Cluny Bistro

My last stop for winterlicious this year was dinner at Cluny Bistro. Unfortunately, our original party of 4 dwindled down to just 2 with scheduling conflicts and last minute colds. The girls missed out. We’ll have to reschedule a return visit to the beautiful restaurant as Cluny delivered my favourite winterlicious meal this year.

Atmosphere: Cluny was a beautiful restaurant, from their customized plates, Parisian decor and open seafood bar. Attention to detail in the space was stunning. Every surface from the blue and white tiled floor to the intricate wood ceiling was used to transport you away from Toronto. While the distillery district was quiet on the Tuesday night, Cluny’s dining room was filled. There were many large tables to accommodate groups larger than 8, all situated in private alcoves.

Service: Somehow, I managed to get on the streetcar going the wrong direction on my way to dinner. This meant I was a little late and didn’t get a chance to let the hostess know our headcount had changed. They were very accommodating and didn’t mind that the two of us took up a table for four. Our server was friendly and relaxed. Each dish arrived quickly and plates were cleared off. The entire meal was comfortable and we were well taken care of.

Food: For appetizers, I tried the Tomato and Saffron Braised Calamari while my friend had the Spice Roasted Pumpkin Bisque. She enjoyed her soup and commented on it’s rich flavour. I thought my calamari had a great saffron flavour but the squid was too braised for my taste. It wasn’t rubbery, but it was too soft and didn’t have any chew left in the meat.

We both chose the Beer Braised Beef Cheeks for our entree and the Roasted Hazelnut Profiteroles for dessert. Here I really enjoyed how tender and soft the beef cheeks were. The meat fell apart on the fork and was lightly seasoned. The portion size was quite generous and I enjoyed the choice of a clear broth over something creamier. This was a great dish, hearty but light.

One of my favourite things in the world is cream puffs. The giant box from Costco, a single meal. When I’m in Japan, the one souvenir I get from Muji are their cream puffs. My second favourite thing is hazelnut. I can eat spoonfuls of Nutella and a box of Ferrero Rochers myself. So the combination of these two ingredients, executed in perfectly sent me to dessert heaven. Each plate was served with a shot of warm melted chocolate and I used every last drop. There was no restraint. The profiteroles were light, flakey and airy and filled with a light hazelnut mousse.

Cluny would be the perfect venue was a romantic date, special occasion, large celebration or private event. The space is lovely and the food delectable.

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