Picture walking along rainy, windswept Saturday afternoon streets in Toronto then entering into the welcoming, warm butter tones of the interior of Edward Levesque’s Kitchen that puts any thoughts of inclement weather to rest. The popular Leslieville restaurant, which has been pleasing customers for almost 10 years, oozes comfort and charm reminiscent of Parisian bistros with cozy corner booths stuffed with homey cushions. The owner’s taste for antiques and original pieces is reflected in the collection of old clocks that adorn the width of one wall.
A short wait before being seated permitted a view of the cooks in the front open kitchen preparing some of the menu’s tempting specialties including with corn bread ($18). Greeted by a friendly, unpretentious server, my friend and I scored the best table in the house at the aforementioned corner booth and settled in to peruse the varied menu. Brunch favourites such as blueberry pancakes with fruit salad ($10), poached eggs were highlighted, as well as more heartier meals such as lamb burger with hummus, tapenade and cucumber ($15). What was pleasing was the option to order sides such as a berry bowl ($5), two eggs($4) and chipotle corn bread ($4) for those lacking a hearty appetite.
We decided on Belgian waffles that packed a punch with red berry sauce and honey and orange butter. The serving size was ample, while the waffles were crispy and light, however the berry compote was a little overpowering. Latkes with sour cream and chives ($5), ordered as a side, were tasty yet slightly dry. The omelette of the day, served with mixed greens (sourced locally) and thick, crunchy multi-grain toast, had an Asiago cheese, mushroom and tomato filling ($12) whose delicate flavours were enhanced by an infusion of fresh tarragon.
Coffee refills were served promptly and conversation flowed easily against the backdrop of contemporary music that added a relaxing aura to the afternoon.
Nous retournerons, Monsieur Levesque.
Edward Levesque’s Kitchen, 1290 Queen St. E. (1/2 block east of Leslie St.), 416-465-3600