SMALL BUT MIGHTY CHABROL SERVES UP EXCELLENT SOUTHERN FRENCH CUISINE
The buttery, unforgettable tarte aux pommes.
Chef Doug Penfold knows Spanish food. For years he’s served some of the city’s best tapas at midtown institution Cava. Turns out he’s equally passionate about French fare, as evidenced by his cooking at Chabrol, a tiny bistro Penfold launched with Cava co-owner Niall McCotter. Set back from the bustle of Yorkville Avenue, it’s an elegant hideaway for unfussy indulgence. Order and aperitif and some oysters, then spoil yourself with the rich wild mushroom and artichoke ragout—plus the chef’s acclaimed tarte aux pommes for dessert.—Craig Moy
•90 Yorkville Ave., 416-428-6641; chabrolrestaurant.com
• Map and reviews
Dinner is a fun affair when you head to Black Cat Bistro in Little Italy, starting from the moment you walk in the door. The décor is both chic and cozy, making it the perfect place for a special occasion or dinner with pals. The food is colourful, prettily plated, and pulls from classic French cuisine. And if you love hamburgers, we recommend “Burger Tuesdays,” which sees the creative minds in the kitchen whipping up a different burger every week. Save room for something sweet (the unique “Rocky Road” dessert is a must). 428 Preston St., 613-569-9998.
Onyx, Photo: Julé Malet-Veale
Stylish Onyx on Spring Garden Road offers one of Halifax’s most unique dining experiences. Chef Tahir Salamat’s dynamic menu showcases traditional French cuisine with an Asian influence. For a tipple, try the house specialty Mojitos, a Cuban cocktail made with muddled fresh tropical fruit. Critically acclaimed, Onyx
was named “best restaurant in Halifax” by Where to Eat in Canada, was awarded four diamonds by AAA/CAA and has garnered the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence yearly since 2005.
No matter the prevailing trends, fine French food never goes out of fashion; it’s always notable when a new purveyor of la cuisine pops up. The latest in this city is Le Rossignol, a petit bistro located at the western edge of residential Leslieville. The restaurant has all the touchstones of Parisian intimacy—white linens, warm yet discreet lighting—and such classic fare as cassoulet ($19) and moules et frites ($17) to match. Chef Jeremie Seguinot does, however, add a few twists, courtesy of the archetypically Canadian ingredients in dishes like bison tenderloin ($26), braised wild boar chop ($27) and striped bass ($20).