Le Select brings me back to my days in La France. It is an intimate, unique and perfectly decorated French bistro located in the heart of downtown Toronto; yet it gives you a feeling of space, elegance and tradition.
From their fantastic wine cellar located in the basement, to the outdoor garden in the back that lets you enjoy summer in a unique French way; this place holds a dear place both in my heart and appetite.
From duck, to beef cheeks and even bone marrow; Le Select’s menu is unique, versatile, creative and oh so tasty! I never really do get enough of Chef Albert Ponzo’s creations as his cooking style not only roots from tradition, but also from the heart.
A traditional Confit de Canard at Le Select presents you a savory duck leg with a very crispy skin. The skin is the key to a great tasting duck dish, especially if doing it the classical way. It’s a rather difficult task because the chef needs to make sure the duck meat is not overcooked while the skin, well, almost is. And all this without getting a burnt taste or marks.
Going from complex to intriguing, Le Select’s fantastic Beef Checks will definitely take you down the road of “different”.
On the menu, this dish is called “Joue de Boeuf Bourguignonne”. My eyes were quickly drawn to it as this was the first time I was ever trying beef cheeks…I mean is that even a part of the cow one eats?
Well ladies and gentleman, it’s not only a part we eat, is a part we should always eat! The cheeks are braised in red wine and cooked with mushrooms and lardons (aka bacon). The meat is juicy and quite honestly just feels like butter in your mouth. A delicacy.
And with the topic of unique and different in mind, on the same night, I ventured deeper into it by also ordering (and potentially clogging an artery in the process) the famous Bone Marrow.
“Le Os de Cro-Magong”, meaning bone marrow, is Le Select’s featured appie item. The server not only makes sure you know exactly how this it is eaten, but also Chef Ponzo ensures you indulge in it with the right accompaniments. For example, you just don’t get salt, you get a special sea salt; and what you see it’s not just toasted bread, is toasted slices of fresh baguette. So working your way through this dish is not only fun, but also experiential, tasteful and delightful.