The newly opened Café Florentin offers perfect pairings – gourmet coffee and delectable home made pastries; traditional Italian and authentic French baking; a true European café nestled among the Queen Street shops in the Beaches.
Having sampled the dark roast coffee and experienced its deep, rich flavour that lingers on your palette like a fine wine before you’ve taken the next sip – you suddenly feel like you’re not in Toronto anymore.
The pastries are equally superb. Moist, rich flavour surrounds the amandine tart, large enough to share (but you’ll regret not having your own!). Sprightly and amazingly light lemon and rum muffins are a perfect treat with a cup of tea of coffee.
“We’re looking for that ‘wow’” explains new owner, Erez.
“Our secret is fresh, quality ingredients and everything is made from scratch,” adds the café’s pastry chef, Keren (who is also Erez’ wife). Keren, who starts baking every morning at 5 am to prepare for the day, states her secret as if there simply is no other approach to preparing food.
“Fresh” means that Erez and Keren actually buy only fruits in season, often from local shops on Queen, as well as the meat and vegetables for sandwiches. Absolutely nothing is “store bought” or processed in any manner – even the sauces for the sandwiches are Erez’ creation. The coffee is imported from a family run boutique business in Piedmont, Italia that treats coffee blending like the creation of fine wine.
Both Karen and Erez have lived in Europe several years. Erez trained at the Cordon Cooking School in London, England before he came to Canada as executive chef at a downtown Toronto restaurant. Keren trained at cooking school in Israel and bakes everything the store sells herself, on site.
So why is the Beaches so lucky to have such treats brought to Queen Street?
“We really wanted to create something that was accessible to everyone in a community,” Erez explains, “Not some fancy place where moms are afraid to bring their children, but somewhere where there is real china and excellent food, a place where people can afford to come and find out what really good European cooking takes like”.
“We even have dog treats here from Queen Street’s Three Dog Bakery,” he adds, so that people with dogs can enjoy our patio and feel welcome. And for visitors hoping that the café may soon sell their favourite pastry, just ask! Erez is anxious to hear suggestions.
Café Florentin serves traditional French and Italian pastries and cookies, as well as freshly prepared sandwiches and gourmet, organic coffee imported from Italy. It expects to be licensed for a selection of fine wine and beer by the end of the summer.
Café Florentin: 2010 Queen St. E,
directly across from the Kew Garden Park.