The evening started out with such great promise, as we entered Le Paradis expecting an authentic French bistro experience. The main room had the look down, with its long wood bar, butcher-paper tablecloths and brightly colored posters. With Pastis as the gold standard for the genre in Toronto (not to even mention Au Pied du Cochon in Montréal and Le Crémant in Seattle), I thought to myself: the competition is going to be stiff.
As we were whisked into an adjoining space that had the ambiance of an institutional dining room, my hopes began to fade. The prices were unexpectedly reasonable, the waitstaff competent and the service efficient. The problem was the food. The meal started on an upbeat note with the paté but quickly devolved into clichés that lacked any evidence of passion or inventiveness - most notably, the braised lamb shank, which arrived lukewarm and bland, and the frites which bordered on fast-food taste and quality.
Next time I'll bypass Le Paradis.
166 Bedford Road