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Food & Drink

What’s on the menu at Le Sélect, the second coming of one of Toronto’s favourite French bistros

By Liza Agrba| Photography by Daniel Neuhaus
What's on the menu at Le Sélect, the second coming of one of Toronto’s favourite French bistros

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Name: Le Sélect Bistro Contact: 432 Wellington St. W., leselectbistro.com, @leselectbistro
Neighbourhood: Fashion District Owner: David Aisenstat, Allied Properties, Scale Hospitality Chefs: Ted Corrado, Zachary Barnes Seating: 150 indoors, 70 outdoors Accessibility: Not fully accessible

The food

Over a 45-year tenure in Toronto, Le Sélect earned its elder statesman status with a reliable rotation of French classics: duck confit, moules-frites, cassoulet and tarte tatin. After a two-year hiatus, the beloved bistro has finally reopened, surmounting major challenges in the process—in 2020, the impact of the pandemic coupled with property tax hikes threatened to shutter it for good.

What's on the menu at Le Sélect, the second coming of one of Toronto’s favourite French bistros
Chef Ted Corrado

“We’re staying true to the traditional bistro style—and maybe taking it up a notch,” says corporate executive chef Ted Corrado. “My focus is on sourcing and execution.” It’s a new era for the iconic restaurant, but with the classics intact, fans can rest assured that it’s held onto its soul.

What's on the menu at Le Sélect, the second coming of one of Toronto’s favourite French bistros
A combination of frisée, red oak and baby gem lettuce is lifted with a creamy black truffle dressing. Bacon lardons, a poached egg, and fried white, red and Peruvian purple potatoes lend heft; chives, parsley and microgreens cut through the richness. $18

 

What's on the menu at Le Sélect, the second coming of one of Toronto’s favourite French bistros
An understated tartare de saumon dresses Atlantic salmon with olive oil, lemon and salt. Surrounded by egg yolk, red onion, capers, dill and chives, the tartare is finished with a dollop of house-made crème fraîche and served with Blackbird baguette crostini. $22

 

What's on the menu at Le Sélect, the second coming of one of Toronto’s favourite French bistros
You’d be hard pressed to find a better croque madame this side of Paris. Brioche houses Parisian jambon, creamy béchamel and melted gruyere, all topped with a sunny-side-up egg (which is what makes this a madame—without an egg, it’s a monsieur) and finished with parsley and chives. $19

 

What's on the menu at Le Sélect, the second coming of one of Toronto’s favourite French bistros
Crisp-skinned, tender-fleshed loup de mer (sea bass), pan-fried in butter, sits on a red wine jus reduction surrounded by a ring of delicate asparagus purée and dollops of sweet pea purée. It’s garnished with green and white asparagus and morels stuffed with a creamy, fines herbes–laced fish purée. (All the purées!) $36
What's on the menu at Le Sélect, the second coming of one of Toronto’s favourite French bistros
A deeply savoury cassoulet of stewed white beans, ham hock, bacon and fennel sausage sits in a gorgeous red wine demi-glace beneath crisp-skinned duck confit. On top: parsley breadcrumbs and a verdant finish of pea shoots, watercress, red amaranth and red vein sorrel. $44

 

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What's on the menu at Le Sélect, the second coming of one of Toronto’s favourite French bistros
A grilled 12-ounce New York centre-cut strip needs no further embellishment than a delectable green peppercorn demi-glace heavy on the shallots and brandy. Served with frites. $65 Photo by Daniel Neuhaus

 

What's on the menu at Le Sélect, the second coming of one of Toronto’s favourite French bistros
A triumphant Le Sélect classic makes its return: tarte tatin pairs caramelized apples with a flaky all-butter puff pastry. It’s served with a small pitcher of oozy caramel sauce and house-made vanilla bean ice cream. Perfect for two (with, perhaps, a few bites leftover for the next day’s breakfast). $22

 

What's on the menu at Le Sélect, the second coming of one of Toronto’s favourite French bistros
A whole French spread
The drinks

Le Sélect has one of the largest wine cellars in the country. The deep, well-rounded wine program—1,200 labels and counting—covers both prominent producers from classic regions and lesser-known curiosities, including vintage bottles dating back to 1947. (There’s a French focus, of course, but global representation.) A strong cognac and armagnac program covers all your after-dinner digestif needs, and a cocktail list features refreshing summer sips.

What's on the menu at Le Sélect, the second coming of one of Toronto’s favourite French bistros
The easy-drinking Blanche de Normandie combines calvados (apple brandy) with lemon juice, unfiltered apple cider and simple syrup. It’s a patio potion par excellence. $17
The space

Ambience has been a major part of the Le Sélect experience since its original location on Queen West. The reopening doesn’t stray from its timeless style: burgundy booths, mosaic floors, vintage art prints, nostalgic art deco fixtures and a classic zinc bar. Warm, elegant and a little bit moody, it’s a time capsule of the bistro’s heyday.

What's on the menu at Le Sélect, the second coming of one of Toronto’s favourite French bistros
What's on the menu at Le Sélect, the second coming of one of Toronto’s favourite French bistros

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