Yesterday I was driving downtown and spotted Downtown Food Bistro and wanted to check it out. So I called one of my besties Laura to see if she was free for lunch and as luck would love it she was. I really hadn’t done any research into the Bistro so we went in blind.
Downtown Food is located on Stephen Ave in the old Opus location. I was expecting to walk in an the room be closed in like Opus was, man was I wrong. The room is open, airy and welcoming with white chairs, lovely banquettes and a large bar area.
We were seated and I looked at the menu which has an asian flare on traditional items. I was worried that the gluten free options would be limited, but our server said the chef could accommodate gluten free no problem.
I saw fish tacos and was hoping the tortilla was corn because this is one of my favorite dishes. Indeed they were corn and could be made gluten free so long as the fish was not breaded. My friend ordered the steak sandwich with homemade truffle fries. Our dishes came out promptly and the presentation was awesome. Unfortunately I was starving and so excited about trying my dish that I forgot to take pictures…whoops. That said, the fish tacos were amazing. The fish was tender and moist and served on a in house made corn tortilla which tasted better than the ones I had in Mexico last week. What was unique about these tacos was they were topped with pea shoots which I thought was odd at first, but they added a lovely freshness to the dish.
Laura said her steak sandwich was the best she had ever eaten. As we were finishing, Chef Darren came over to check on us and shared his philosophy for the restaurant. Darren is committed to using only uses local, sustainable products including seafood from the Oceanwise Program. In addition, everything that can be made in house is included the tofu for the crispy fried tofu. The menu also includes tempura which is gluten free (I can’t wait to go back and try) burgers with kimchee, noodle bowls and charcuterie boards. Darren is a master at tweaking traditional dishes to give it an imginative asian spin.
Honestly I can’t wait to go back and try the dinner menu. In the meantime, Chef Darren is experimenting with gluten free noodles for his pasta which hopefully he successfully tackles soon.
Check out www.downtownfood.ca and look out for their pop up concept coming soon.