Mon Cheri surprised me on a lovely Sunday morning, as we went for a walk around the neighborhood. This hidden, unpretentious restaurant turned out to be a truly a one-of-a-kind find experience.
From the outside, an aged yellow Lumberking sign fading off a brick wall was stealing all the attention directed at that building. The restaurant itself give off a somewhat rustic vibe. There was something special about the corner entrance with a circular podium and a subtle sign written in thin, simple black caps.
With large windows all along the wall, the space was light up beautifully. There were some bright red walls near the back diner area, as well as bright yellow wallpaper further adding to the uplifting atmosphere. The colour intensity was concentrated at the back while the light front area had a classy feel with veiny marble countertops.
Cook books of all kind adorned the surfaces around, setting a mood as if we were invited to someone's house. We did like the idea and it made us think it would be fun to just pick up a random book daily and try a new recipe.
Perhaps the most memorable part was the beautiful long artwork of watercolour illustrations behind the bar. It was made of unfinished women's faces interrupted by geometric figures. There visuals played into the menu and branding very well.
We noticed quite a few single walk-ins sitting at the bar as we settled into the Motown vibe. There was a turntable at the front, as well as fun program to go with their vinyl collection - buy, swap and sell from their large selection plus the option to spin your favourite vinyl if you bring it in. Prince seemed to be king there accompanied by some light jazzy tunes and soul.
Tiny crystal water glasses were at our vainly marble table in no time. The service was friendly upbeat and we noticed that staff was fully female almost community-like. Mon Chéri googled that Saturday Dinette has a great employment program working with YWCA Toronto.
Both our dishes were drawn around with a neon green oil dressing, a funky (not too appetizing) look.Herbed Poached Eggs was one of our choices. Presented as a mountain of greens supported by eggs, guac, arepa and some more greens at the bottom - we called it a healthy tower of vitamins. Green tomato salsa hiding in there adding the zest, a tad of cilantro and a lovely sweeter puree all brought together with dense arepas.
We both loved their Streel-cut oat bowl, as they were no ordinary sweet fruit North American oats. This dish paid tribute to a real Scottish savoury oats meal - sautéed greens, cubed crispy peameal bacon, mushroom ragu, toast ends, tomatoes poached egg. There was a lot going on in that plate. In between all the chunky meat, smooth mushrooms and sautéed greens, the actual oats were not even that visible. Ma chérie adored it, but we both agreed it was a tad too salty for our buds.
e got pressed coffee which was a way better option than a regular diners blend. As much as we like visiting brunch places, one thing consistently throwing us off is the darkened water they call coffee. Ma Chérie even had her green tea served in a tiny French press and she loved the smell of burned rice. In addition, don't let the name fool you - Saturday Dinette is open late (like a true diner) so cocktails and apps at 11pm are totally on. We will take advantage of that soon, with their Adult XXX shake, spiked up with liqueur or liquor of your choice. Saturday Dinette pleasantly surprised us with a warm vibe, quality dishes, and great service.