Where to eat lunch this week: Flavours Fine Food

Where to eat lunch this week: Flavours Fine Food

A former Scaramouche consultant has set up this bustling Bay Street restaurant, which serves gourmet classics at food court prices

The place: Gourmet lunch staples at absurdly cheap prices draw Bay Streeters above concourse level to this harried catering kitchen turned lunch stop. Owner Igal Abergel (formerly of Jump and Scaramouche) and his small crew try to keep up with the midday throng.

(Images: Renée Suen)

The crowd: Suits rub elbows in the long cafeteria-style queue. Takeout is an option, but most patrons relax at the tables, not seeming to mind the bare-bones decor.

The deal: Salads ($5.50–$7), sandwiches ($5–$7), vegetarian omelettes ($8) and the usual midday suspects are all here, but it’s the superb mains ($7–$9) and pastas ($9) that have earned the spot its gaggle of regulars.

The dish: We order the linguine with salmon ($9), a generous pile of savoury al dente noodles dotted with moist smoked salmon nuggets and fresh scallions. The meal’s star, however, is chicken fricassee ($10), one of the day’s specials. Bathed in an earthy cream sauce, the mix of slow-cooked white and dark meats is rich and tender. The accompanying entourage of grilled sweet peppers, zucchini and carrot slices is just as crisp as the steamed green beans and broccoli.

The time: 49 minutes, half of which is spent waiting for our orders.

The cost: $30 for two, including tax and tip, a bottled iced tea ($2.25) and a mug of hot Dammann Frères mango tea ($1.75).

Flavours Fine Food, 154 University Ave. (at Adelaide St. W.), 416-977-2920, flavourscatering.ca.