Mel and Mel Eat at: Cafe Nicole

A little more upscale than the places we usually review, Cafe Nicole is the restaurant of the Novotel Hotel in the North York Civic Centre. We've walked past it many a time. When we first moved into this area, it was under renovation, and it gets high marks for the humour in the menu on the wall outside, which said something like: "Now serving: Wood chips."

Well, the renovations are finished and we finally tried the place out, with a crowd, immediately after Christmas. The decor is pleasant and we liked the decorated gingerbread house. We also appreciated the story given on the menu describing how the cafe got its name.

The snow was coming down hard, and there was nobody there when we arrived, but the service, once the staff realized they had guests, was excellent, friendly and attentive.

The wine prices struck us as a little high, and the restaurant was out of prime rib, a bit of a disappointment since most of us had planned to order it. Instead I had the Rosemary chicken, which was also a little disappointing. The meat was slightly tough. The roast potatoes were excellent, however, and the brocolli and carrots were good. Mel had a New York steak (not his favourite cut, but the only one they had) and a baked potato. It was good. He pronounced the French bread the best he'd found in the area. We're going to have to ask Cafe Nicole where they get their bread.

The restaurant was out of several different desserts, but I highly recommend the creme caramel that most of us had. I've tried it in many places, and this was one of the best.

Altogether a mixed review, and we may try this place again sometime, when perhaps the weather is better and they have more food available. Expect to pay $50 for two, without drinks.


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This page last updated Jan. 99 by Mel.