There is so much that can be said about Cluny Bistro and Boulangerie, the newest addition to the Distillery District’s enviable line-up of casual dining restaurants. This is where Paris comes to Toronto, which is a wonderful thing if Europe is not on your travel itinerary this year.

Walking in, you can be forgiven for thinking you’ve stepped into a giant Parisien marketplace. The venue is spacious and airy, with just the right level of lighting to complement the impressive themed decor, one that includes towering cabinets filled with elegant French-inspired dinnerware. A glass wall separates the dining room from the bustling kitchen, providing some diners a front row seat to where all the magic happens.

So much to take in, and we’ve not even sat down as yet.

Cluny Bistro Toronto
Front row seat with a view of the raw bar. Not our table.

At this point, you’re ready to be swept away, as you anxiously anticipate being greeted by a stylish server with a delightful French accent, while perhaps the sounds of Edith Piaf play softly in the background. Instead, I hear a thick Irish voice over a popular Pharrell song.

Now, even if Happy is my jam du jour, the choice of soundtrack infiltrates my Parisian daydream, and takes me to a pub in Dublin.

Still, that’s not to take away from the restaurant’s attention to detail in other areas, such as the subtly monogrammed dinner plates which was a nice touch.

Cluny Bistro
Pressed Chicken Terrine “Nicoise Style”, pickled beans, tomato jam and black olives

It’s evident that a lot of thought has gone into building not only the menu, but a little of the experience as well (we’ll overlook the soundtrack faux pas).

Looking into the kitchen at Cluny Bistro
Hand-painted window wall art looking into the open kitchen
The vibe is sophisticated, yet casual. The service is friendly and attentive. The culinary offerings are a mix of classic and contemporary, and truly delectable. The venue and decor are incredibly impressive. And all this feeds into a wonderful dining experience…which is my raison d’etre. I look forward to returning.

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