What: Newest edition of the iconic NYC French bakery
Where: 2nd floor of First Canadian Place, 100 King St. W.
This Bastille Day, I had the pleasure of attending the grand opening of Toronto’s newest French foodie hotspot, Maman. The NYC staple made its debut in Toronto a week ago, sneakily located off of King & Bay on the second level of First Canadian Place. At first you might think, “What an odd location for such a chic cafe”, but after stepping inside its doors, you’re immediately transported to the South of France with ornate tiled floors, long family-style tables, traditional French music, an en plein air veranda and vintage decor smattering its countertops. I was joined by a group of Toronto’s bloggers, photographers and social media mavens, all of whom spent the night marveling over the beautiful decor and exclaiming “Ohhhh myyyyy goddddd, this is SO good!” with every bite of the cafe’s famous cookies and sip of their custom cocktails.
But let’s talk about the food for a second. Hot damn, that food. With a menu designed by Michelin star chef Armand Arnal, I knew the Maman offering was going to be incredible, and my expectations were proven correct with each round of gourmet goodness that rotated the room. As I bit into the savoury treats, from flavourful egg salad and dill sliders to fluffy red pepper and goat cheese quiche, it was like a party in my mouth. Then came the sweets and you would think none of us had ever seen food before. The popular chocolate chip cookies were served up with a shot glass of milk and devoured in seconds, followed by delicious cream puff pastries and a dollop of lemon meringue atop a shortbread cookie. I mean… how am I supposed to say no to that?
As for the drinks, I’ve never been one to turn away a cocktail, and one that’s made with gin and a little egg foam on top? Now you’re speaking my language.
If you like your cocktails strong and packing a punch of flavour, Maman should be next on your list for a liquid lunch or post-work tipple. With unexpected combinations of Herbes de Provence with Lillet, and bourbon whiskey with fois gras bitters, the refreshing cocktails will keep you coming back for more just as much as the cookies will.
As a newcomer to Toronto’s foodie scene, Maman will most certainly breathe new life into the financial district and offer the area’s bankers and fellow city dwellers a fresh alternative for lunches and coffee dates.
For full menus, directions and opening times, check out mamantoronto.com