The Best Steak Frites in Toronto
The best steak frites in Toronto is all about simplicity. Meat and potatoes and nothing else, save for the occasional aioli. The bistro staple is done with a variety of steak cuts in Toronto, though flank and flat irons are the most popular. You can blow lots of money on beef in this city at any one of our better steakhouses, but the more casual steak frites can still be completely satisfying if well prepared. In fact, the lesser cuts commonly used in these under $30 dishes are chock-full of meaty flavour, easily coaxed out by a capable chef.
Here are the best steak frites in Toronto.
The cut is both small and novel, a 5oz. Alberta flap steak. In spite of its small size, the beef is tender and bursting with salty flavour on account of its good marbling. The accompanying caramelized shallots add depth to each bite, and the heaping dose of frites makes the $27.95 more palatable.
This flat iron steak has comes with onion jus that brings out the beefy flavour in a cut that's not terribly juicy but adequately tender when prepared properly, which is what you get here. Grilled to medium rare (unless you specify otherwise), the roughly 8oz steak comes with golden and crisp pommes frites accompanied by stout aioli.
The College St. eatery is one of a few in the city that serves the elusive "baseball" cut of top sirloin - a juicy, peppery hockey puck with a good, beefy taste. The Yukon Gold frites are classic - crispy little twigs cooked in canola, served with a smoky chipotle aioli, and a great deal at only $18.
The Harbord Room does most things well, so it's not much of a surprise that this bistro classic is also well executed. You might find the dish served with onion rings depending on the menu being used, but the steak is a well aged grass-fed striploin that brims with iron-like flavour. Whatever the side is, the steak will always steal the show here.
The steak at Jules is truly original - a flank steak cut along the grain, butterflied and opened up before being finished on a flat grill. Most chefs would try to hide the texture of flank, but this accentuates it - to marvellous effect. It's a generous platter, with a salad and ratatouille included along with Dijon and mayo for the frites.
This flank steak comes covered with a shallot-sauce that makes the dish. The beef is decent (and notably hormone and antibiotic free), well-seasoned and cooked to medium rare as it should be given the cut, but it's the mess made by the steak's juice and the demi-glace that gets diners excited for more.
This chimichurri-sauced, 10oz hanger steak is done sous-vide and then expertly seared and evenly-pink-on-the-inside - a nice preparation for this specific cut. The smoked cipollini onion garnish contributes a little sweetness when included in each forkful and here the fries get my full appreciation for their rich canola-oil infused flavour and crispiness.
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