What’s on the menu at Taverne Bernhardt’s, the new place for rotisserie chicken from the team behind Dreyfus

What’s on the menu at Taverne Bernhardt’s, the new place for rotisserie chicken from the team behind Dreyfus

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Name: Taverne Bernhardt’s
Contact: 202 Dovercourt Rd., 416-530-0008, bernhardtstoronto.com, @bernhardtstoronto
Neighbourhood: Beaconsfield Village
Previously: Julie’s Cuban
Owners: Zachary Kolomeir and Carmelina Imola (Dreyfus), Dan Dooreck
Chef: Zachary Kolomeir
Outdoor seating: An extended front patio with heat lamps (but it is closed at the moment, given the rise in numbers)
Covid-19 safety measures: Hand sanitizer stations; tables are sanitized when guests finish their meal; masks are to be worn when leaving the table; email or call for takeout orders
Accessibility: Two steps to enter the restaurant; washrooms are located down a flight of stairs

The food

Named after Sarah Bernhardt (a key figure in the Art Nouveau movement and a Dreyfusard) the restaurant was in the works well before last March. “Once the pandemic hit, we felt a level of unease and wanted to adapt in terms of the decor and the style of service once we opened,” says Kolomeir. “It was important to us to open something that felt comfortable during a pandemic and not stuffy. We just wanted a place where someone can come and eat a salad, chicken, romano beans and a bottle of wine in 45 minutes—or eat their way through the whole menu with really amazing vegetables that we’re super proud of.” The star of the menu is the rotisserie chicken, plump birds sourced from White Rock Farms in Harriston, roasted golden-brown and served with fries, coleslaw, Brodflour buns and house-made gravy (think Chalet sauce, but better). Coming soon: lunch.

Red Dragon Napa cabbage from Blue Goose Farm. This is the before shot.


And here’s the after one. The cabbage is fried and served on horseradish sour cream with potatoes, potato chips, dill and dill flowers. $15.


Here’s another before shot. Kolomeir holds just-delivered alpine daikon from Blue Goose Farm, Matty Matheson’s vegetable garden in Fort Erie.


The Alpine Daikon Anchoiade finds the root veggie dressed with anchovy vinaigrette and anchovy mayonnaise. $17.


Rotisserie-roasted celery root, ready for one of the evening’s vegetable dishes.


This dish features roasted, peeled and marinated Aldergrove sweet peppers dressed with sherry vinegar, brown butter and capers, then topped with Monsieur Émile (a Quebec-produced goat cheese). $14.


The rotisserie chicken plate features a whole bird sided with russet potato fries, coleslaw, Brodflour buns, pickles and house-made gravy. $45. (Also available in a half portion.)


For dessert, there’s soft serve. On our visit, the flavour was sunflower seed and pear.


Daily specials may include galettes made by Michelle Rabin of Nobrega’s Pies. This one here was inspired by the ingredients in charoset (apples, walnuts, honey) for Passover. A slice comes topped with soft serve.


The Taverne Bernhardt’s kitchen team.


Kolomeir, Imola and Dooreck, on Bernhardt’s front patio.

The drinks

Dooreck (La Banane) is behind the diverse selection of organic and biodynamic consignment wines from small producers, many of which are from California. There’s a short beer list, as well, and classic cocktails by Max Brunke (who also worked at La Banane).

The current wine selection includes mailing list-only Dirty & Rowdy riesling, Daterra Viticultores (a Galician producer who makes wine from old vines found in abandoned vineyards) and and Bourgogne’s popular Sextant, from Julien Altaber.


Julie’s Margarita is in honour of the restaurant’s former inhabitant and can be made with tequila ($14) or mezcal ($16).


The space

The cozy space (which is out of commission for now) was designed with custom millwork and a pewter-topped bar built around a found-and-refurbished fireplace. It’s decked out with various knick-knacks and collectibles the team brought in to line the restaurant’s shelves. As far as the front patio goes, Kolomeir says there’s a blueprint for a tent so diners can keeping dining outside come winter. “But with the looks of how the pandemic is progressing, we are holding off on both indoor and outdoor dining and focusing on a strong and reliable takeout program, instead.”

Dooreck points out some of the knick knacks that decorate the shelves, from pottery he’s made, figurines collected along the way and drawings by children who have dined in the restaurant.