Nord Bistro is a French Bistro with a lot of Canadian influences. Near Dupont and Bathurst, it's a popular pre-theatre destination for the nearby Tarragon .
Their daily pre-theatre prix fixe dinner menu is $35 a person but that ends at 6:30. For the rest of us there's pasta and meaty entrees on offer all night, and a cocktail list curated by mixologist Adrian Stein of Mistura .
The inside is super cozy and rustic, and kinda feels like you just wandered into someone's house with French doors, soothing colours and a long, narrow space.
The calamari ($14) is served in a standard style, butterflied to show its elegant rings and grilled. Hot chili maple glaze adds originality to a bistro standby, and the squid rests on some Vietnamese-inspired shredded daikon and a few pickled carrots. It's not too too spicy, and the daikon cuts through with a pleasant radish flavour that complements the heat.
My cocktail is another classic with just a bit of a twist, a ginger cosmo. It's saved from being its typical girly, fruity self by spicy fresh ginger and cherry masala bitters. An orange wedge reminds me of an old fashioned, and brings a much needed old man vibe to this girly drink. This one was created by owner Bart Pocock rather than Stein.
Spaghettini ($21) is also relatively plain, offering up the standard flavours of tomato and basil that complement any pasta. Like the cosmo, it's nothing mind-blowing but I wouldn't kick it out of bed.
The duck confit ($25) is a star here, each element of the dish prepared perfectly as it was meant to be in my eyes. This dish blends Italian, French and Asian with crispy-skinned duck confit, thick mixed mushroom risotto and steamed bok choy. Little mushrooms make the risotto super meaty, and the rice is just the right amount of gluey with just the right amount of bite.
There's the main dining area and a back bar area that feels very speakeasy-like with an L-shaped construction under low ceilings with a TV playing. This spot only seats six plus two at a table, instilling a feeling of exclusivity and inspiring bursts of communal bar discussion.
Photos by Hector Vasquez