Amidst the streets of downtown Toronto in the financial district is a recently opened culinary gem called Lucie. At the heart of this culinary haven is owner Yannick Bigourdan, who you might know from his successful restaurants, Splendido, Note Bene, Carbon Bar, and Amano Trattoria. His new project is his French fine dining establishment at 100 Yonge Street in Toronto. He has had a remarkable journey in the hospitality industry.
The restaurant’s name is in memory of his beloved grandmother, who played an important role in his childhood growing up in the South of France, where she often cooked for him. Yannick chose a passionate and talented team to work with him. His executive chef is Arnaud Bloquel, who has honed his culinary skills under great French restaurants. He will lead the team at Lucie. His sous chef is Chef Zachary Barnes, who also has a great pedigree, having worked in Michelin-starred establishments in New York, London, Toronto, and Vancouver. He worked alongside junior sous chef Julie Guenat and pastry chef Laurence Delmas Farré, whose pastries are a work of art.
The restaurant is in the space previously held by Cru restaurant. At 4,000 square feet, holds about 70 seats, and included in that count is 21 seats around an enormous bar where you can dine in a more relaxed setting. The decor’s ambiance transports you to a Parisian Bistro, adorned with an inviting atmosphere that evokes feelings of comfort and sophistication. High ceilings, with globe lights, and lots of natural light from the street. In the back is a glassed-in exhibition kitchen. There are two main dining rooms to choose from. The predominant colors are teal blue and rust/burgundy. Black leather place-mats and dishes add to the allure.
For now, they serve a 3-course dinner menu priced at $130. However, the plan is to open for lunch in mid-August to attract the business crowd. You can choose from 8 appetizers, 8 main courses, and 5 desserts. Each dish had a beautiful presentation, from items like Ontario tomato and watermelon chilled soup, with tomato gelée and basil sorbet to Hudson Valley foie gras, smoked eel, with Ontario sour cherry jelly. Or a stunning big-eye tuna, with pickled vegetables that is almost too pretty to eat. The dishes are seasonal, and use local produce where possible. The mains have items like salmon, lobster, scallops, veal, rabbit, duck, and la côte de boeuf for two. There is also a vegetarian option. Desserts were excellent, by a pastry chef who wields flour and sugar like an artist with a paintbrush. There is something for every taste bud, whether you prefer chocolate, caramel, lemon, or berry flavours. They are all works of art.
Lucie has brought back the iconic champagne cart, and it is a wonderful way to begin your evening. But the bar makes some delightful cocktails. The focus is on French wines, with a carefully curated list to complement the flavours of the cuisine.
There is a lot of staff, who are very professional and helpful. They replace your napkins when you get up and ensure your glass is always full.
Lucie takes traditional culinary treasures and infuses them with a contemporary, innovative twist, creating a fusion of flavours and aesthetics of Modern French cuisine.
Their opening hours are Monday to Saturday from 5-11pm. Lunch will be arriving soon. Parking is difficult in this area, so taking a taxi or Uber is suggested.