Maison Selby is so named because it’s situated in the C.H. Gooderham House that's over 135 years old, and adjacent to Selby Street.
The concept from Oliver & Bonacini (Canoe, Auberge du Pommier) serves French fare from early in the morning until late. The historic restoration of Maison Selby is juxtaposed against The Selby residences looming overhead.
The labyrinthine mansion is a dizzying series of individual rooms boasting original fireplaces, decorated with hand-painted touches, plants and antiques designed by Solid Design Creative. There’s actually also open WiFi throughout.
The house even encompasses underground speakeasy Sous Sol, serving up small dishes, cocktails, and a vinyl soundtrack.
True to French form, there’s a market-price omelette on breakfast, brunch and lunch menus, cooked over very low heat using house creme fraiche, resulting in a classic custard-like baveuse centre.
Variations in the omelette might include cheese, a light salad with seasonal pickles and a Dijon vinaigrette.
French onion soup ($14) is in the running for some of the cheesiest and gooiest around, made with Vidalia onions that are cooked with salt and butter for three or four hours.
Their own viennoiserie actually provides the spongy bread element, the cheese on top offering a combination of Emmental, Gruyere and cheese curds.
A Provencal ratatouille goes for a lofty $23 but it’s different from others, in this case a beautifully presented regional rendition of the dish with roasted eggplant, zucchini, peppers, and onions plated atop a saffron couscous, surrounded by a bright sauce vierge and topped with a Provence tapenade.
Coq au vin ($29) is traditionally prepared, chicken marinated for two days in Malbec, then cooked with veggies in a combination of the wine and chicken stock. It’s served with textbook onions, lardons and haricots verts over fluffy pommes puree.
The French onion beef chuck burger ($21) is based on the flavours of the French onion soup with caramelized onions and Gruyère as well as a dijonnaise and butter lettuce.
Loose-knit chick roll is ground fresh for patties every service, and toasted, soft pain au lait comes from their own bakery like the viennoiserie. Frites on the side are seasoned with herbes de Provence and Newfoundland salt.
Sole meuniere ($38) is a take on a classic, very lightly dredged in flour and pan-fried with butter, shallots, wine and lemon, topped with crispy, briny capers.
A lemon tart ($10) is topped with charred meringue and frozen raspberries that add texture and sweetness to the tangy dessert.
The Selby Mule ($15) eschews vodka for tequila and mezcal, deliciously combined with lime, mint, a house raspberry pepper syrup and a splash of ginger beer.
They’re always doing drink specials, promotions and events here, and a patio outside seats 32.