By Lori Bosworth
La Societe Bistro at 131 Bloor Street West in Toronto held a patio party to celebrate its recent renovation and third anniversary on June 4, 2014 and Torontonicity was invited. One of the upscale Toronto restaurants owned by entrepreneur Charles Khabouth of INK Entertainment, La Societe is squeezed right in the middle of a slew of high-end shops on Bloor Street including Prada, Hermes, Gucci, Dolce & Gabbana, Chanel, Burberry and Michael Kors.
Thankfully, it was a gorgeous 25°C late afternoon, perfect patio weather. My friend, Grace (check out her blog, On My Way) and I navigated our way through the main floor patio upon arrival and were offered a Cucumber Lemon Grass Cooler (Bombay Sapphire East Gin, Green Chartreuse, lime juice, lemongrass syrup, Calamansi Juice, Perrier and cucumber) by a friendly server. If this drink doesn’t quench a thirst, I don’t know what will. Other cocktails prepared by award-winning mixologist Nishan Nepulangoda (formerly of Blowfish) included a Bella Donna (Belvedere Vodka, Campari, grapefruit juice, lime juice, grapefruit syrup and Prosecco).
The patio was already packed with Toronto party people and some high profile guests and the lounges and chairs were already taken when we arrived so we quickly found a spot to stand near the bar.
Busy servers emerged with canapes that were quickly devoured by guests. We managed to get our hands on the Marinated Lamb Skewers and Chimichurri, which were tender and lean. I love the spicy Argentinian sauce (cilantro, garlic, parsley, red pepper, cumin, olive oil), which provided the perfect accompaniment to the lamb and am determined to make it at home. We also got our hands on Crispy Mac and Cheese. These tasty little appetizers featured a fried coating revealing a centre of penne noodles and white cheese. These were exceptionally good!
Next were these yummy-looking Canadian Lobster Brioche Sandwiches, a new item on La Societe’s menu. Unfortunately, I am cursed by the Gods because I’m allergic to lobster, but Grace bit into hers and declared it “four stars”. The lobster was fresh and coated in a light mayonnaise sauce, while the homemade brioche had just enough bite.
I’m not allergic to raw oysters, however, which were the next appetizers being served. These oysters were so fresh, they just slid off the shell and left you wanting more. Doused in fresh lemon juice, they were definitely my favourite item on La Societe’s menu.
Other new items on the menu overseen by Executive Chef Romain Avril (formerly of Colborne Lane and Origin North) include Foie Gras Hot Dog on a Brioche Bun, the classic C’s Burger, Pan Seared Sea Scallops and Bouillabaisse. La Societe will also be offering a special $29 prix fixe dinner Thursdays to Saturdays from 9 p.m., as well as a late night menu. Other elements of La Societe’s renovation include an open concept bar in the dining room and two private dining rooms seating 15 that open up into one single space.
One more item on the menu included this cheeseburger slider, which was satisfying.
Just as we were leaving, we were offered these chocolate tarts topped with fresh fruit. They are actually cookies with a creamy filling. Very good.
There was a lot of buzz at La Societe’s patio party, as is usually the case at any party hosted by Charles Khabouth. If you’re looking for a stylish summer patio in the heart of Bloor-Yorkville, La Societe is your ticket.
La Societe, 131 Bloor Street West, #211, 416-551-9929
La Societe on Facebook