Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Caroline vs. La Société

First page of the menu
Last week a very good friend of mine celebrated her 22nd birthday at La Société, a relatively new bistro on Bloor St., just east of Avenue Rd.  She was the only one of our group of seven who had been there before, but we all live in the area and the restaurant had been on all of our to-go-to lists.

The first thing I noticed, aside from the stunning 1920s style decor, was the service.  Since we were a large group there initially wasn't enough space on the patio and we were led inside, which none of us minded because it was relatively quiet and was done up with dark glossy wood, brass railings and a stained glass ceiling.  As soon as we sat down, the maitre d' came over to see how we were doing and asked if we would like to move outside if a table opened up.  Within five minutes some tables had been rearranged and we were escorted back outside, much to our delight - the weather had been stickily hot all day but by dinner it was that perfect summer evening temperature.

The menu was a perfect size, enough that there was excellent choice, but not so much that deciding what to eat took too long.  Though food prices were slightly above the standard university girl's budget, the kitchen produced delicious food in portions of a satisfying size.  There was also the option of a prix fixe (appetizer, entrée and dessert) for $36, which two of our party had and were very satisfied with.  Drinks-wise, there was a lengthy wine menu that we poured over and eventually decided on two good bottles, one red and one white.  Prices were elevated, as they are in most restaurants, but they ranged from an affordable $30ish to a lavish $100+.

Then came the food.

I found my dinner to be fabulous.  For an appetizer I had a green salad with apples, pecans and a honey vinaigrette, my entrée was macaroni and cheese made with gruyère, cheddar and truffle oil that I shared with a friend of mine, and dessert was a white chocolate crème brûlée topped with fresh raspberries.  My wine of choice was a 2007 Alsatian Riesling.  All of it was AMAZING.

Fresh berries and shaved white chocolate with dessert
Wine à la Instagram
Complications arose with the bill because we'd all shared different things with different people, but our waiter was very, very patient and didn't seem to be distressed during the almost 40 minutes it took us to figure out all the math (a subject in which not many of us were gifted).  We finally left the restaurant about three hours after arriving, our wallets emptier but our tummies and spirits very satisfied.
Birthday Girl
It was a pleasure to eat at La Société, and I will certainly return.  I've heard good things about their midday meals, and since I'm a girl who loves brunching I know I'll try it eventually.  The restaurant, located on the street-facing side of the second floor of an apartment/office/shopping complex, also has an outdoor bar at street level.  It gets lots of sunshine during the day and has heaters for chilly nights, and would be perfect for anything ranging from a mid-morning coffee to after-work drinks.

There are loads of good restaurants in the Bloor-Yorkville area, but what I think made La Société different was the ambience.  Next time I go back I'll try to take some better photos, but for now enjoy these ones from Instagram and my point and shoot.  If you go sometime, let me know what you think!

xx, C.

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