Restaurant Review: “Le Petit Dejeuner”

I’m not going to make a habit of doing restaurant reviews, as it’s rare that I eat out anywhere (rarer still that I do so and stay sober the entire evening, so my judgment in those cases would not be ideal for well-considered critiquing).  But on Saturday I had the opportunity to not only go out for dinner, but to do so all by myself, during a break between showings of the InspiraTO festival.  Since the Alumnae Theatre is located just off King St. East, not far at all from the George Brown culinary arts school, I figured that there must be some nice, eclectic little places in the neighborhood where I could go to get a good sit-down meal.

Walking along King St. East, a sign caught my eye.  A sandwich board for a restaurant — the place you’d usually see dinner specials or upcoming events advertised.  But this sandwich board had only one thing written on it:  “It’s Delicious!”  in slightly messy handwriting.  Intrigued, I ducked in to check the place out.

Despite the French name, Le Petit Dejeuner is a bit of a mish-mash of many different things.  The carved wood bar and high stools would be right at home in an English pub, but right beside that are booth seats upholstered (if one can call it that) in bright green, sparkly vinyl.  The walls have an odd assortment of mirrors, posters, and an antique cigarette machine on display.  The food is similarly mixed in cultural origins (much of it seems to be French and Belgian, but there are a few curve balls thrown in there), making an overall theme hard to come by.

Breakfast is obviously the specialty at LPD, and they serve some of the favourites all day.  Many of the options looked very tempting, but as I was there at 6:30pm and kind of wanted a pint of beer, I figured I’d leave that for another visit (breakfast and beer only go together, in my books, if you slept in a tent the night before).  I decided on the seared salmon with balsamic salad, figuring that since I was eating alone it was best to be somewhat classy about it.

The food arrived quickly, and beautifully plated with an herb-filled flatbread of some sort, and the salmon arranged neatly on top of the salad.  The piece of salmon was a little small considering that I’d paid $15 for the plate, and I know for a fact that the salad cost almost nothing to put together — I’d consider $12 a more fair price for the amount of food.  But what it was lacking in size, it made up for in flavour:  the salmon was perfectly cooked, and the spicing was subtle and pleasant.  The chefs at this place obviously know what they’re doing.

I’ll update this post if I ever end up going back to this restaurant for breakfast, because I feel as though I should try what they’re best at before giving final judgment.  My impression after this first visit, though, is that it’s a nice little place.  A tad bit overpriced, but not so much so that I wouldn’t consider returning:  just enough that I’d probably never make it a favourite haunt.  The eclectic mish-mash of decor and the smallness of the space (it really is just a hole-in-the-wall, crammed in between two other businesses) might not appeal to everyone, but I found it homey and cozy — even the green vinyl seats.  Somehow they just seemed to work, even though I know that if I put a set like that on stage it would get nothing but criticism.

I think next time I’m going to try the waffles.

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