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Food & Drink

What’s on the menu at Laissez Faire, a new French-inspired restaurant in the old Home of the Brave space

By Renée Suen| Photography by Renée Suen
What's on the menu at Laissez Faire, a new French-inspired restaurant in the old Home of the Brave space

Name: Laissez Faire Contact: 589 King St. W., 647-508-5088, laissezfairetoronto.com, @laissezfairetoronto
Neighbourhood: King West Previously: Home of the Brave Owner: Jonathan Condren, Robert MacDonald, Dave Widenmaier (Locals Only) Chef: Zachary Barnes (Restaurant Gordon Ramsey in London, NYC’s Daniel, and Alo)

The food

A menu of French-influenced dishes that are anything but fussy, despite Barnes’ training in Michelin-starred kitchens: things like fried pork belly in a sherry gastrique, duck confit and whole grilled sea bream. There are also many vegetarian-friendly dishes on the menu, including a beet-based tartare, porcini truffle arancini and a cauliflower “steak.” A separate seasonal tasting menu ($80 and up) offered at the chef’s table changes weekly and includes beverage pairings. Weekend brunch is on the way.

What's on the menu at Laissez Faire, a new French-inspired restaurant in the old Home of the Brave space
Beetroot tartare topped with pickled fennel sits on a bed of horseradish crème fraiche. It’s served with bread crisps. $14.

 

What's on the menu at Laissez Faire, a new French-inspired restaurant in the old Home of the Brave space
Porcini truffle arancini are stuffed with mozzarella and finished with tomato sauce and fried basil. $13.

 

What's on the menu at Laissez Faire, a new French-inspired restaurant in the old Home of the Brave space
Sesame-crusted albacore tuna slices are garnished with avocado purée and a vinaigrette-dressed salad of radish and bean sprouts. $17.

 

What's on the menu at Laissez Faire, a new French-inspired restaurant in the old Home of the Brave space
Cubes of braised pork belly are deep fried, coated in a sherry gastrique and topped with pomegranate seeds and parsley. $17.

 

What's on the menu at Laissez Faire, a new French-inspired restaurant in the old Home of the Brave space
The Cauliflower Steak is blanched in a vegetable stock, then brushed with smoked paprika oil before being roasted and plated with romesco sauce, pine nuts, chimichurri and Jerusalem artichoke chips. $18.

 

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What's on the menu at Laissez Faire, a new French-inspired restaurant in the old Home of the Brave space
The house-made squid ink tagliatelle is topped with clams, mussels, shrimp and sourdough crumbs. $21.

 

What's on the menu at Laissez Faire, a new French-inspired restaurant in the old Home of the Brave space
The brioche panna cotta is finished with stewed and fresh plums, an apricot compote and some crunchy crumbs. $11.

 

What's on the menu at Laissez Faire, a new French-inspired restaurant in the old Home of the Brave space
Head chef Zachary Barnes (right) with co-owner Jonathan Condren.

 

The drinks

In addition to a selection of wine and beer, there are seasonal cocktails by bar manager Marko Mavra created with house-made infusions, syrups and fresh juices. Bubbly fans will enjoy the buck-an-ounce prosecco hour that runs daily from 5 to 8 p.m.

What's on the menu at Laissez Faire, a new French-inspired restaurant in the old Home of the Brave space
The Espresso Martini. $14.

 

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What's on the menu at Laissez Faire, a new French-inspired restaurant in the old Home of the Brave space
The Mint Cucumber Collins is made with gin, lime juice, house-made mint-cucumber syrup and soda. $14.

 

What's on the menu at Laissez Faire, a new French-inspired restaurant in the old Home of the Brave space
The Watermelon Picanté is made with tequila blanco, lime juice, fresh watermelon and jalapeño. $14.

 

What's on the menu at Laissez Faire, a new French-inspired restaurant in the old Home of the Brave space
The Beetroot Mule contains vodka, lime juice, beet juice and fresh ginger. $14.

 

What's on the menu at Laissez Faire, a new French-inspired restaurant in the old Home of the Brave space
Bartender Shawn Pratt prepares the Beetroot Mule.

 

The space

No longer recognizable as what was once the Home of the Brave, the space—decorated in vintage tiles, exposed bricks and a coffered ceiling—is much brighter and airier than it used to be. An open kitchen is flanked by a six-seater chef’s table.

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What's on the menu at Laissez Faire, a new French-inspired restaurant in the old Home of the Brave space
What's on the menu at Laissez Faire, a new French-inspired restaurant in the old Home of the Brave space
What's on the menu at Laissez Faire, a new French-inspired restaurant in the old Home of the Brave space
What's on the menu at Laissez Faire, a new French-inspired restaurant in the old Home of the Brave space
What's on the menu at Laissez Faire, a new French-inspired restaurant in the old Home of the Brave space
What's on the menu at Laissez Faire, a new French-inspired restaurant in the old Home of the Brave space
What's on the menu at Laissez Faire, a new French-inspired restaurant in the old Home of the Brave space

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