I've been to the Bellevue more than a handful times since it opened late last summer. Located at the Western side of Kensington Market, at the corner of Bellevue and Nassau, it's the best-kept secret in this city and the best thing to happen to Toronto since The Black Hoof.
And it's more my beat than those offal nose-to-tail spots. I'll delve into organs and exotic fare, but is it relaxing and pleasurable? Does that make me feel good? Does it nourish my body? Is it wholesome?
|Daily Special: Shrimp Tacos|
I keep going back because the Bellevue is adventurous. The menu offers playful and exciting ingredients with an emphasis on local and organic fare. The owners are committed to supporting sustainable farming practices and working closely alongside local farmers.
I leave feeling pleasantly satiated, not stuffed with butter. I love the owners, the serving staff, and the casual easygoing atmosphere. I love the price points (reasonable), the piano out front, the perfectly thought-out portion sizes and even the unpretentious, run-of-the-mill toilets downstairs.
El Especial ($12) is The Bellevue's most popular brunch dish: scrambled eggs, salsa verde, three lean pork sausages or thick-cut bacon - both from Sanagan's organic butcher shop, a bowl of black beans topped with avocado and two tostadas.
More adventurous palates might appreciate The Unusual: 2 eggs sunny side up, Sanagan's summer sausage, kimchi, strong white cheddar, oven roasted beets with toast and fruit. It's a fun dish that I would order again because of all the different taste components.
The Pack o' Stancakes ($13) will please sweet teeth, all whilst being gluten free. These cottage cheese pancakes come with caramelized apples, fresh fruit and maple syrup. Amazing. Sweet. Split one with your darling along with a savoury dish and get the best of both worlds.
|Pack O' Stancakes|
Leave some room for dessert. I had the best crème brûlée ($7) I've ever enjoyed in my life after dinner one night. A beautiful experience. Julie's Pies ($6) are baked by one of the owner's sisters with berries and fruits from their family farm. The flavours change seasonally. The cherry pie was the best I've ever had.
I deliver this review with mixed emotions. I want The Bellevue to succeed and thrive, but I want to keep it as a secret for myself. In the end, I'm giving the place the praise it deserves. The Bellevue offers care and love and consideration. It would be bad karma for me to keep that to myself. Let's face it, I'll keep going back no matter what.
This restaurant deserves the elusive ranking of five star anises.
61 Bellevue Avenue
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