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No. 29

Taverne Bernhardt’s

NAMED FOR THE RENOWNED FRENCH STAGE ACTRESS (and noted Dreyfusard) Sarah Bernhardt, this second restaurant from Zach Kolomeir (Dreyfus) is another convincing hommage to the cooking of his hometown, Montreal. In this case, though, along with bistro fare, he has chosen to celebrate Montreal’s singular style of rotisserie chicken. Be advised that the version available here in Toronto is both faithful and superior. Potatoes are cooked in the rotisserie to collect the drippings. The accompanying gravy has the correct vinegary tang (and fortunately lacks the original’s scads of cornstarch). And there is plenty more on offer in this cozy, quaint but stylish restaurant in an old west-end Edwardian home. Under the supervision of Liam Donato (Noce, Bacchanal), the Rotisol rotisserie welcomes other meats like duck and pork and, if you’re lucky, a roulade of spring lamb slicked in paprikalaced jus. Imaginative, hearty salads are pleasingly textured and complemented by richly seasoned dressings (maple syrup, horseradish, smoked cheddar). Basic bistro fare like leeks vinaigrette and trout amandine still feature. Elsewhere, Middle Eastern and North African influences prevail, such as the deviled eggs with dukkah and zhoug, or tahini-kissed carrots Maghreb. House-made ice cream — Earl Grey with haskap berries, for example — makes the perfect finish.

Cheeky dishes and perfect chicken. Vanya Filipovic
Mango-chocolate soft-serve twist.
Best Seat
At the bar or, on a warm summer night, on the front patio.
Wine List
Naturally inclined, but wines from Champagne and Burgundy also abound.
How to order
Use one of the rotisserie plates as a centrepiece, then build a sharing menu around it.
Can’t get a rez?
Birds are available for takeout at Vilda’s, their daytime operation across the street.

Photography by Dan Neuhaus

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