Croissants on the Corner
The southwest corner of King & Portland has been taken over by Portland Variety, the latest brainchild of Le Gourmand owners Ralf Madi and Milton Nunes. To move away from Le Gourmand's simple sandwiches and salads they've teamed up with Chef Jo Castrinos (formerly of Splendido and Patria). At Portland Variety they bring us a new menu of Spanish tapas in addition to Le Gourmand's famous bakery confections.
Trendy bright yellow accents make the otherwise somber exterior stand out on the street.
The corner patio makes for a nice place to stop by for some lunch or an afternoon coffee, and the interior offers a full dining room for dinner service. I stopped in with a friend for a little treat after work. If, like us, you're looking for something small, the café at the front of the restaurant features daily tapas and pastries.
Friendly servers offer counter service for those looking for takeout snacks. We picked up some tea and pastries to enjoy on the patio.
Plain and chocolate-almond croissants, hand-rolled and made with 84% butter! The pastries really are to die for. I also highly recommend their chocolate chip cookies. They're possibly the best in the city, but they tend to sell out early so I missed the chance to snap a pic this time around. After sampling a few of their treats, I'm anxious to go back and check out what else they can cook up, so stay tuned for the details on their savoury offerings. And in case you can't wait, here's a preview of their dinner menu to whet your appetite.
Portland Variety has something to offer at every hour, whether you're looking for a snack or a full meal, and is open as early as 7am most days.