What’s on the menu at Bouffe, chef David Adjey’s new French kitchen on Dundas West
Contact: 1173 Dundas St. W., @bouffe_toronto
Neighbourhood: Trinity Bellwoods
Previously: Camp 4
Chef-owner: David Adjey
Accessibility: Not fully accessible
“In the golden years of my career, I want to cook only food I like to eat. To me, that’s French food,” says David Adjey. “I wanted a small restaurant where I could actually cook everyone’s food myself.” The chef’s rollicking reputation and prominent media career may precede him, but this project is pure heart. And it’s no in-name-only celebrity chef joint: on any given night, you’ll find Adjey in the kitchen in his chef’s whites.
The food is classic French—novel-length ingredient lists and all—though Adjey ups the whimsy with creative plating and touches of Canadiana, like a poutine made with duck confit. Think gorgeous, orange zest–infused bouillabaisse, Canadian prime steak burnished with a four-day demi-glace, and of course, escargot, here encased in vol au vent and finished with vivid bordelaise.
This is refined, cheerfully unironic fare from a chef who—having been everywhere and done it all—is rediscovering the simple joy of running the pass at his own restaurant.
It probably goes without saying, but the wine list is exclusively French: this is the place to go for bordeaux, burgundy and champagne. Speaking of bubbles, there’s a fun champagne-based cocktail program peppered with house-made syrups and infusions, as in a lovely floral French 75 that incorporates fresh lavender syrup. If you’re not into bubbly, the bar is well-equipped to make your favourite classic cocktail.
Adjey wanted the space to feel like an out-of-the-way Parisian cafe, with a subdued colour palette (barring some splashy acrylic art) and relaxed, clean-cut aesthetic. The small room, while hardly resembling the riotous bar of its past life, retains its intimate feel.