Brie and asparagus salad

Cafe Pleiade

This small Mt. Pleasant restaurant (near Manor Rd.) has become one of my favourite dinner restaurants in Toronto. Jeff and I decided to eat there a few weeks ago before a movie.

I arrive first, and opt for the cozy and romantic cushion-lined corner looking out onto the street:

Cozy corner of Cafe Pleiade

The server brings me a whiteboard with the Prix-Fixe menu, in case I didn't want to order from the regular menu. Hmm...for $24.95 I can get a choice of appetizer, main course, and coffee or tea. Hungry, I decide to start my appetizer before Jeff arrives, and choose the Romaine Feta Pear salad:

Pear salad

The salad is fantastic, with perfectly ripened pear slices and a tastefully tart dressing. I'm halfway through when Jeff calls to say he's going to be late; he was held up in traffic.

I order some wine for solace. Happily, Café Pleiade has a wide selection of wines; Chef Stavros Tsimicalis is a collector. The chef, by the way, is also a published poet . He was born in Skoura, a small village by the Eurotas River in Laconia, and emigrated to Canada in 1963. After training at the Windsor Arms Hotel, he worked as a maître-d at the Millcroft Inn for many years.

But back to my (unexpectedly solitary) dinner at Café Pleiade.

For my main course, I choose the Roast Pork Tenderloin with Shiitake Mushrooms and Apple:

Roast pork

Dear god. For a moment I'm grateful that Jeff isn't here because I'd be SO ignoring him right now to focus properly on my food. Exquisitely tender meat (I rarely cook pork because inevitably I turn it into pork leather), full of flavour. I decide that I have to order this every single time I eat here.

A few weeks later we dined at Café Pleiade again, this time with Jeff's parents. I was disappointed that the roast pork wasn't on the Prix-Fixe menu but opted for Fresh-Baked Arctic Char instead (with pomegranate and citrus dill sauce, $20.95):

Arctic char at Cafe Pleiade

It was FANTASTIC. In fact, everyone was delighted by their choices. I ordered the Organic Spring Greens with Asparagus and Brie drizzled with an apple cider viniagrette ($7) which was just as good as the pear salad I had ordered last time. (Picture at top of this post.)

Another appetizer: Fresh Mussels Mariniere with tomato, onion, garlic, herbs and ouzo ($9):

Mussels at Cafe Pleiade

My mom-in-law, an ex-restauranteur, loved her Grilled Calf's Liver with Caramelized Onions ($18):

Liver at Cafe Pleiade

But after mutual taste testing, we all agreed that Jeff had ordered the best dish, which was the Supreme of Chicken with Apricots, prepared with Scotch and a light curry cream sauce ($16):

Chicken with Apricots

Fortunately we all still had room for some shared desserts (desserts range from about $4-7) like the fruit tart:

Fruit tart

And a wonderfully foamy zabaglione:


And after writing all that, I'm hungry again.

You can browse the regular menu on the Café Pleiade Web site . The restaurant is closed Sunday and Monday.

Cafe Pleiade interior

Cafe Pleiade

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