392 Roncesvalles Avenue
Brunch for two with all taxes, tip and coffee: $46
Didn’t this place used to be bigger? The pretty little bistro on Roncesvalles has a bit of a split personality – last year, owner Fergus Munster split the place in two and installed a classic pub called Liver Bird in the back half. The kitchen continues to turn out traditional bistro fare in the front along with some really brilliant gastro pub grub for the back room, and at brunch, it’s a combination of the best of both styles, jazzing up the classic brunch dishes with unique Boho touches.
The brunch standards, of course, are all here; benny ($12), florentine ($11), smoked salmon ($12), and steak ‘n’ eggs ($14). Served with a house salad, they’re also accompanied by Liver Bird’s fiercely addictive potato wedges.
We start with a shared bowl of fruit salad ($6), and based on just about every other fruit salad in the city, we’re not expecting much – until it arrives and our server explains that the chef makes regular visits to the fruit vendors along Roncy and brings back the best seasonal stuff to add to the bowl. Wedges of local peaches and plums are joined by slices of tart apple and some plump (okay, probably imported) blackberries, all lightly tossed in an orange juice dressing. It’s fresh and sweet and juicy, and there’s nary a mushy banana slice or bland hunk of melon to be seen.
The breakfast burrito ($14) is pretty standard in terms of ingredients; fluffy scrambled eggs, black beans, not too spicy salsa and vibrant guac. It doesn’t stand out in my memory as being either the best or the worst specimen of its kind (ie. no weird ingredients hidden inside) and it’s an enjoyable dish that I’d have again. The side salad accompanying it is pretty but slightly overdressed – the apple cider vinaigrette is sweet and tangy, there’s just a touch too much of it. The potato wedges rock my world and get liberally dunked in the ramekin of sour cream meant for the burrito.
Across the table, Greg stares down the biggest bowl of stuff we’ve ever seen. The Boho scramble ($9) is bacon, potatoes, veggies and eggs topped with cheese, and is full of onions, peppers and summer squash. Savoury with bits of sweet peppers and zucchini, it elicits happy noises throughout and despite its size, it’s gone by the end of the meal.
Service is great; friendly, attentive and informative. And while many diners head directly for the back patio, on the super humid day we were there, our server immediately brought a big jug of water to help restore our wilted selves.
Roncesvalles is a bit of a mess with construction right now, but Boho Bistro is still easily accessible from both College and Dundas, so those looking for a really lovely brunch option in the area shouldn’t let the tractors dissuade them.