I write this as I pick over my leftovers/doggy bag from the feast at Cluny Bistro & Boulangerie,wishing I had a flute of Piper champagne to accompany it. Cluny’s is a new French experiential restaurant/boulangerie/patisserie tucked away in the alleys of Toronto’s Distillery. The kitchen is run by executive chef, Paul Benallick whose grandiose resume includes positions at Canoe, Auberge du Pommier, the Trump Hotel, and his own Yorkshire UK resto partnership, Truffle’s Cottage, voted twice as Yorkshire’s Restaurant of the Year.

After the 9-12 course meal, preceded by a wedding-style speeches from a podium, my table (Lisa of Eat Drink Travel, Ama of the Fat Girl Food Squad) was graced with the presence of owner and Distillery developer Mr. Matthew Rosenblatt, who stressed that the emphasis of his new darling was on modern and fun with a capital F. That’s F as in French too. While the airy lighting at decorative tiles may give the impression, this is not your typical bistro. That’s been done over and over, and Cluny is in no position to compete with Patria or say, Biff’s. Cluny is about sharing interesting dishes and modern and accessible French dining.

I am lactose intolerant, so fearing the worst as French cuisine is notoriously heavy in cremes and butters, I had my Lactaid in hand, but found it only in use until dessert. True to Matthews word, the cooking style was very modern, and I didnt start popping them until we reached the Roquefort stuffed figs and, the epic dessert finales, passion fruit soufflé and the bittersweet chocolate truffle bar served with fragrant cotton candy, marsmallow butons and raspberry sorbet.

Cluny is a unique place where chicken wing-styled ginger-chili fried frogs legs are picked apart along side duck poutine with the meatiest thick cut slabs of French fry I’ve ever eaten. So the curds were a tangy Etorki, but served in a cast-iron pan, topped with a fried egg. Again, the emphasis is on experience, mainly the experience of French cuisine but from a global perspective, hence the quebecois poutine, fried frogs legs (a staple in parisian viet restaurants that I used to go to as a child growing up in Neuilly), Moroccan tagine, soufflés with creme anglaise, and many others.  If you’re looking to impress or celebrate a special occasion, Cluny’s should be the next go-to must-try on  your list.



Le menu


Yarrrr, sea frog riding pirate beast!


whole roasted garlic clove stuffed puff pastry from the bread basket


Tuna tartar “Niçoise” with hard boiled egg, french beans, white anchovy, Niçoise olives


Qualicon bay scallops with spicy peanut and crispy fried onion


Roasted duck poutine with Etorki cheese and sunny side up duck egg


Buffalo fried sweetbreads


“Papillon Noire Roquefort” aka Fig stuffed with Roquefort


Moroccan Tagine with sweet potato



Ginger-chili fried frogs legs


Veal Meatball “Tomahawk” with Parisian garlic gnocchi


Passion fruit soufflé with pistachio financier topped with crème anglaise


Bittersweet chocolate truffle bar with fragrant cotton candy, marshmallow coins and raspberry sorbet



Screen Shot 2014-06-25 at 2.52.09 PM Screen Shot 2014-06-25 at 2.52.22 PM

Subscribe to comments Comment | Trackback |
Post Tags: , , , , , ,

Browse Timeline

Add a Comment

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>