Bistro Dansk – Sherbrook Street

Bistro Dansk is one of those place that falls into the category of: Often passed, never visited. One reason is that always seemed to be really busy when I was walking by. It also closes between lunch and supper service, so it was also closed some of the time. Finally they are also closed on Sundays and Mondays. Monday long being my day off.

Bistro Dansk menu
The Bistro Dansk menu with it’s dominating red colour.

Bistro Dansk Hours

Open Tuesday – Saturday

Lunch: 11:00 am – 2:30 pm

Dinner: 5:00 pm – 9:00 pm

A couple of weeks ago, though, I wandered down Sherbrook checking to see whether or not the new noodle bar in the old Sherbrook Street Delicatessen space had opened yet. Finding the windows still covered by brown paper, I crossed the street and head south. As I passed Bistro Dansk, I decided I would finally enter.

When I did, I found the restaurant almost completely full. The space is night and cozy, and the streetside windows allow a good deal of light. The decor is red walls with medium brown wood paneling above. Red is the dominant colour as it’s the colour of the chair frames and the napkins, menu, etc. all feature large amounts of red. On the whole it makes for a cheerful interior.

Before starting on my review, I’d like to add that Bistro Dansk has been featured on the show You Gotta Eat Here.  I’ve never seen the episode, or the show for that matter. However, the link is above if you wish to check it out.

Chicken Livers
My plate of chicken livers with mayo dip.

Bistro Dansk Lunch

I’m not a big one for making reservations. I prefer to take my chances on being able to find a table. On this day there turned out to be one table left, and I was seated thee. My timing turned out almost perfect as a couple of minutes later a couple came in looking for a table and they were told they would need to come back later(they did).

The restaurant describes it’s cuisine as Danish & European. Looking at the menu the meals seemed to be of the hearty variety. This is a classic meat and potatoes kind of restaurant. The sign outside advertised schnitzel as the special of the day, but I decided to try something a little off the beaten path, and went with the chicken liver plate. I also added the soup of the day, a chicken vegetable.

Chicken vegetable soup
The chicken vegetable soup.

A Little Bit of a Throwback

The food here at Bistro Dansk is prepared from scratch, and the service pace is leisurely. It’s pretty clear that the restaurant is expecting you to enjoy your meal rather than gulp it down and leave. Lunch and as I found out later, starts off with a basket of bread.

When I was growing up this was a feature of almost every sit down restaurant. This generally isn’t the case now, particularly with so many people living in fear of carbs of any sort. However, it’s nice to have a little bread to munch on while waiting for the rest of the order to arrive.

Bread basket
A basket of bread helps keep the hunger at bay.

On the whole, the meal is really good. I enjoyed the home made soup, and the chicken livers are quite tender, and I like that they add some mushroom along with the onions. The platter features a mustardy mayo which adds a nice contrast to the chicken livers.  I had dessert, which they call lemon souffle, but is actually more of a lemon mousse. Whatever name it goes be it is absolutely delicious and a good, refreshing finish to the meal.

Bistro Dansk Warsteiner
Warsteiner German Pilsner.
My pilsner in a glass.

Being that my first visit was on my day off, I ordered a beer with my meal. I chose a Warsteiner Pilsner. Pilsners are not at the top of the list when it comes to beers, but the light, crisp flavour of this one, went well against the hearty, substantial nature of the food.

Dinner Time Return

Despite enjoying trying to hit up a place without a reservation, the basic fullness of the restaurant told me that a dinner reservation might be a good idea for my next visit. So, when I paid my bill for my first visit, I made a reservation for a second visit a few days later. This time around I ended up with one of the window seats.

Chicken schnitzel dinner.

Owing to the amount of food I received at lunch, I opted against any starter for this meal. On my previous visit I noticed how many people had been ordering the chicken schnitzel and figured this would be the house specialty. Along with the o’brien potatoes, you have the choice of a vegetable or sweet and sour cabbage. I went with the cabbage.

The schnitzel is fantastic. The coating puts to shame pretty much any coating in any chicken place around. It has the benefit of being crispy without any doughiness to it. The chicken itself is moist and tender, and they bring along lemon wedges, which when squeezed over the chicken causes all the flavours to pop. I also really like the cabbage. There are little bits of bacon throughout that give a little salty kick to offset the sweetness, and highlight the sour.

A little wine and another delicious dessert rounded out this meal quite nicely.

Excellent Service.

I mentioned at the top of the review that Bistro Dansk is the kind of place where the staff are concerned about allowing you to enjoy your lunch in a leisurely fashion. I really noticed this at lunch. It would be quite natural to want to rush a single diner, and turn the table another time, but I never felt any pressure from the staff to speed up my meal and finish.

On top of that the service is very attentive. I think this is because the servers are very observant. When I was dining at the supper hour, there was only one server, and she was clearly keeping tabs on what was happening at all tables.

I really enjoyed both my meals here. I also notice that there are several dishes I want to try. I imagine I will be back to Bistro Dansk sooner rather than later.

By Donald McKenzie

Anglican priest, and food blogger. This blog is focused on Food. It will feature reviews of places to eat books, and the odd recipe. I also write about what it means to gather together around food.