TORONTO — There’s a new restaurant from Toronto’s Chase Hospitality Group, and it promises to deliver a unique French-style experience in a classically beautiful space.
After much anticipation, Colette Grand Café opened yesterday in the Thompson Hotel on Wellington Street in Toronto. The all-day restaurant encompasses several unique dining experiences within the expansive 5,000-sq.-ft. space that features barrel vault ceilings, classic French café-style seating and hand-painted tile in traditional Parisian hues of blue, yellow and white.
Set amidst Toronto’s burgeoning condo community, Steven Salm, president of the Chase Hospitality Group, is looking forward to being part of King West, one of Toronto’s most vibrant communities. “We never want to hear the word stuffy or uptight,” quipped Salm at the media launch of the restaurant. Leading up to today’s grand opening, Colette employed drivers of two bicycles and a food truck to tour Toronto with samples from the restaurant’s menu. “We were really excited to introduce offerings from the Colette menu during this campaign,” said the company’s president.
Colette is housed in what was formerly Scarpetta Restaurant, a concept helmed by New York chef Scott Connant, but the only reminder of its former life is the kitchen. The restaurant has undergone an extensive six-month renovation, courtesy of Gianpiero Pugliese and Audax Architecture who have created a warm and inviting space that includes a dining room, library and lounge as well as a bakery-café that opens daily at 7 a.m. The latter features baguettes, croissants and pastries as well as savoury tarts and cheeses, and even dog biscuits. The restaurant’s menu showcases what executive chef Michael Steh defines as modern French food. It includes Duck Magret ($44), La Tour de Colette ($58 for two; prepared and raw vegetables, crab, shrimp, mussels with aioli and bread sticks) as well as Shefflish Mariniere ($34). A weekend brunch program is expected to kick off in September.
Salm and partners, Steh and Michael Kimel, have made an impact on the Toronto culinary scene in the past few months with the opening last year of the Chase, the Chase Fish & Oyster, Little Fin and now Colette.