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“Worth spending a little extra”
Review of Biff's Bistro

Biff's Bistro
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Ranked #160 of 8,473 Restaurants in Toronto
Price range: $31 - $50
Cuisines: French, European, Canadian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Special occasions, Business meetings, Romantic, Large groups
Dining options: Late Night, Dinner, Lunch, Full Bar, Outdoor Seating, Private Dining, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Neighborhood: Downtown
Cross street: Yonge St.
Transit: Biff's Bistro is located one and a half blocks east of Union Station and two blocks south of King Station using the subway.
Description: Reminiscent of a 1930's Parisian Bistro, Biff's Bistro is a smart, upscale masterpiece by Toronto uber-restaurateurs Peter Oliver and Michael Bonacini. The stylish lounge, featuring a stunning zinc-topped bar, represents pure vintage design, while handsome leather banquettes, warm wood paneling and grand mirrors create a rich, lively dining space. In this setting, Chef Amanda Ray presents an extensive menu of inspiring French bistro cuisine, with an impressive corresponding wine list. Located in the heart of downtown, just steps away from many downtown theatres, hotels and the Air Canada Centre.
Seoul, South Korea
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Worth spending a little extra”
Reviewed March 4, 2013

Very nice room and attentive, aloof (which I prefer) service. The wine list was fair and good and the food was quite memorable. Too much to get into details, but if you love French cuisine, you will be happy here. Not cheap, you will get what you pay for, so overall good value.

  • Visited October 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank MigrantWanker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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394 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    163
    146
    49
    26
    10
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Tulsa, Oklahoma
Level Contributor
234 reviews
137 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 87 helpful votes
“Outstanding Service and Food experience”
Reviewed February 26, 2013

I discovered Biff's a year or so ago and I continue to make it one of my must visits when I'm in Toronto. I struggled giving this review a 5 star because the restaurant can be a bit noisy otherwise I have hardly any complaints about the place.

I've take a French Canadian co worker here and Biff's never disappoints.

Parking at Biffs is not a challenge. There is street parking nearby but I typically park at the P Lot near the Esplanade and make the 2 block walk up. It's easier to park at and the streets are often full. Plus the P garage takes Amex.

Once inside, I love the modern decor. While it doesn't feel very "french" to me, it works. I've sat at both the bar side and the restaurant side. I don't have a preference really. Both sides are equally loud and the food and service are the same.

As far as the menu goes, I've tried several things including their recent Winterlicious Menu. In each case, it was delicious.

The Arctic Char, Beef Bourguignon, Duck Confit and Steak Frites are standouts. My French Canadian Co Worker enjoyed the Steak Tartare.

As far as dessert goes, the Creme Brulee was top notch. I also enjoyed the Profiteroles previously but it looks like they have dropped them off their menu.

As far as the Winterlicious menu goes, I went with:
Jambon Persillé with moutarde & horseradish crème fraîche
Braised Pork Shoulder with spätzle, mustard greens & pear mostarda
Gâteau aux Épices with cassis sauce, orange & vanilla Chantilly crème

In each case, I was loving the food. I don't feel the food is overpriced not our of balance with what I'm being served.

The Service at Biff's has always been top notch and attentive.

Visiting Biff's is a must for me on each Toronto trip. It's that good and that consistent.

  • Visited February 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Shane M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
32 reviews
22 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
“Old friends, good uncomplicated menu”
Reviewed February 17, 2013

Staying downtown looking for a Friday evening pre concert restaurant that wasn't going to blow my budget and came up with Biffs. Was not disappointed... some of the wait staff were from the old Movenpick in York Street which brought back wonderful memories. Food was excellent and $1 oysters on Friday was a treat. My wife loved this place. Wait staff was so good even the wine they picked out was terrific.
Well done guys.

  • Visited April 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Jaxdulac
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
63 reviews
36 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
“So tasty... but the SERVICE...”
Reviewed February 16, 2013

To be clear, the food was very, very good. Not excellent, but good enough that I'd like to come back and dine again at Biff's. However, I expected so much more out of the service I received. My wife and I went for Valentine's day, the restaurant was certainly busy, but that's just not an excuse given the competitive dining landscape that Toronto has to offer.

The story of the chef (on the O&B website) was a compelling reason to visit - and I was excited after reading her story. It sounded amazing. And her food was very good indeed! Too bad the front of the house couldn't deliver on the "promise".

The talking points:
> All the food we ordered was very good. Lots of taste and generous portions for a French bistro. Salad was excellent, charcuterie board was amazing, and the entrées were very good as well. I personally recommend the board and the braised pork entrée.
> Our server (Joao) was very attentive at first, but had things coming out of the kitchen so fast, we didn't have time to finish our breath. We were enjoying the board when our salads arrived. We're not slow eaters, but it was absolutely rushed. When we asked him to slow down, he seemed to get insulted and we barely saw him again. After completing the mains, the dishes sat on the table. Almost 20 minutes before being offered coffee/deserts and another 10 minutes before he came back. Given the price point (about $180 for drinks and the aforementioned menu choices), I simply expect better.
> The wine list was solid and the prices seemed fair. Marked up, but not anywhere near as crazy as what I've seen in other Toronto restaurants.

So... The food was good, but the service just left me with such a foul taste... It will be a long time (if ever) before I return. I really enjoyed the food - but the reason I dine out is for the experience. If I can't get good service at Biff's, why bother? I'm sure I can find another place willing to take my money and provide me a top notch experience - especially at this price point...

  • Visited February 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Paul B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto Ontario, Canada
Level Contributor
14 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Excellent Customer Service!”
Reviewed February 13, 2013

This is different review to write because I actually haven't had a meal there yet, but already have had a good experience. I had made a reservation online for 6 people for Sunday lunch during Winterlicious, for my son's birthday. On the morning of the day, I had a call from the manager of the restaurant to say they had a glitch in the system and some how I was able to make a reservation even though they were not open for lunch on Sundays . He was very apologetic and couldn't do enough for us. He offered a reservation at their sister restaurant , Oliver Bonacini Cafe and Grill, and also offered to pick up the tab for the meal due to there error. We were really looking forward to our lunch at Biff's but have eaten at other OB restaurants so knew that it would be good. We ended up having a great a great meal with outstanding service and the entire meal was on the house. I am not sure you would get that kind of customer service at many other places ! Thanks to Biffs! and we look forward to actually getting to try a meal there sometime soon!

  • Visited January 2013
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Amanda B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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