Le Saint Tropez
Address: 315 King St W, Toronto, ON M5V 1J5
Phone: (416) 591-3600
A memorable evening in Toronto, with pouring rain, loud thunder and strong lightning, running down the street to salvation. 2 hungry souls lured into Le Saint Tropez by a menu displayed at the entrance. But of course, we really want to hit two birds with one stone – stay dry under a roof and satisfy the empty stomachs.
Situated in the heart of the Entertainment District, across from TIFF Bell Lightbox Theatre, traffic should not be a problem. However, with the competition around them, it makes business tough. I assume, Toronto International Film Festival is the restaurant’s high season, with artists from around with the world, fans and tourists celebrating the festive moment.
The restaurant serves Southern French Cuisine. Even the decor has a similar theme. Southern France is close to the Mediterranean Ocean, therefore it has a warm, sunny, humid climate. The interior decor mimics houses of the Southern French region, made of mud and stone. The materials are readily available and cheaper than imported products. With the weather conditions, the structure of the building is designed to keep cool and fresh, nor will it breakdown or decompose easily.
Environment was quiet and dim, quite romantic, complimented by a pianist-singer on stage performing. The performance enlightened the atmosphere, was relaxing and laid back, reflecting the European culture. Service was decent, introduced the daily specials side menu, followed up on our meals but slow on refilling our glasses of water; not prompt enough. Most of the night, I noticed the servers were standing around socializing. The management has to work on the hospitality aspect in general.
Salade Maison ($7.50) is a mixed green salad with a Dijon mustard vinaigrette. Greens were extremely fresh and crispy. A good standard or typical selection of salad vegetables – tomato, cucumber, lettuce and arugula. The vinaigrette was refreshing, the vigorous taste of olive oil mixed with a hint of Dijon mustard’s spiciness, gave the salad a sweet sour and spicy flavour. Although the vinaigrette sunk to the bottom of the plate, leaving the top quite dry, I find the overall result of the salad was a good choice for the appetizer, as it tasted mild and comforting.
Risotto de Veau ($20.00) – risotto with local Ontario veal strips, wild mushrooms and spinach. The chef gave generous portions of veal, big chunks of it, when i was expecting a sliver of shaved veal barely to be found. The risotto was al dente – firm, not hard to the bite. I definitely liked how the rice was individually pieced instead of a sticky or gooey structure which I have seen before. The mushrooms and spinach were a good combination, as it added depth and structure to the overall flavour and appearance. The finished product was quite salty, probably from the stock used to moisten and cook the risotto. A likable selection; the liquid base was absorbed by all ingredients and every bite was palpable.
Creation du jour ($21.00) – veal bone with wild mushroom peppered sauce, roasted golden potatoes, and mixed vegetables. Again, generous portions. The veal was roasted to medium, was soft and juicy, with the meat barely attached to the bone. The veal was rich in flavour. The strong pepper was balanced by the wild mushroom, hence neither a choking, sneezing, nor panting effect occurred. The potatoes were sweet and soft, had a powdery bite to it. The vegetables stir fry was spicy, took all the fresh natural flavours the vegetables had. I question the health factors the vegetables had remaining.
Although, both dishes had a similar taste to some extent, but on a personal level, the day’s special was better than the risotto because of less salt and the variety of flavours and assortment it had. Nonetheless, the romantic and relaxing environment added excitement to the food. But because I walked into the restaurant randomly, I did not have much expectations for it, hence, I enjoyed the food quite a bit.