For dinner or weekend brunch, this classic bistro is competent, elegant, yet refreshingly at ease. Tucked on the western end of the upscale avenue-Laurier, it’s a neighborhood go-to as well as a destination for those who want beef tartare or moules frites and want it done right. Service is gracious and unassuming. The kitchen often prepares as many as 12 different desserts (moist chocolate and banana cake with house-made popcorn ice cream, for example). The colorful split fieldstone floor and cherry wood ceiling add subtle flair to the ambience. With a lovely terrace for al fresco dining and an intense wine list, it’s a Café Cherrier for the well-heeled foodie. Planning a late night? After 10pm there’s a C$25 appetizer-plus-main menu.
- Leslie Brokaw, Erin Trahan, Matthew Barber