Mussels at Back Lane Café
Duck Confit at Back Lane Café
Bouillabaisse at Back Lane Café
Pizza at Back Lane Café
Back Lane Café
Back Lane Café
Doughnuts at Back Lane Café
Pizza at Back Lane Café
Bouillabaisse at Back Lane Café
Bread (at a restaurant) at Back Lane Café
Back Lane Café
Back Lane Café
Weekend Brunch at Back Lane Café
Weekend Brunch at Back Lane Café
Back Lane Café
Back Lane Café
Back Lane Café
Foods from Back Lane Café
Comments

2011 Nov 19
I am sad to say that I was unable to try the food here.

My friends tried to book Back Lane Cafe for dinner. But like blubarry below, it was impossible to contact the restaurant as numerous phone calls went unanswered.

As we work at Tunney's Pasture, it was a fairly close walk so we went during our lunch hour to get a reservation with them. We were informed by the owner that parties of 5 people and above are unable to book a table. This left a fairly sour impression on us as we had been trying pretty hard to book reservations here so we looked elsewhere.

2011 Oct 26
Had great difficulty contacting Back Lane Cafe to make a reservation; no voicemail and they don't answer the phone during service hours. Tried for three days at various times to contact them without success, so three of us just showed up about 5:45 this evening and were lucky to get a table as they were already heavily booked.

Service was A+. Attentive and knowledgeable. I started with a Maker's Mark Manhattan on the rocks and the server told me they were out of cherries and offerred to use an orange slice instead, which was really nice as it gave a lovely fragrance to the cocktail. I may do them this way from now on.

a variety of warm breads was served with a dipping oil as we checked out the menu.

Three of us shared an order of the rich chicken liver pate, which was dense, velvet smooth and contained large plump and tender bits of prune. The pate was served with house made baguette crisps and frisee. It was delicious and enough for three of us to share as an appetizer. Two of us ordered the lamb pizza, which was described as thin crust. I expected something like a very thin crispy crust, but was delighted to find that although the wood fire made the crust nicely crisp, there was still some thickness to it, and it had a soft interior texture that I enjoyed. The pizza was topped with a pureed cauliflower mixture, Fiore de lait cheese and small but very tasty bits of lamb. A spiced oil was offerred to dress the pizza and it added a nice bite. I enjoyed this pizza and am looking forward to the leftovers I saved for tomorrow. Two of us had this pizza. The third had the wood fired duck breast, perfectly cooked, and seasoned nicely and well reviewed, It was served with caramelized endive and barley pilaf.

With two glasses of wine, and a glass of brewed unsweetened iced tea (they not only had iced tea, they had TWO flavors of it) the total bill was just shy of $100 not including tip.

Nice atmosphere, great service and very tasty food tonight. Want to try it again as they have a hearth fired bouillabaise type seafood dish that looked so good.

2011 Oct 16
Delightful dinner here the other night. It is always nice to be welcomed at the door by the owner and then to have him come around to each table throughout the meal to see how everything is.

This night we concentrated on the appetizer and pizza sections of the menu. The butternut squash soup was right on season and was wonderfully flavoured. The shrimp salad had a light dressing and was topped with several plump shrimp. The two thin crust pizzas tried – one with eggplant and one with prosciutto - were both equally enjoyed.

If you want to try this relatively new restaurant in Hintonburg, you better make sure you have a reservation, on the Friday night we were there several people had to be turned away because it was full.

2011 Sep 29
Back Lane Café, take deux:

Duck Confit Baguette with Goat Cheese, red grapes & arugula and soup du jour ($16) – which turned out to be an amazing Gumbo. Not your typical “soup & sandwich”.

Yup, I like it. I'm a sucker for duck...

2011 Sep 29
An unexpected detour took me to the Back Lane Café for lunch and a pleasant surprise.

Wonderful bistro ambiance, menu that leans French but borrows from Mediterranean favor; with bright, sharp, contrast and fresh, fresh, FRESH ingredients.

Everything at the Back Lane Café is made in-house, from the bread to the deserts. There is no such thing as “pop”, instead they offer Charlotte’s Lazy Back Lane Spritzers; made from in-house fruit syrups and sparkling water - truly a “must have”.

A tight selection of appetizers (big enough to share), salads, mains and wood fired pizzas make for an easy-to-please menu. Eat light, share a pizza, have one of everything including fresh beignets (called yeast doughnuts on the menu) – up to you.

