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Baked Goods

Ruelo Patisserie

Posted by Robyn Urback / Posted on June 11, 2012

Ruelo TorontoRuelo Patisserie is not touting the same salted caramel and pistachio macarons you'll find at most French pastry shops in Toronto. No, this patisserie, new to Yonge and Eglinton, is offering its macarons in specialty flavours such as wasabi and grapefruit, balsamic vinegar, and black truffle (the mushroom, that is). While the modest macaron savant can, instead, opt for a classic cassis or vanilla treat, my mind was on wasabi the second I saw it gleaming behind the glass display.

This patisserie, on Erksine Avenue just north of Yonge and Eglinton, is a replica of a sister shop up in Richmond Hill. Jacqueline Lo opened the original Ruelo with her husband, Angus, a few years ago after studying at Le Cordon Bleu in Ottawa and various schools in France and throughout Europe. The concept is premised on classic French pastry-making, with an emphasis on natural, premium ingredients and classic techniques.

Ruelo TorontoThe macarons are undoubtedly Ruelo's main attraction (priced $2.25 to $3.00 each), but the shop also offers croissants and baguettes for the breakfast crowds and specialty cakes for a little indulgence. The mini versions look immaculate as they sit behind the display, crafted in varieties such as nut-free apple caramel, gluten-free caramel apricot, and raspberry dark chocolate mousse.

"We use Valrhona chocolate," Angus says as we take a seat at a table by the plush purple benches. "It's a premium chocolate; many companies source their cocoa from other places, but Valrhona has its own farm. It sees the process through from the seed."

Jacqueline and Angus are also particular about their tea selection, offering only Kusmi brand. We sip glass mugs of orange chocolate as Jacqueline and Angus tell be a bit more of Jacqueline's work. "Sugar flowers, particularily, are her specialty," Angus says, showing me photos of some of her recent wedding work. "Usually I just do them for wedding cakes," Jacqueline adds.

Ruelo TorontoThe model cake in the front display does look delicious, but I was keen on sampling the extraordinarily flavoured macarons. The truffle was first — a crisp, perfect shell with a little more filling than I was initially expecting. It tasted authentically "truffle" with a rich mushroom flavour, and oddly enough the mix of sweet and savoury worked. Next was the wasabi grapefruit with its spotted shell and profound kick. It was definitely more "wasabi" than "grapefruit," with a mild punch and tempered sweetness. I wouldn't suggest these flavours for a five-year-old looking for a sweet, but they would definitely appeal to a more refined palette.

Ruelo TorontoSince opening this new location, most of the Ruelo production has been moved to Yonge and Eglinton, as this kitchen offers a little more space than the one in Richmond Hill. Jacqueline says she will continue to concoct new macaron flavours, while keeping traditional French technique in mind.

Ruelo TorontoPhotos by Stephani Buchman

Discussion

11 Comments

Ilovedesserts / June 11, 2012 at 12:51 pm
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Meh, it was ok. But I've definitely had better.
Haley / June 11, 2012 at 02:01 pm
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Very friendly service!
stazie / June 11, 2012 at 02:29 pm
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They need to open way earlier on weekends. With 11:30 opening time they miss a lot of business. I do like their pastry, especially this curly one (don't know the proper name) with cranberry and couple other kinds, I believe.
TJ / June 12, 2012 at 10:54 am
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Been to their Richmond Hill location twice. Their macaroons are not worth the $2.25-3.00/each as they are not on par with macaroons being sold in the GTA at that price. I think its more acceptable at about $1.50-1.75/each for the taste/quality/size of their macaroons.
Alissa / June 13, 2012 at 08:55 am
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Their macarons taste like plastic...probably too much food coloring...
Pamela / June 13, 2012 at 11:54 am
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@Ilovedesserts - agreed.

Heard so many people rave about the baker here. She did her training in Paris but the macarons resemble nothing like the ones I had in France. I thought it was a big disappointment but whatever float other people's boat I guess...
Jojo K. / July 13, 2012 at 04:11 pm
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Stoped by this store last weekend. Nothing much to say though,the pupleish
walls really look unappetizing,display case looked empty in a busy afternoon,coffee
was small&flavorless. Really should've studied the reviews before I came,what a
waste of time.
Blair / January 4, 2013 at 12:32 pm
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They do a few baguettes every day. The one that I had was fantastic, crunchy and delicious.
Ryan Clifford / February 1, 2013 at 02:37 pm
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These are hands down the best macarons in Toronto.

First off, why would you want something unique to taste like every other french patisserie in the city... the point of this place is that its different. They make a small selection of uniquely flavored macarons that I guarantee you wont find any where else in Toronto.

I knew a friend who went to new york and said they didn't know what everyone was talking about how good the pizza is, but she never visited Grimaldi's or lombardi's, went to some shit hole near queens. So I can't trust a tourist's opinion on what good macarons taste like in france when they probably went to the only place that spoke english.

This place is closest to Lauduree (best macarons in NYC) as you can get in Toronto. Canadians are very catered to in terms of taste, our sushi is big and boxy, pizza is thick and doughy, If canadians knew anything about real food, places like pizza pizza simply wouldn't be able to operate and succeed.

Ruelo is for people who have an evolved sense of taste or those willing to have an open mind to anything that doesn't taste like pure sugar, salt and fat, not people who buy cakes from wall mart or loblaws for birthday parties.

Chicken balls is a Canadian culinary invention that 90 percent of Canadians think is actually a genuine form of Chinese food...

Do your research people and expand your palette before passing judgement on this absolute gem that we have in our great City.
These are the BEST macarons in the country today. A lot of great places get bad reps in Toronto,and i believe its the pathetic palette of the diners that is to blame not the talent within the places that stay true to their own tastes.

I'm glad Ruelo does not cater to the average Canadian who's never eaten fish that they didn't have to first remove from a can. This is one place that will not feature a mars bar flavoured macaron, so if that's what you want, there is a corner store right next door that even sells Oh Henry for you.

hafs / July 15, 2013 at 04:45 pm
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Went today around 3:30 PM to the Yonge and Eglinton location. The sign said will return by 11 AM and the lights were off. Not impressed.

Walked around the corner to La Boheme and bought the best macarons ever after given advice on traveling with them in the heat.

Maymay replying to a comment from hafs / October 29, 2013 at 04:35 pm
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I live down the street, pass by Ruelo everyday and their hours are just very inconsistent. I have to say their macarons are better than La Boheme but I would rather go to La Boheme for some smiles, friendly atmosphere, good coffee, and much more choices of pastries.

On a side note, staff working at Ruelo spend most of their time in the back making cakes and they always look grumpy (too tired I guess). They will come out when a customer comes in. I went for a sandwich and iced latte, they made them to go although I told them it's for here. It is just so strange to pay for an above-average-price for a to-go atmosphere. And the girl said there is no sugar syrup for my iced latte and I had to add regular sugar (that won't melt!), I was like WTF? Obviously the girl didn't know about drinks and has no common sense. Ruelo's cakes are good but they are wayyyyy overpriced.

I normally go in for 3 minutes just to buy 1 or 2 macarons. That's it. And I prefer La Boheme (and De Mello Coffee Roaster just a few shops away) so much more.

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