Oct 24: Le Chien Noir ★★★★★
This is quite simply the best restaurant in Kingston. The narrow restaurant is beautifully furnished with warm shades of vermillion, exposed brick and earthy wood tables. Chalk-board specials, in true bistro fashion, matte paper menus, quintessential French posters and silhouettes provide character. Perhaps the greatest accomplishment of Toronto Life is its exclusive endorsement of Le Chien Noir in the Kingston area.
The 35% off staff-pricing from 2:30-5:00 on weekdays make this haute-cuisine accessible to students. The mid-day menu served then is laden with a range of tasty concoctions from the abominable duck confit poutine to the less guilt-ridden winter salad. Ten microbrewery on-tap beers also come discounted, making for a wonderfully relaxing afternoon.
Most savored is the best steak frites in the city. Generously slices of marinated flank steak bleed a warm, rosy pink (most of the time). The duck fat frites (with aioli) and a balsamic salad sides are so difficult to choose between, so half-and-half is always a compelling compromise.
The burger is peculiar, as last I checked, the French can’t even pronounce the term. Yet the proprietors have set up Kingston’s best burger joint and have kept one particularly unctuous variety, vertically stacked with peameal bacon, caramelized onions, and so on. Actually, the burger often changes, which makes it all the more interesting.
The oysters are fresh embodiments of luxury and taste so much better 35% off. The salads are an expedition where each bite reveals unexpected goodies (pig ears, poached eggs).
The whole Le Chien Noir experience is worthy of praise. It is a celebration of food and health, as pompously declared on its menus. As a student, it is an enclave of relaxation and social interaction and a fixture of Kingston life.
Naturally raised local 'Enright Cattle Co.' beef, grilled 'Seed to Sausage' capicollo,
'Wilton' aged cheddar, boston lettuce, tomato-chili jam 16
'AAA' Ontario flat iron steak, frites, ancho chili-lime butter 19
(35% off 2:30-5:00 on weekdays)
Le Chien Noir also serves a veritable brunch. The dinners are far pricier but certainly worth it nevertheless. Costco also sells 20% off giftcards.