Lunch menu: appetizers ($8-$14), salads ($6 - $12), mains($14 - $18)Pizzas ($15 - $18).

Have yet to try the pizza... so we'll just see about that.

Now up to speed, they're accepting all major credit cards and even have a sign up! Though they remain "unplugged", without a website or a menu on line.


For the complete, unabridged version, and a mini-photo tour of the kitchen -- www.foodgypsy.ca

2011 Sep 16
Ken, that pizza doesn't even look good, so much bare crust, mere traces of sauce barely brushed on, and the toppings added post-cooking?

2011 Sep 2
We did our regular Friday night walk in here tonight. We arrived early for supper and were seated at the window. The beer selection is ok with St Ambrose Pale Ale being my choice. My Lady had a Pinot Grigio. I started with the lentil spinach soup that was terribly under seasoned and lifeless. With the limited menu I opted for one of their wood fired pizzas. I wanted something with a meat on it but the selection of pizzas was a bit unfortunate for me. No pepperoni or sausage to be found guess this is the new age of pizza. I tried the grilled eggplant with goat cheese ricotta and basil. One word for this pizza was DRY! The bottom of the crust had enough flour on it to make the pizza very unpleasant. Every time you would go to take a bite flour would be the first sensation your mouth encountered. The ricotta was bland and dry along with the flavorless sauce made the pizza just plain bad. I tried to eat most but just could not finish this small tasteless pie. As I gazed across the street I'd wished I was there instead. My wife had the duck breast with endive and bulgar pilaf. I know I do not like endives now. The bulgar pilaf was pleasant along with the duck breast. $70 later we left unsatisfied. The picture may look good but sad to say it was $16 of powdery yukky. Please sombody open a wood fired pizzaria that serves up a large pie made to order with a few simple ingridients like olives mushrooms pepperoni maybe sausage and a good sliced mozarella with a tangy tomato sauce.

2011 Aug 24
Aug21/2011
We ventured in to George Monsour's new venture,so new it has no sign out front.
Not knowing what to expect we were greeted warmly by a server and seated at a table for two beside the front door facing the street .The wine list was small but we ordered an Argentinian Malbec that was excellent.after glancing at the menu,which had a wonderful variety of both appetizers and mains we both decided on the magret de canard which came with an aromatic cooked lentil salad.The presentation was wonderful and most of all the duck was melt in your mouth perfection(spiced to perfection).
We had just received our mains when friends arrived and decided to move to another larger table and sit together,this was excepted with out any problems by our server and our friends ordered the lamb and a mini pizza and as we shared our mains with them we were able to sample the other dishes when they arrived all were excellent.
We did add a side of duck fat "chips" which I could have had a basket full.
In all the evening was really lively as the rester aunt was packed and great food and great company make for a wonderful evening.-Rated 10/10
Yes there were several technical glitches due to the remote card processor which seemed to be temperamental and our initially LOST bill which took A WHILE to reconstruct but we had such a great time the time flew and we are booked back tonite Aug 24th.
For a restaurant that has been open less than a month George has gotten it all right ,Great Food,Local Produce,Reasonably priced for a great LOCAL Cafe/Bistro

2011 Aug 15
Visited this new place in Hintonburg (it opened last Wednesday) – overall a good experience!

Since they don’t yet have their liquor license (should be in place this weekend), we had one of their juices (one mango, one raspberry) mixed with sparkling water. Both nicely presented with sliced fruit on top.

Meal started with baguette pieces served with spicy oil (made in-house) – something different and addictive!

Shared two appetizers, a main and dessert:
- Tomato tart tatin
- Shrimp on a bed of chickpeas and radicchio
- Lamb with green beans and a side of bulgur
- Donut and icecream

All had nice flavours and were well presented. They split the main and the dessert on two plates because they knew we were sharing – I always appreciate when restaurants do this – it means you get your own portion and don’t have to eat something that is half gone (I know it doesn’t affect the taste but the eyes have to eat too!)

Menu has the right amount of choice and seems to change daily as the date was printed on it.

Overall bill was $68. Be warned – they are currently taking cash only – they should be up and running to take credit by the weekend.

Having Tennessy Willems, Burnt Butter (to open tomorrow) and this place all within one block of each other is good news for Hintonburg!

