A few weeks back for my husbands birthday, the two of us went out for a nice dinner, sans enfants! As you know by now, we love food and consider ourselves to be ‘foodies.’ With living in the GTA (Greater Toronto Area), we absolutely love finding new spots in the city to eat and explore. And in Toronto, there is absolutely NO shortage of incredible restaurants!
On one of my dear friends recommendations, we decided to try Cluny. We absolutely love French cuisine and the entire dining experience. We’ve visited a couple of French hotspots in the city and have absolutely loved their attention to detail and culinary experience, so we had high hopes for Cluny.
With only being open a year and a half, Cluny has already donned the award of Toronto’s Best French Restaurant by BlogTO in September 2015 and then again in November 2015, by USA Today. It is the sister restaurant to El Catrin, another one of our favorite restaurants in the city. Located in the heart of the Distillery District and surrounded by historic buildings, you actually feel like you’ve been whisked away to Europe before you even enter the restaurant.
Once inside, the first thing you will notice is the incredible design on the floors! And you know that if they spend that much attention to detail on the floor, it’s bound to be an incredible experience.
Before any of the food came out, I was awestruck by all the details: the coffered-style ceiling, the nailheads on all of the leather seats, the leather straps on the backs of chairs, the banquettes that are designed to resembled a French picnic basket to the serviceware all displaying their house name. No detail was spared. Even inside the washrooms, the attention to detail continues with heavy wood doors and beautifully designed floors (I would have taken a picture in their, but then I thought it would be kind of weird)!
To start, we had the Crisp Sesame Baked Asparagus Frites and the Baked Sauvagine for Two. Both incredibly delicious but the Sauvagine took the top prize as one of the BEST appetizers we’ve ever had! Similar in texture to a Brie cheese, it is breaded and stuffed with truffle paste and sautéed on top of a bed of wild mushrooms. Melt in your mouth kind of yum!
For the entrees, I got the Cluny Double Bacon Cheese Burger with Frites and my husband got the Truffled Wagyu Hache with Frites. Let me start by saying their ‘frites’ are SO good! Very thin-cut fries that come with a lemon garlic aioli. Just divine!
When my burger arrived, I laughed as I had NO idea how on earth I would put that in my mouth! I took out the chicherons and that helped, but it was still a bit difficult to sink my teeth into. My only complaint about the burger is the cook on it. The waitress asked how I wanted the meat and I said medium. In the end, the meat was so well done that it was quite dry. That was a bit disappointing however, it was nothing that the aioli couldn’t fix! My husband really enjoyed his steak, but again, his one complaint was that he ordered it medium-rare and it was cooked medium. But the cook of the meat isn’t something that would spoil our experience there…just an observation. And I’m sure they would have been willing to take it back and re-cook it, had it bothered us that much. But it didn’t and we ate everything happily!
On to dessert! Because it was Chris’ birthday, they brought him a birthday plate of praline profiteroles, on the house! Served with milk chocolate chantilly, caramel crunch and wild strawberry coulis, these were DIVINE! But knowing us, we couldn’t stop there with dessert! I ordered Bittersweet Chocolate Truffe Bar that comes with a massive piece of cotton candy! A feast for the eyes as well as the mouth!
Overall, our experience at Cluny was outstanding! A few minor issues with the cook of the meat but other than that, it quickly ranked as one of our best dining experiences in Toronto to date. We would definitely go back in a heartbeat, especially to try their breakfast/lunch menu’s. We love French breakfasts and theirs sound incredible!
If you are looking for an outstanding French dining experience, in the heart of the Distillery District, this is the place to go! You won’t be disappointed!
Note: It was quite dark in the restaurant so my pictures of the decor did not turn out well (I only had my iPhone). So the interior pictures here are ones I took right from the Cluny website. All the other pictures are mine.