Colette Grand Cafe is in the exclusive Thompson Hotel at Bathurst and Wellington St. W. By day this area of Wellington St. is relaxed with limited traffic and only the voices of children playing in the parkette across the street. Colette’s sophisticated and elegant blue and white decor make it like a French holiday complete with over-smiley waiters hurrying about.
Arriving for a late lunch I am shown to my table at windows that border the dining area. The oversized wing chairs in the lounge are taken up with casual business types. It’s busy, but it doesn’t have the noisy din as some of the other French restos and bistros in the city but I’m a little puzzled by the folk /rock soundtrack that’s playing. Maybe expecting to hear Edith Piaf songs would’ve been cliché.
As expected there’s a solid collection of wines and a tempting list of drinks. While I don’t entirely recall what the contents of this beverage is, it’s called Pirate Radio and is one of those drinks that about halfway through you experience invading your senses.
My starters are delicate cheese straws, carrot salad fresh and simply dressed and accompanied by a delicate salmon pate. Shaved radish and celery complement the lightness of the salmon rillettes.
The main course of duck confit arrives and is just as perfect as described. Hearty and garnished with pistachios, the duck confit is one the finest I’ve had a French restaurant in some time.The traditional dessert tray is offered to diners with full bellies but gluttonous eyes. Colette’s is a glittering collection of French pastries.
Cake of any kind, especially complex fruity beauties are my kryptonite. But you can’t miss all the other awaiting sweet treasures.
Colette is a break you can enjoy in an afternoon. The kind where you treat yourself to a refreshing meal and talk. It’s a hotel restaurant, so expect to pay accordingly. The service and attention to detail is impeccable. Finding another time to dine here again, is high on my plan. Bon appetit!