Treat yourself to dinner out at Coquine Restaurant, a modern French bistro on Yonge Street between Davisville and Eglinton. It’s the perfect place for a romantic dinner in an intimate yet unpretentious setting.
Coquine is a popular spot in the neighbourhood, so if you arrive after 7pm you’re likely to have to wait for a table. But the wait is made easy in the comfort of the bar room, where you can start the evening with an aperitif. The bar menu includes a generous selection of liqueurs, and cocktails as well as an extensive wine list featuring wines from all over the world.
As you move into the dining room, you’ll find the dark wood panelling and furniture that is so typical of bistros is brightened by the crisp white walls and counters. And in the soft dinnertime lighting, the room becomes a warm, intimate space to enjoy a romantic dinner.
Menus for What Your Heart Desires
For dinner, choose from either one of the three fixed menus or à la carte. The Fixed menus are a wonderful way to sample some of the dishes for which Coquine is best known, what owner Rob Prete describes as modern European comfort food. The à la carte dinner menu has an almost dizzying assortment of traditional French bistro dishes such as Steak Frites, Choucroute and Cassoulet as well as several pastas.
On a rare night out on our own, my husband and I opted to go à la carte and decided to sample whatever caught our fancy. We started with the award-winning Onion Soup Gratinée, which definitely lived up to its reputation, and the Fish Cakes, both salmon and halibut, which were light and crispy. Not having it in me to try them myself, my partner sampled the Escargots, sautéed in garlic Pernod butter and topped with Gruyère. He assured me it was among the best he’s ever had.
When I asked the waitress if it would be odd to pair fish cakes with duck, she graciously responded that nothing would be odd if it was what my heart desired. My heart was not disappointed. The Duo of Duck, served with a blueberry balsamic sauce, Lyonnaise potatoes and sautéed French beans, was more than satisfying. In fact, it could easily be shared between two, which would give you a chance to sample more of the menu. And while I kept working on the duck, my husband moved on to the Grilled New Zealand Lamb Chops. Looking back on it, our meal was fairly heavy on the protein. But that’s not for lack of vegetarian options. There are several vegetarian hors d’oeuvres and pasta dishes available as well.
What’s a romantic night out without dessert? It was hard to choose from among such temptations as crème brûlée, Mixed Berry Crepe, Warm Flourless Chocolate Torte and more. Ultimately we settled on the cheese platter with a selection of three cheeses and the Vanilla Crème Brûlée, which was light but rich with the added freshness of berries. The perfect end to a perfect evening.
Photo credit: Warm Zucchini Wrapped Chèvre by Sarah Szabo
2075 Yonge Street, Toronto, 416-322-6767