Dessert Trends Bistro
154 Harbord Street
I had the opportunity to visit Dessert Trends Bistro on their grand opening last night, which was completely coincidental. A friend of mine called on a whim to see if they were finished with their renovations and luckily the day we wanted to go for dinner was the day they re-opened. Closed for several months, this small, but cozy bistro located in the Annex, was given a beautiful face-lift and re-introduced with new decor, marble accents and even a second floor is being built to accommodate the popularity of the restaurant.
DT Bistro has a very misleading name, and actually serves an extensive menu of high-quality and fresh fusion cuisine. Although head chef Don Duong may be known for his passion in creating some of the city’s best pastries, tarts and cakes, he also manages to whip up a very delicious dinner menu as well.
The ambiance of this bistro is great. Paired with very tasteful renovations, DT bistro gives off a very sleek, cool and inviting vibe. It’s a perfect summer time destination because they open the beautiful large windows on the side of the building providing patrons with a patio-feel without actually having a patio. Although the breeze might make the food cool down much quicker, I’d say it’s worth it in exchange for such a unique experience and atmosphere.
When you walk through the open doors, a giant display of beautifully hand-crafted desserts can be seen. Diners can come back up the display case at the end of their meals to pick out their desserts. Making up your mind and settling on just one is definitely a very challenging task as all of them look delicious.
This light fixture in the center of the restaurant was really something else once we found out it was hand-crafted by the owner himself.
Fresh carnations with matching tableware.
Starter bread for the table.
Seafood Springrolls. This was an appetizer that came off of the $25 Prix Fixe menu, which at a bistro like DT gives ultimate value. The portion size was quite generous (total of 4 rolls). The outside was very crispy and the mango salsa chutney that came on the side was very mellow and helped tone down the heaviness from the deep-fried exterior. It was difficult to make out exactly what kind of seafood was in there, but it was still delicious nonetheless.
Stuffed Calamari ($10). The only time I really eat calamari is when it’s fried so a stuffed/grilled version was definitely something unique and new to me. I think with fried calamari, you don’t get to appreciate the actual flavour of the squid as most of the time it is heavily coated in batter and you are dipping it some form of mayonnaise sauce. The stuffed/grilled calamari however, came with a very light tomato sauce that gave it a little bit of a kick without masking the true flavours of the squid. The calamari was not tough at all and very easy to cut through and eat. It tasted very fresh and the stuffing on the inside provided the dish with a very unique dimension. Very enjoyable and highly recommended.
Wild Mushroom Pappardelle. This was a pasta dish offered on the $25 Prix Fixe menu. There is no meat, but I think even meat-lovers can put aside their temptations and enjoy this delicious and well thought out dish. The pappardelle was cooked perfectly, very al dente. Because it was not overly cooked, the dish ended up being very well balanced in terms of texture because all of the other aspects of the pasta were very soft and creamy. The sundried tomatoes added a nice splash of colour to the plate and the flavour from the wild mushrooms really stood out and dominated the dish. Another very delicious dish.
Rib-Eye Special ($25). This was the main course that I personally had and its a shame that it does not appear on the regular menu because I would most definitely return just to eat this once a week. The rib-eye was sliced evenly and topped with a caramelized onion glaze next to a handsome serving of mashed potatoes. The thing I loved about this dish was how well the glaze and vinaigrette worked with the beef and amplified the flavours. The glaze was a little bit sweet and the vinaigrette added a touch of sourness that accented the freshness of the steak. The rib-eye was very tender with a nice char on the outside giving it a little bit of texture. This was my favourite dish of the night.
Braised Beef Brisket ($18). Served with root vegetables, red wine sauce and garlic mash. The amount of food they gave for this dish was out of this world. The serving was huge and I actually got a chance to eat a lot of the brisket because my friend couldn’t finish it. The brisket was very tender and the red wine sauce was a little sweet which was quite interesting. For the amount of meat you get with this dish, its definitely worth the money.
Tiramisu. If you’ve been following my blog you know I’m not much of a dessert person so I don’t usually have things to say about dessert. However, I definitely want to comment on how nicely Chef Duong puts together his cakes and pastries. There is such a high level of intricate detail that goes into his presentation and the ones that we were able to taste yesterday were delicious. The tiramisu came with the Prix Fixe menu and although a little difficult to eat without completely destroying it, it was very tasty.
Lemon Brule Cheesecake. This was the other dessert that we chose to finish off the dinner on the Prix Fixe menu. The lemon brule cheesecake was definitely something new and unique. The cheesecake had very subtle hints of lemon and egg and the texture was a little bit more on the softer side. When paired with the blueberry compote, fresh strawberries and mascarpone cream, the dessert really managed to come together and all of the different textures and flavours blended quite nicely.
Passion Fruit Gelato ($3). If you’re not one for cake or pastries, they also have a selection of gelato for you to end off a perfect meal. It doesn’t come with a strawberry though my friend put that ontop to make it look more appealing for the photos haha.
If I could sum up my experience at DT Bisto in one word, it would be: amazing. The staff was super friendly, the atmosphere was great and best of all, the food was spectacular and at the same time, affordable, offering great value to patrons. The service was a little choppy at times throughout the night but today was their re-launch so it was expected. Whether you are in the mood for some fancy desserts, a light snack, brunch or even a full dinner, DT Bistro is a great place to go. I would definitely recommend readers to give this place a try and I will probably be returning in the near future.