Imagine sitting at a sunlit table in France, savouring plump, juicy mussels alongside crusty bread and crisp white wine.
If that’s your scene, Maison Selby has been crafted for you.
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St. James Town’s newest take on an old resident, the building that houses this new Oliver & Bonacini restaurant has seen the likes of Branksome Hall, dance club Boots, and Ernest Hemingway himself.
And now, the space is occupied by a whimsical eatery offering comforting, classic French fare. It’s elevated and classy, yet somehow also makes you feel like you’re right at home.
The atmosphere is familiar, even if you don’t hail from France yourself. And that was exactly the goal for the eatery.
“It’s the little things, the details, that make a difference,” says John Horne, District Executive Chef at O&B.
As any heritage building should, this maison has many rooms. Which means an intriguing experience for diners, as you can eat in a different space every time you visit.
From walls lined with floral accents to a classic “parlour,” each room is designed to make you feel a different sort of way.
Whether you’re stopping by for a girls’ brunch or an after-work meeting, the environment will welcome you and offer whatever vibe you’re seeking.
And if you keep your eyes peeled, you’ll notice pineapple-shaped trinkets hidden all over the place. Representing hospitality, they’re a reminder to kick back, relax, and let yourself feel at home.
Start with a cocktail, why don’t you?
From the whimsical Dream Weaver to the detail-driven, classic Old Fashioned, every drink is made with focus and precision.
And the LPC Pink Panther, made with Maison Selby’s own gin, Triple Sec, Chambord, bubbles and orange juice, will knock you off your feet.
And if the pineapples didn’t serve as a message to get cozy, the food certainly will.
Classic French fare, done right. Chef Horne promises authentic French flavour and familiarity in every dish, and he says the French Onion Soup holds a special place in his heart.
And for those who know: the escargot.
Some may squirm at the idea, but the moment you try them, you’ll understand the hype. Made with almonds, loads of garlic and bright herbs, you’ll devour all these snails single-handedly.
And the burger. Oh, the burger. Beef Chuck is served, French-Onion-style, with gruyere (what else?), “dijonnaisse” and the crispiest frites you ever did taste.
And then, of course, the mussels you were daydreaming about. Plump, juicy and sprinkled with fresh herbs, this dish will take you to another world.
Or… to Europe. Which is what you really want, anyway.
Finally, dessert. The French know not to skip out on life’s indulgences, which is why this Lemon Tart is the stuff of dreams.
Topped with charred meringue, frozen raspberries and mint, you’ll only ever want to eat this for dessert from now on.
And maybe for breakfast, too.
Who says that the end of the meal has to be the end of the night? Not this spot. If you want to stick around longer — which you will — sneak down to the speakeasy in the basement.
With a fully-stocked bar, small bites and $10 cocktails, it’s the ideal place to let a date go late into the night.
The restaurant is set to open its doors on April 10, but don’t worry. You can book your reservation as early as April 5. Which means you’re only a couple of days away from basically booking a vacation to Europe.
Address: 592 Sherbourne Street
Opening: April 10, 2019, reservations available from April 5