I checked out Concession Road, a restaurant set up with a simple, casual atmosphere dishing up French cuisine with global influences.

ConcessionRoad-BestofToronto-2015-001
 

Building on their success with Pukka, co-owners Derek Valleau and Harsh Chawla found a great deal just a couple doors down from Pukka on St. Clair West in the space formerly occupied by Bywoods restaurant. Concession Road opened it’s doors late April 2015.

Chef Masayuki Tamaru was brought on board to create the menu. He was the opening chef at Crush Wine Bar (recently closed).

“Masayuki and I have stayed great friends throughout the years.”, says Valleau. “He’s the type of chef that flies under the radar; incredibly talented.”

Masayuki has also worked at Fifth Social Club and under Chef Jamie Kennedy.

Valleau and Chawla say they really believe in St. Clair West as an up and coming neighbourhood.

The name originates from an older name for St. Clair Avenue, which was the 3rd concession when the British laid on the road system back in the 1800s.

Similar to their approach with Pukka, they are willing to spend more on ingredients, such as grass-fed beef from PEI for their PEI Beef Burger.

Speaking of quality beef, as a French cuisine classic, you can’t go wrong with beef tartare, especially one with refined touches such as quail’s egg and asian pear for texture.

Beef tartare, asian pear, pickled vegetables, quail's egg yolk, toast

Beef tartare, asian pear, pickled vegetables, quail’s egg yolk, toast

 

One of the favourites at Concession Road is the Japanese fried chicken aka “JFC” are popular favourites. And I really enjoyed the JFC chunks of chicken, marinated with sesame oil and sake, cooked hot all the way to the centre. We’re told that the chicken is Mennonite-farmed from Southern Ontario. I could eat a bucket of JFC if no one stopped me but alas it’s $19.75 per order, so I better not. But at least Chawla and BlogTO agree it’s a top new favourite restaurant for fried chicken.

"JFC" Mennonite-farmed fried chicken, buttermilk mash, tomato & preserved lemon mayo

“JFC” Mennonite-farmed fried chicken, buttermilk mash, tomato & preserved lemon mayo

 

One surprisingly tasty dish was vegetarian – a colourful display of vegetable-stuffed chard with mushrooms and vegetable sauce.

Vegetable stuffed chard, vegetable sauce, chive oil, beet crisps, toasted pumpkin seeds

Vegetable stuffed chard, vegetable sauce, chive oil, beet crisps, toasted pumpkin seeds

 

I love good fish and this steamed Portugese rockfish with skin-on was delectable. I had a hard time sharing this dish with anyone, it was that good. Serve this as a large entree with wild or plain rice and fresh green veggies and I would be happy.

Steamed Portugese rockfish, tomato beurre blanc, fresh dill

Steamed Portugese rockfish, tomato beurre blanc, fresh dill

 

Thanks to our host, Vicky Weiss, for pointing out refined touches such as the addition of soundproofing to the wall dividing the restaurant in half. That helps so you can actually hear the person across from you talk (if you’re in to that kind of thing). It could also be handy for hosting semi-intimate events.

Derek Valleau says the current decor is still in the works with a practical perspective of “make some money, spend some money”.

Post City currently features Concession Road as one of the top 10 “New & Notable” restaurants.

Programs include Wine Wednesday with $5 wine selections, cocktails, absinthe and a late night eats menu.

Hopefully good use is being made of their patio before summer ends.

Concession Road is located at 760 St. Clair Ave West.

Monday – Wednesday: 5:30pm – 10pm
Thursday – Friday: 5:30pm – 11:30pm
Saturday: 3:00pm – 11:30pm
Sunday: 3:00pm – 9:30pm

For more info, reservations and details visit www.ConcessionRoad.ca or call (416) 658-0460.

Photos by Nick Lee

Also check out Pukka restaurant by the same owners of Concession Road, .

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Nick Lee

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