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Tati Bistro (Toronto)

This story starts back in February, on a snowy long weekend. Celebrating the fact that neither of us had to go to work on Monday, we headed out to a place we had been wanting to try for a while – Tati Bistro.


An unobtrusive storefront leads to a bistro so French you can almost smell the Gauloises! Long and narrow, Tati is dark in an atmospheric, rather than oppressive, way and was an oasis of warmth compared to the cold snow outside. For me it was a true blast from the past and for a quick minute there I was transported back to Paris circa 1997 when I was leading a carefree life as a student and university tutor, yet somehow inexplicably always seemed to have money to enjoy a couple of steack-frites a week at the bistro* located approximately 50 metres from my flat in the 2ième arrondissement.

We were excited to see that our Sunday night our qualified for the $25 prix fixe:


Both of us chose the same thing:


Green salad


Bavette à l’échalote, frites.


Profiteroles.

(and yes, the pictures were altered, in keeping with my Paris nostalgia!)

The meal that night was a joyous combination of flavours and memories. This is real French bistro food. Not fancy. Not haute-cuisine. Just simple, well-cooked, beautifully plated meals. Our service was friendly without being overbearing and we enjoyed a good bottle of wine from the extensive wine list. You know, cos we were having the prix fixe (and were saving all that money on food!).

We recently returned with a large group of about 25 people and whilst it was a fun night, the service (one server working the whole second floor?) and food were less impressive than our previous visit. I ate the exact same food but somehow it didn’t quite have the “wow factor” that it did in February. The green salad was a few simple leaves on a plate with an (albeit delicious!) dressing. Back in February, we had been bowled over by not only the size of the salad but also the variety of leaves included, we felt very spoiled back then for such an eclectic salad in the middle of winter.

To be fair, our group was large and the restaurant was pretty busy so getting all that food out at once is quite a feat. However, they did accept the booking well in advance so I would have expected a few more wait staff which would have expedited the ordering and serving process. In any case, people ate and drank and were merry and left replete and content. I am hopeful many of them will return for a more intimate dinner where they might be able to better appreciate this little corner of French authenticity. I know I will be back. Just not with 25 friends!

124 Harbord Street
Toronto, ON M5S 1G8
(416) 962-8284

Tati Bistro on Urbanspoon

* this restaurant is now known as La Grille Montorgueil and is located at 50, rue Montorgueil 75002 Paris. Well worth a visit if you are ever in Paris…

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9 Responses to Tati Bistro (Toronto)

  1. jen laceda September 26, 2009 at 13:45 #

    I use to live on Major St., which was around the corner from Harbord. It's been a long time since I've been to that area. I will make a mental note to drop by Tati. I love the name. Reminds me of the that cheap Paris department store.

  2. Conor @ HoldtheBeef September 26, 2009 at 14:29 #

    Haha, I accidentally clicked on their website and the music/sound effects are cute, though was somewhat alarming at first.

    Sadly it seems that dining in a large group can often mean less than ideal food and service (but luckily this is generally offset by the fun of dining out with lots of friends, and if it's also offset by the eating of profiteroles then all the better).

  3. eatlivetravelwrite September 26, 2009 at 16:04 #

    Hey Jen – you should totally check it out!!! And haha! yes, I find it hard to think about the name Tati without thinking of the pink and white bags!!!

    Conor – yes – profiteroles make everything better!

  4. Simply Life September 26, 2009 at 17:12 #

    What a fun night!

  5. Carolyn Jung September 26, 2009 at 22:27 #

    $25 is a heck of a deal, especially in these dire times.

  6. Fresh Local and Best September 27, 2009 at 03:10 #

    The profiteroles look delicious!

  7. penny aka jeroxie September 27, 2009 at 04:34 #

    I like little bistros. The Profiteroles looks great!

  8. Bali Beach Bunny September 27, 2009 at 06:15 #

    what a great menu
    love the simplicity
    it's like l'entrecote in bordeaux
    [my favourite]

  9. eatlivetravelwrite September 27, 2009 at 13:26 #

    Carolyn – yep – you can't beat $25 for 3 courses!

    Penny – It is SUCH a cute little bistro

    Fresh Local – they were!

    BBB – Yes, sometimes simple is best!

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