After spending several hours at The Clothing Show, Christine and I headed over to Biff’s Bistro for a lovely French dinner ;) Biff’s is located right next to Oliver & Bonacini Café Grill on Front Street. The reason why I chose to go to Biff’s Bistro was because of their raw oyster special – $1 each after 5pm available everyday! It must have been a somewhat terrifying dining experience for Christine because she’s not into eating non-mainstream food, and here I am, munching on raw oysters, frog legs, and escargots right across from her! Haha ;) The wonderful thing about having French cuisine is that I don’t have to share any of my dishes with Christine, but at the same time, I get to taste all of hers since I’m willing to eat anything :D
Biff’s didn’t seem to be a busy restaurant, and we were there on a Sunday evening, mind you. I guess everyone made their way to the O&B next door instead, where they serve food that is more accepted by the majority. As soon as we sat down, I already knew exactly what I was going to order because I checked out their menu earlier ;) I should also point out at this point that service was excellent, or at least it was before it went downhill an hour after… but we’ll get to that later :)
When our waitress came by to ask whether we were ready to order, I wasted no time and immediately ordered my raw oysters ;) Christine asked a few questions about their menu for clarification; let me tell you that it was a good thing, haha. She almost ordered sweetbread! I swear, she would’ve fainted if she found out what they were after they arrived at the table. Knowing her preferences well enough, I was shocked when she wanted to order them! Our waitress explained what they were and Christine was so relieved that she didn’t order it just yet. Actually, I would’ve ordered sweetbread if I didn’t already have them at Loire last time.
The Fresh Oysters were small, but for $1 each, you can’t really go wrong. They were fresh and delicious. Christine looked at me in horror as I downed the oysters one by one :D
My hor d’oeuvre was an order of Frog Legs with sauce gribiche ($10). These were breaded and deep-fried to perfection. The meat was extremely smooth and a bit tough; they must’ve been exercising a lot.. haha. The taste was mild but the seasoning in the batter helped to draw out more flavour from them. The sauce really complemented the frog legs since it was aromatic and a little acidic. These were a bit of a challenge to eat since my knife wasn’t sharp enough at all. I would’ve just picked up them legs with my hands and ate them like a chicken drumstick, but seeing that this was a somewhat nice restaurant, that wouldn’t have been appropriate :D
Christine’s Cream of Mushroom Soup with tarragon ($10) was incredibly flavourful and simply pure heaven. Silky smooth with such strong, sweet flavours coming from the variety of mushrooms made this soup irresistible. Christine was initially concerned that the texture would be dry, similar to that of a paté, but it turned out to be the complete opposite. She enjoyed her soup a lot (and so did I ;)).
My main entrée was Fricasse of Escargots with lardons & brandy ($14). The escargots were cooked well and easily chewable; so yummy! The sauce was creamy and not overly viscous; it went really well with the escargots! The crispy strips of deep-fried lardons (pork fat) were oh-so-tasty and not out of place at all. Deep-fried + pork fat; what more could I possibly ask for? Although I’m not a fan of tomatoes, these were diced to the right size and they added some colour and acidity to balance everything out. Texture, colour, and flavour were all present in this dish, so I was one happy camper :)
Christine’s Beef Bourguignon that came with semoule and gruyère ($26) was very tender and moist. Beef Bourguignon is a common French dish of stew made with beef braised in red wine and beef broth. Other ingredients are incorporated into the stew afterward to add flavour and depth to the dish. The beef itself had a slightly rough texture but Christine was totally fine with it. I loved all the different types of mushrooms that were used here; so earthy and rustic. The bed of semoule underneath the beef made for a nice side to counteract the flavourful and saltiness of the stew. The gruyère cheese brought the dish to a creamier and nuttier note. This was such a hearty and comforting dish :)
So it’s finally dessert time, and what did I order? Of course I ordered a Classic Vanilla Bean Crème brûlée; there’s no doubt about it :) Afterall, as Oscar Wilde says, “I can resist anything but temptation.” Hohoho ;) This was exquisite as expected and the almond biscuit was light and decadent. What a terrific dessert to end such an adventurous dinner!
Christine had sorbets for her dessert – Toasted Almonds and Café Latte! My goodness, words can’t even express how divine these both were! So rich and the flavours were so apparent; none of that diluted crap. She asked for toasted almonds and café latte, and that was what she got. Boy can Biff’s deliver when it comes to sorbets! Haha.. we were both extremely impressed.
Oh right.. I almost forgot to mention the service again ;) In the beginning, our waitress was very diligent and our food came quickly. However, there then was a 45 minute wait between our appetizer and entrée. She also forgot about Christine’s tea even though it was just a tea bag and a cup of hot water. The service could’ve been better but it wasn’t terrible or anything; it’s just that the change was so noticeable that I have to comment on it. The service became much slower and the place wasn’t even that much busier.
Overall, we both thoroughly enjoyed our dinner at Biff’s Bistro and they have a good selection in their menu. They also have a 3-course prix fixe menu at $32.95 if you’re up for it. Aside from the slow service, everything was up to par and the dishes were well-executed.
4 Front Street East
Toronto, ON M5E 1B2