The Tempered Room
The Tempered Room is a new patisserie in Parkdale that opened last month beside Bacchus Roti Shop . Taking over the space that used to be Brown Sugar Bakery, Paris-born owner and chef Bertrand Alépée (of Amuse-Bouche Bistro ) has always wanted to showcase pastry, his specialty, in a non-restaurant setting.
Alépée outfitted the space with the help of his pastry chef Tyler Lang, who did the woodwork on the display cases. The two figured out how to put together most things by looking them up on YouTube (what can't you learn on there these days?).
There's a large wood communal table at the front of the shop, small side tables that can be removed by popping them off the wall's rail and display counters on wheels so that everything can be reconfigured easily for events held in the space. Alépée, a member of The Group of Seven Chefs , plans to host pop-up dinners here in the future.
Inside the display cases, everything from freshly baked croissants ($2.50) to exquisite mini-cakes and pastries ($2.50-$6.50) can be found. Almost all items are made in the swank back kitchens, which are also used for Alépée's catering business, The Tempered Chef . Exceptions are sourdough bread from The Drake and loaves from Blackbird Baking Co. and Thuet , since Alépée is happy to shine the spotlight on other bakers who are masters of their crafts.
The bread for the croque monsieur ($7.50), however, is baked in-house, as is the jalapeno cornbread ($4). Alépée is slowly expanding the selection of savoury items available.
When it comes to sweet offerings, he wants to emphasize eclairs ($3.75 or $10 for 3), which he doesn't feel get enough love in Toronto. He has fond childhood memories of eating them in France.
Not surprisingly, Alépée wants to keep things local and seasonal (even the beverages fall in line with this; Sam James's Cut Coffee is served here as is Vams Kombucha ). For fall, featured flavours include caramel, apple and pear, and there is currently a mini truffled pumpkin pie with hazelnut buttercream ($5.50) available. Custom orders for larger versions of any item can be made with 48 hours' notice.
Alépée describes his pastries as "French with a modern twist" - he uses classic techniques with more updated flavours, like his Matcha Framboise layered cake ($6.50), which pairs raspberry mousse with green tea panna cotta. Interestingly enough, when it comes to the savoury stuff like quiches and croque monsieurs, he prefers to stick to the traditional, rustic versions: "Don't fix it if it's not broken."
Photos by Jesse Milns.