Restaurant Candide is quite literally off the beaten path! Tucked away in a refurbished church rectory in Little Burgundy, the transformed interior space mirrors the cuisine—wholesome and natural—but modern and refined. Original red brick walls outline the space and forest green banquette seating hug the back wall. Although there is accommodation for all group sizes, I encourage guests to try and score the Chef’s Table for a first-hand view of the kitchen in action!
Starting late this summer you can also enjoy Candide’s charming and expansive terrace that sits next to their lush herb and vegetable garden in the front yard. Chef not only uses his crop to help stock the kitchen coffers but also works with the neighbouring community center to help educate kids on urban agriculture and eating locally.
Voted by Air Canada’s enRoute Magazine as one of Canada’s Best New Restaurants in 2016, restaurant Candide is getting the spotlight it deserves as they are a true representation of Canadian cuisine. Chef-owner John Winter Russell takes a committed approach to sourcing local and seasonal ingredients, ensuring all of his provisions come from the confines of Eastern Canada. No exceptions. This philosophy stems from the notion that within our borders exist an abundance of amazing produce and Russell’s deep relationships with suppliers ensure that all ingredients served are the very best. Therefore, each dish is carefully crafted to showcase every ingredient with focus and pride.
Russell’s seasonal menu is composed of four small plates that typically highlight vegetables, fruits and grains. With this summer’s harvest in full bloom, his menu shines with a charred broccoli appetizer served on arugula pesto with chanterelle mushrooms, dill and shaved Louis D’or cheese. Slow-roasted lamb is plated with freshly pulled turnips and Arctic surf clams are paired with cauliflower and oyster leaf. (Full disclosure: I’ve had the lamb and it is one of my favourite dishes of the summer!).
Candide’s wine philosophy follows similar ethical guidelines; who are the winemakers, what do they put in their soil, what kind of interventions took place, etc. The list is an array of biodynamic, organic, and natural wines curated by the wildly passionate sommelier Emily Campeau.
My advice: opt for the $40 wine pairings (4 glasses) which go brilliantly alongside Candide’s bright and flavourful dishes.
Not to be forgotten is front house manager, Valerie Belisle, who deftly directs the show with grace and charm. Restaurant Candide’s four-course tasting menu is a bargain at $45 and they are open from Wednesday to Sunday starting at 5:00pm.
Have a peek on DINR to see if any same day availabilities pop up!