Dead Duck”) particularly unappetizing! (Likewise, any mention of gastropubs evokes nasty digestive disorders…)
As an English speaker I find it a fabulous name!
Pub, pub, pub – always a great venu.
I will try based on name alone – Kim
Are they opened for lunch?
Tried to go for lunch, the staff was so rude we turned around and went to the place next door. the mort canard is off to a bad start.
Went last night. No reservations and managed to get a table at 8pm. It was very busy. They were out of the Malbec wine and olives that are no the menu are, as per the waitress, no longer available. Service was slow but I figured the place is brand new and they are working the kinks out. The food was amazing. Flavors were just incredible! The drink list was mouth watering. Ended up having appetizer, main and dessert. The wait staff was appreciative and kept thanking us for our patience. Yes. they are busy, they are slow as a result but if you can relax a little, enjoy the atmosphere, trust me it will be worth it.
I was at this restaurant with friends several weeks ago and we were overcharged by $60.00 on our bill. It was an honest addition error make by the server, and I didn’t notice it until after I arrived home.
I returned to the restaurant to point out the mistake the next day, and I was told that the owner would look into it and contact me.
After hearing nothing for three days, I paid a second visit to the restaurant. I was told by a waiter that my credit card would be re-imbursed. There was no explanation about why the owner had failed to call me back.
It has now been 3 weeks since the incident, and my credit card has not yet been credited with the overpayment. When I was finally able to connect with the owner of the restaurant (Richard), he did as little as possible to help me out. He told me that I would need to contact VISA and follow up on this. I have yet to receive an apology from him, and he seems to begrudge every moment he is having to invest into this matter.
This is poor, poor service. I am so disappointed, because I really wanted to like this restaurant. Le canard mort serves good (though not great) food, and the wait staff is excellent. The owner, however, has little concern for engendering any good will with his customers. I will not be returning, and I will not encourage others to go to le canard mort.
My husband and I had dinner at Le Canard Mort on Saturday evening. Our waitress was not impressed and rolled her eyes when we asked if we could move tables because we were by the window and it was quite chilly. The restaurant was empty at the time, so I’m not sure why this was such a big deal to her. We placed our order – my husband having the stuffed Yorkshire Pudding as an appetizer while I had the crab ravioli. My ravioli was excellent, however the Yorkshire pudding was cold and burnt. For our mains, I had the lamb special while my husband had the pork chop. The pork was excellent, however the lamb was very gamy. I ‘m a lamb lover but this dish did not impress. We finished with dessert – a key lime pie which was very good. My husband had a chocolate cake that was so dry, it crumbled to pieces when you tried to eat it. All in all, for $200, it was very average. Lots of better places to eat for the price point.
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