French restos with a cer­tain ‘Je ne sais quoi’

Annex Post - - FOOD -

#18 café can­can

Café Can­can is a happy place. With its pic­ture-per­fect in­te­rior act­ing as back­drop, chef Victor Barry, wife Nikki McKean and co-owner Bren­dan Pi­unno have cre­ated a mag­i­cal realm where it’s al­ways oys­ters and rosé o’clock. Brunch is pop­u­lar with their spiffy pa­trons who, yes, did match their dress to the bistro prior to tuck­ing into truf­fle-scented scram­bled eggs. For dîner, watch the bub­bly crowd or­der from the foie gras sec­tion of the menu (ha!) be­fore chomp­ing on Barry’s gourmet burger (an ode to the space’s for­mer life as the Har­bord Room) or gnoc­chi that’s gone Parisian with as­para­gus and morels. Do note that now there’s both a front and a back pa­tio, for those who like their eats in the sun. 89 Har­bord St.

#39 chante­cler

Walk by this Park­dale space af­ter dusk on a week­day and the scene re­calls some­thing you’d see in a nos­tal­gic flick star­ring Cate Blanchett. With floor-to-ceil­ing win­dows opened up, the bistro’s in­sides fea­ture a wrap­around bar and teeny kitchen. Since chef Jon Poon went off to fo­cus on his fancy bars, Ja­cob Whar­ton-Shuk­ster, the other half of the orig­i­nal duo, has tight­ened up the French fo­cus of the space. Chef Peter Rob­son doles out briny oys­ters with mignonette sauce, wild but­ter­milk-fried ‘shrooms gussied up with cheese and let­tuce, and su­per-moist duck done two ways (breast and leg) that will leave the en­tire party happy. 1320 Queen St. W.

The whim­si­cal in­te­rior de­signed by HGTV Canada’s Tiffany Pratt

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