A quaint french bistro located downtown Toronto on Front and Yonge, it’s a classy place with a great atmosphere and some seriously delicious food. On warmer days, they offer a terrace that opens to the busy street, but is slightly obscured by some vines and shrubbery to give some privacy to diners and it also serves to absorb some of the street noises for a quieter dining experience. Inside, the restaurant is split between two dining areas: the ‘bar’ room, which includes a bar and more casual atmosphere, and the dining room, which is a classy, multi-leveled sitting area with small booths and tables, lit candles, and perfect for an intimate dinner.
What drew our crowd to this place was the spectacular offer of delicious oysters. After 5pm, they offer small raw oysters for only 1$ a pop. Granted, these are not as large as the giant oysters you’ll find at dim sum, but they are cosy and delicious. Served raw with shredded horseradish, red wine vinaigrette, and a few slices of lemon, you eat them with tiny forks and they’re like aristocratic frenchmen having a luncheon in your mouth, and it’s bangin’. Word of caution though, if you enjoy your oysters with cocktail sauce, it is not particularly delicious here when paired with these oysters.
One of my companions indulged in their specialty, Steak et Frites. The fries here are delightful. Perfectly seasoned and with soft potato texture encased in an exterior that is crisp to a fault. They stay warm and crispy from the beginning to the end of your meal. Easily some of the best french fries I’ve ever had in the technical sense of the word. The steak, which I had a few bites of, was so juicy, thick, and tender. So flavourful that adding a barbecue sauce would just be an act of blasphemy. A slight char on the outside creates a nice texture when biting into the meat, and it is served on a bed of mild rapini.
I, myself, ordered the lamb chops braised with a plum mustard sauce. It came served on top of string beans and gnocchi. The beans themselves were nicely salted and embodied the crunch that I love so much about beans in general. This was the first time I’d ever had gnocchi, and it’s rather safe to say that it will definitely not be the last. It is as if bread and potatoes had a baby. Delicious, delicious babies. And then the baby crawled onto my plate, under the medium rare chops, to be soaked with juice of lamb. They were soft, with a hint of tension on the outside that gave way easily. Wow. So yummy.
The lamb itself was juicy and tender and huge. I know a lot of people are put off by the game-y texture of lamb, but here it is not at all game-y and just has a wonderful lamb taste with a hint of porto. The flavour is pleasantly complimented by the plum and mustard seed paste that clings to the exterior portions. Writing this post is making me want to go back to eat there.
Overall, Biff’s Bistro is a classy place with a classy price. The portions are not huge, but it filled me up just so I was content and no more. I’d recommend that if you’re used to eating gigantic portions without breaking a sweat, you probably won’t be full after a meal here, unless you go for one of their fixed course dinners. It is a tad expensive but a great place to go for a special occasion or a big romantic date.
Happy eating. :)