Cafe Fiorentina serves up local flavours in a big way. They emphasize seasonal and local ingredients with pork and eggs from Murray’s Farm in Cambridge.
The venture is co-owned by Tina Leckie and Alex Chong, the latter of which makes his own bread. The spread of baked goods on the counter here is equally impressive as the steaming plates arriving on tables. I suspect customers come as much for one as the other.
The Danforth space is homey, and you’d never know the back wall was constructed from busted up old palettes. They frame a decorative window that peeks into the kitchen that reminds me of old school Toronto family homes.
They’re famous for their croques both madame and monsieur here ($13/$16), served with your choice of potatoes or salad. This melty, crunchy, classic French sandwich is topped with two fried eggs instead of one.
Croissants are some of the best I’ve ever had, super fresh and soft. The outside is perfectly crispy and the inside is buttery and melts practically on contact with your tongue.
They also do cinnamon buns here. So crispy and dense, a cascade of raisins tumbles out as you tear into the icing-laden bun.
French toast is to die for ($12), made with their house brioche soaked to the gills with custard infused with canella and citrus. It’s topped with cooling house creme fraiche and a silky seasonal apple compote.
The heritage pork and eggs ($17) stars. This cut of Murray’s pork is the skirt, served with chickpea puree, a kale/brussels sprouts cross called kalettes and crunchy, savoury wild Hen of the Woods mushrooms, as well as rich, irony blood sausage from the same farmer.
The mackerel ($13) is a lighter fish option on the menu. House cured mackerel is paired with a classic sort of salad of whipped herb goats cheese, pickled beets and greens that is familiar enough to let the briny flavours of the cured fish rise to the forefront.
The duck eggs benny ($16) is also worthy of the piece du resistance moniker, but it’s just not as unique as the pork and eggs to me. Still, it’s a typically sumptuous dish made with heritage duck eggs and house pastrami made from cured smoked beef cheeks.
Everything is singing with dark wood tones in here, adding to an already warm and cozy vibe. Funky oversized bulbs highlight the baking counter. It’s crowded in Cafe Fiorentina with people lining up for tables, but once seated, space in chairs and banquettes is ample and comfy.