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La Banane
227 Ossington Ave.,
Toronto, Ontario M6J 2Z8
43.649066 -79.420338
Chef Brandon Olsen’s foray into French cuisine delivers both expertly rendered classics and unexpected twists. The prominent raw bar accurately forecasts that seafood is the Ossington restaurant’s strength. A whole European sea bass wrapped in a pastry crust will attract the most attention from neighbouring tables, but a slab of lake trout—its flesh buttery and pink, its burnished skin the texture of glass—should steal plenty of headlines, too, plated with a flood of Peruvian aji amarillo sauce that’s swimming with caviar and fingerling potatoes. But Olsen and fellow chef Basilio Pesce (Porzia, Cheese Boutique) save their best kitchen magic for a canoe-shaped log of duck breast that could almost pass for beef, a perfectly rolled French omelette—with a 30 gram hit of caviar for an $80 surcharge, and pommes aligot that bend the laws of physics by being liquid and solid simultaneously, blurring the lines between mashed potatoes and molten cheese. The eye-catching delights carry on from pre-dinner cocktails, which are boozy and served in vintage coupes and tumblers, to dessert, a selection of tarts and gateaux, including one bostock-like number baked with the restaurant’s titular fruit. And then there’s the Ziggy Stardust Disco Egg, a $50 paint-splattered chocolate ovoid from part-time confectioner Olsen—Toronto’s own Willy Wonka—that reveals nine delicate chocolate truffles when smashed open with a spoon. Like the restaurant, it’s just as much fun as it sounds.
La Banane


Neighbourhood: Trinity Bellwoods

Wheelchair accessible: No

Vegetarian options: Yes

Licensed: Yes

Bring your own bottle: Yes

Kitchen open late: No

Outdoor dining: No

Private/bookable room: No

Delivery: No

Take out: No

Takes reservations: Yes

Caters: No

Free Wi-Fi: Yes

Good for: Kids, Groups, Business

Serves: Dinner

Payment methods: Visa, Amex, MasterCard, Interac, Cash

Days Closed: none