French culinary tradition is rooted in meticulous knife work, the use of baguettes in the kitchen and the fencing hall, and the custom of butter-kissing meat on both cheeks. Respect generations of delicious rituals with today's Groupon: for $25, you get $55 worth of French fine dining and drinks at Loire Casual Gourmet, located near the University of Toronto.
Loire Casual Gourmet draws its inspiration from France's Loire Valley, the childhood home of chef Jean-Charles Dupoire and sommelier Sylvain Brissonnet. Like his-and-hers shoulder pads, cuisine and wine are best when paired, which is why Loire's staff has sippable samples to accompany dinner and dessert. Palates are prepped for a culinary tour de taste with appetizers including an Ontario goat-cheese cake in a pistachio crust ($12), a half dozen market oysters ($19), or a rainbow-trout tartare in yuzu dressing ($14). Entrees run the surf-and-turf gamut, ranging from five-hour-braised short ribs ($25) to a seared sea scallop adorned with parisian gnocchi ($27). A wide selection of reds and whites bequeath sumptuous tastes and aromas, from floral to earthy to supernova. Team up a hazelnut crème brûlée or warm banana bread drizzled with dark-chocolate-caramel sauce (both $10) with a 10-year tawny port ($12) for a decadent denouement.
Cushy black booth seats line Loire's contrasting stark-white walls in an outpouring of modern design. Irises indulge in colourful, nature-inspired paintings and decorative vases. Natural light spills through massive windows, keeping patrons from confusing their dates with their tax attorneys.
119 Harbord St.
Toronto, Ontario M5S 1G7Get Directions