Les Moulins La Fayette Toronto
Les Moulins La Fayette originated in Quebec, and now has their first location in Toronto.
The founder’s original recipes are still used to bake bread, viennoiserie items and ultra-buttery croissants fresh in-house every morning in full view of the cafe.
Most of the space is taken up showcasing these technicolour viennoiserie and patisserie items, though there is a fair bit of seating.
Mini Palmier cookies ($4 for a bag of six) are mostly butter, crispy and sticky from a little sugar.
About a dozen different kinds of quality French bread are baked here, loaves of sunflower sourdough ($5.15), walnut sourdough ($6.15), country bread ($4.15) and six grain Belgian bread ($4.65).
The bread is used to make sandwiches, a veggie one ($7) stuffing house olive cheddar snail bread with sauteed peppers, arugula, mushrooms, cauliflower, broccoli and an olive tapenade. Cafe fare varies from location to location.
A spinach and goat cheese puff pastry ($6) makes for a light lunch or snack, creamy filling enveloped in layers of thick but soft buttery pastry.
A salad ($8) today sees prosciutto and a nice soft-cooked egg nestled on a bed of leafy greens scattered with large chunks of blue cheese, walnut and olive. The salad is just a touch yellow in spots and the olives could be higher quality, but the combo of ingredients is solid and the egg, cheese, nuts and meat pull their weight flavour-wise.
Avocado toast ($7.50) is quite lightly toasted, the bread still bending. It’s topped with some sun-dried tomato and pine nuts, but the whole thing comes together best with a poached egg plated atop a smear of hummus.
Croissants when fresh out of the oven are, like much here, loaded with butter, fluffy, and incredibly elastic.
Individual Paris-Brest, Praliné Alizé, Palais Royale and oversized Raspberry Macaron pastries (all $5) are each gems waiting to be discovered visit after visit, the shining stars of the bakery. These are filled with luscious nut cream, layers of almond biscuit and chocolate mousse or raspberries and creme patissiere.
Though they don’t do custom cakes, the smaller desserts do come in larger full-cake formats for options like the Alizé Praliné and St-Honore ($29.50).
Something called iced tea lemonade ($3.50) I’d come back for; a bittersweet combination of Sloane tea infused with lemon (which I thought was just iced tea? ― I’ll just have to keep refreshing myself with more to figure it out).
If you're looking for room to really spread out and relax, head to a chic back patio where there are several small tables and one larger one.