Nestled on the cozy street of Ossington, La Banane is a seafood wonderland hidden behind a simple storefront. You’ll easily spot the restaurant from the poppin’ yellow door and metallic gold sign against an all-blue facade. Inside, you’re transported back into the art deco era of gold furnishings, huge geometric patterns, intricate chandeliers, and glamorous decor.
At the front of the restaurant, a long, suede banquette is lined with tables covered in white tablecloth while lounging nooks occupy the remaining space. The seafood and cocktail bar sits on the left wall in the back half of the restaurant with intimate semi circle banquettes. The menu is straight forward and only lists a few ingredients in the dish. It was so hard to decide on what to eat, everything sounded incredible. We had to consult our waiter about our choices, it was important.
My first choice was definitely the scallops. Anywhere I go, if I see raw scallops on the menu, I have to order it. It’s like an obsession. Slices of raw scallops marinated in garlic buttermilk served in a beautiful scallop shell. The slices were a decent bite, the texture was buttery and the marinade complimented well with the sweet, subtle taste.
Next, came the albacore tuna in brown butter, dill, and capers. Slices of tuna, generously topped with dill and capers. The tuna was light with a tangy kick from the capers. Along with our appetizers, fresh, warm pretzels also landed on our table. They were a nice treat to snack on between the dishes!
For our mains, we went with eurobass-en-croute and duck breast. When we were researching restaurants for our anniversary dinner, we spent a lot of time scrolling through photos. In the end, La Banane’s eurobass-en-croute and disco egg solidified our decision. The whole fish was wrapped in a salt pastry crust, locking in moisture and giving it flavour. It was presented to the table still beautifully wrapped, then taken to be released from its pastry shackles for us to enjoy. On the side, it came with a rich, tangy, yuzu beurre blanc. The fish was incredibly moist and flaked so delicately.
On the other hand, my meaty duck breast was cooked to a medium, sliced thick, topped with a jus and served with charred endive. The protein was tender, seasoned perfectly, and every bite oozed juice.
We debated long and hard on the disco egg. It would’ve been amazing to see the work of art in-person but I couldn’t drop $50 on it. If you ordered it, please tell me how it was. Must’ve been magical to be in its presence! However, we finished our meal with complimentary CXBO truffles. At least we got a small taste of chef Brandon’s masterpieces.
Overall, I loved our time at La Banane. My whole experience from the time we sat down to the time we left the door was memorable. They left a great impression. The vibes were classy yet laid back. The people in the restaurant, from the cooks to the customers, were well dressed in a fashionable Toronto manner.
I’ve heard good things about the seafood tower and from scoping it out at another table, it looked pretty grand. I also appreciated the beautiful decor and style with little banana references sprinkled throughout the restaurant. They have a variety of fresh seafood prepared openly at the bar and their staff are down to earth, knowledgeable, and patient. After dinner, we took a stroll around the neighbourhood. There’s always something going on in Toronto, so you’ll find something to do in the buzzing area.