Toronto, ON M4W 0A4
Aside from the decor (which is best forgotten) the original Café Boulud in Toronto was quite good. The food was well-prepared and the service was smooth. But it wasn’t Boulud-level excellent. Sensing this distance from perfection, the superstar French chef took a more hands-on role and remade the restaurant in time for TIFF 2015. The food now is classic bistro with a luxurious twist. There’s plenty of personal Boulud touches (the beignet de calamar include deft Southeast Asian flavours) and nods to Toronto (the quenelle de brochette is made with Ontario-sourced pike.) In short, the rethink worked and Café Boulud is in a class by itself.