Loire is the newest addition to the Harbord street crew and of course I had been eying it for a while and was hoping for an opportunity to get there. My friend Nathan proposed we go there on a Tuesday night for a late dinner and I have to say I was quite impressed with not only the ambiance, quality of food, service but the people as well.
A little bit of background- the restaurant is owned by two childhood bestfriends who grew up together in France's Loire Valley region. It was the perfect setting rich with foods and wines and serves as inspiration for their Toronto restaurant now.
When we walked in the restaurant and patio (great for summer dining) were still full. The decor is quite sleek with creams and chocolate browns and the service was cheerful and good. Reservations are definitely recommended to get seats during prime dinner hours.
We started with their foie gras special which was served on a crepe- it was the biggest piece of foie gras that I've had in a while and it was perfect in texture and taste and the crepe was a perfect compliment with it's airiness- very good. And although we knew we were going to eat more meat and proteins for our mains we decided to try the steak tartare appetizer as well I really wanted to try the plantain chip that came with it. The tartare had green onions mixed in for texture which was good and the plantain chip was crispy but the foie gras took top marks here.
For dinner we decided on duck - which for a french restaurant- was average. Perhaps it was because we were one of their last customers as the meat was dry and a bit tough. The veggies along side were delicious though especially the potatoes. I ordered the steak - which we had done medium rare (but on the rarer side) and it was executed perfectly- juicy and tender and the accompanying potato puree was delicious. The greens were a little on the stringy side but really I wasn't complaining.
For dessert we tried their lemongrass ginger creme brulee- you can really get the flavour of the infused ginger with a faint hit of lemongrass. All in all - it was a lovely dinner and good night out! Merci Beaucoup Nathan!
Loire - 119 Harbord Street (Harbord west of Spadina)