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2012 Feb 17
Possibly the best in-house bread I've encountered! The baguette has a magical crust and a moist chewy crumb. My only quibble is that butter might be preferred by some over the cliche oil and balsamic.




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2011 Dec 2
I think George Monsour should be applauded for offering a delicious, sophisticated brunch option on Saturdays. Although several restaurants offer upscale brunches on Sundays, it is difficult to find something that is open on a Saturday morning.

Back Lane Café delivers in spades. We tried two of the dishes - raspberry pancakes with fresh fruit & bacon and scrambled eggs, bacon, baked beans, bulger salad & homemade crusty bread. These are large portions and both were enjoyed with gusto. The coffee, constantly refilled, was high quality too.

The food was perfectly complemented with a pleasant mixture of jazz music which really enhanced the experience.

Once again, had a great time here.

2011 Nov 6
I had the scramble with two eggs, twice-smoked bacon served with baked beans, bulgar pilaf, and tartine.

The eggs were cooked perfectly - moist but not slimy. The bacon was text-book perfection; firm but not dry and crunchy with a low fat to meat ratio and a subtle smokey flavour.

The beans were sweeter than I was expecting (seemed tomato rather than molasses based), but paired really well with savoury pilaf.

My only criticism: I would have preferred a little jam to be served with the tartine. The bread had a wonderful crunch and was lightly toasted with butter. Some homemade strawberry jam would have been killer.

I also ordered a decaf coffee which is served americano. I usually don't expect much from a decaf, but this was wonderfully smooth and savoury. My companion's regular coffee was also very smooth and flavourful.

We arrived around 11:30 on a Sunday and were promptly seated. Food came quickly as well. I imagine once the word spreads this will change ;)

We'll definitely be back.

2011 Nov 6
Had the pleasure of stopping into the Back Lane Café for brunch today and discovered a wonderful new breakfast spot in Hintonburg.

My partner had the Za'atarr Fish Cakes (as shown) topped with a perfectly poached egg, and served upon some sharp greens and pickled beets drizzled with tahini.

In the middle of the bottom cake was a (very welcome) surprise scallop. The cakes were moist and flavourful with a light crust; crunchy on the outside and pillowy soft on the inside. The fish was fresh with no off-putting fishy smell either. They were everything a fish cake should be!

She also ordered an orange juice which came ice cold and squeezed literally seconds before serving.

Service was attentive, but not overly intrusive. Pricing was higher than average for brunch, but for this level of quality - entirely justified.

The brunch menu was dated, implying the menu changes regularly. We will certainly be back for brunch, and are eager to try dinner as well!




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2012 Feb 17
The dessert doughnut with honey glaze and vanilla ice cream is so good! I liked it much more than what is offered at that other recently opened restaurant known for its dessert doughnuts (which, surprisingly, has a name easily confused with this one - is it Side Lane or Back Door?).


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2012 Apr 25
My Musa pizza was less charred than Fresh Foodies. I really really liked the balance of unique flavors.

Not too rich for this guy, but I did pace myself.

Top shelf ingredients were found along with some charr/toasting marks on the underside crust.


2012 Feb 17
My Musa pizza ($18) was a wonderful combination of flavours. The lamb with parmigiano cream and pine nuts made the whole thing a little too rich for my taste. The crust was tasty but too charred in some places. All in all, it's an excellent pizza but in my books there is better pizza to be found across the street...




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2012 Apr 25
Here's another Rustic Seafood Stew or whatever they called it.

The herbs added complexity to this simple dish and the melt in your mouth gigantic-atlantic scallop was the the high point. Cooked just beyond raw and miles from overdone.


2012 Feb 17
My wife quite enjoyed her Hearth Roasted Fisherman's Stew. Quite a generous amount of nicely cooked seafood in a mild (perhaps a little too mild) tomatoey broth. This went for $30.



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2012 Aug 13
Disgusting, sweet like sugar, burger itself is poorly formed and a horrible consistency. The fries had about a truckload of salt on them. ... I think the water was about the only thing I'd sad was edible in this place.






2012 Apr 25
Can't remember what the confit came with, but it was super tender and was interesting.





2012 Apr 25
Tomato and chilies (mild) broth. Sarasota chips (house made in duck fat). Dollop of squash puree.

Standard fare . Well done.