This is an interesting time in the history of French food. Although once associated with an attention-to-detail than bordered on the edge of snooty, we do live in a different time. A time of food trucks. Now "young cuisine" is making way and the delicious ingredients that make French food - well, French - are still in place without having the word "haute" in front.
Like the classic dishes that define French food, many of Toronto's best French restaurants have thrived unchanged for years. Auberge du Pommier has served Toronto diners since 1987 from its space in a 19th century uptown cottage. While the kitchen staff changes (some of Toronto's most popular chefs have taken turns operating the stoves here) the food remains consistently good. There is also an atmosphere at Auberge that makes you sit up a little taller and notice the finer details in life.
The newer French restaurant in the Distillery, Cluny, is more modern and relaxed yet still has charming tableware and crusty bread ready to transport you to a place where a "Oui" is in order. Executive chef Paul Benallick came from Auberge du Pommier roots and crafted a menu that leans French architecture on Canadian soil, such as roasted duck poutine.
The restaurants take away the pomp and Michelin stars and leave us with food that makes us go "Ooh la la." Modern or traditional, isn't that what matters?