What? Lucien for dinner
Where? 39 Wellington st. e (3 min walk from King station)
The skinny: Lucien has been open for just 3 years but is already a well-established restaurant in the business district near St. Lawrence Market. Although the name is French, the cuisine doesn’t strictly follow that, as there’s a focus on seasonal and local ingredients on top of a French and Asian influence.
As a student, I’m always on the prowl for deals that will save me some money. As a foodie, it’s inevitable that I’ll find myself splurging occasionally no matter how hard I try to keep the pressure off my already tiny wallet. Dilemma!! D:
So imagine my delight when I find a groupon deal for Lucien where you get $60 worth of food/drink for $30. Oh yes. What better time than now to use my credit card?!
Here’s the problem with all these internet deals. You buy the deal, then you forget about it. And of course you remember you have it or you stumble upon the email a few weeks before it expires! Yep, that’s exactly what happened with me. And that provided the perfect excuse to go out for a fancy-ish dinner with the boyfriend.
Interesting story (or sad, depending on how you see it)! A man was trying to parallel park his M3 outside the restaurant. Even with more than enough space, he still rammed into the taxi in front and then backed up too far into the vehicle behind him. Oh, and this happened again when he left. Poor car(s)….
Moving onto food! The restaurant is quite narrow and long. There’s a very well stocked bar that I’m sure others can appreciate much better than I. The menus are understated and very simple to follow. The prices though, wow. It’s going to be around $60 for just two mains!
The servers were very attentive and quickly brought over some amuse-bouches of craquelins and brioches with whipped butter to us.
The brioche looked a little to dark, crust-wise. However, once you broke into it, all was well. Mmm. Oh the light fluffy goodness that’s so fulfilling that you don’t need butter! (or any other condiments in my opinion).
Roast Fenwood Farms Chicken (28)
(w/ zucchini and tomato tart, black olive). My boyfriend ordered this main and was very pleasantly surprised. I know it’s not his thing to eat at fancy places but I’m still glad that he was up for trying something new. :D
|Odd looking skin on the chicken...|
He had a fun time traveling around the plate, trying every component. I tried a piece of the chicken and WOW. It was so juicy and flavourful! I tend to shy away from chicken in restaurants simply because it’s not the most exciting type of protein…it doesn’t hold up to flavours as well as pork or beef. This chicken was goood.
Yellowfin Tuna (32)
(w/ heirloom beets, corned beef, pumpernickel, mustard, mache). Now this dish was fantastic! I’ve only ever seen such careful presentation of food on tv…not in front of me. And definitely not meant for me either! I’ve never had tuna like this, beautifully seared but pink on the inside. The contrast in flavour was making me so giddy it’s embarrassing. haha
And all the sauces on the plate, also a new experience for me that I really looked forward to! The pumpernickel (the brown dollop) wasn’t to my liking…I’m not a licorice fan. Other than that, every component married really well with each tuna island. :D The SINGLE yellow beet chip, why aren’t there more?!
The restaurant never got too busy or too crowded even though it was a Friday night. It was nice. That way, the noise level never got to you and you could easily carry out a conversation without raising your voice.
Verdict: It was a memorable experience and meal for sure! I really wanted to try the pork belly app (w/ kimchee, clam, cuttlefish, barley, and sweet soy <-- how cool does that sound?!) but money was definitely an issue. Although each dish was a hit, I still don’t see myself coming back here anytime soon because my wallet won’t allow me.
Check ‘em out! http://lucienrestaurant.com/
4.5 out of 5 NOMs