What to Order at Newcomer Colette Grand Cafe

By Suresh Doss  |  August 13, 2014

The doors to the much-anticipated Colette Grand Cafe finally opened just over a week ago. Brought to you by the group behind the Chase restaurants (The Chase, Chase Fish & Oyster), chef Michael Steh and restaurateur Steven Salm aim to bring refined modern French food to the King West District.

Colette takes over the space that was formerly occupied by Scarpetta, the Scott Conant-helmed Italian restaurant that didn't quite get the traction that it needed. Under the guidance of Gianpiero Pugliese of AUDAXarchitecture, the space has undergone quite the transformation with French cafe-style seating, hand-painted tile and barrel vault ceilings prominently featured throughout. About the only thing still recognizable from the Scarpetta days is the large wine cellar, which still sits next to the bar lounge. 

Executive chef Michael Steh and chef de cuisine Matthew Swift present lunch and dinner menus that take classic French cooking to new heights with a variety of global influences (yes, there are frogs' legs and foie gras), not to mention plenty of French pastries and viennoiserie.

Take a look below for ideas on what you should order to get the full Colette experience.

Open Monday to Sunday from 7:00 AM-6:00 PM

Dining Room
Monday to Friday: 11:30 AM-close
Saturday & Sunday: 11:00 AM-close

550 Wellington St. W.; 647-348-7000

  • The Bakery

    Your first introduction to Colette should be via the cafe. Here pastry chef Leslie Steh has truly unleashed her passion for French pastry and viennoiserie through a variety of sweet treats. The croissants are some of the best we've had in the city. The macarons are divine. A number of rotating savoury items are also available (get the egg muffin). 

  • Crab de Saigon

    "We want to showcase the full breadth of French cooking and French-influenced food around the world," Steh said to us during our visit to Colette. One of the more globally influenced dishes on the menu is the crab roll. It's a knockout: soft housemade baguettes are stuffed with a mixture of crab and vegetables that have been tossed in a green curry. 

  • Veal Tartare

    We've all had our fair share of tartare, but you need to try Colette's version. Horseradish sets the spice for a layering of veal tartare and fresh herb pistou with hard-boiled egg. Spread each scoop on housemade grilled seeded sourdough and enjoy.

  • Shellfish Marinière 

    Since launching, Steh's marinière has quickly become a sensation. A pot of shellfish (crab, mussels, clams) is cooked with chablis and tossed with a garlic-herb pistou. Served with crunchy frites and housemade aïoli.

  • Riz au Lait

    One of the best desserts on the menu is the rice pudding. Steh elevates the classic dish with roasted cinnamon and serves it chilled with sour-cherry gelée, mascarpone and crushed pistachios. 

  • The Wine

    Colette's beverage team has done an outstanding job of purveying some of the best French and international wines under one roof. A number of old-world and new-world wines are available by the glass, and the bottle selection is outstanding.