After a six week wait, Fid pre-opened to media and fans last night.
The new reno is modest and sets the tone for a more casual approach by the owners, Monica Bauché and Dennis Johnston, to their ten-year old fine dining institution. A banquette between the fireplaces, a redone bar where you can sit and eat or pull out a secret quick table for two from the wall. The style is brighter, with reds and whites and a large bistro chalkboard. The menu is cheaper, the linen is gone along with the amuse bouches and the sorbets. So, a more comfortable Fid. A few foodies will miss the formality, but judging by the crowd in the restaurant last night, plenty more fid fans can plan to go eat there more often.
Remember the Fid lunch? An affordable fine dining steal. Transfer that concept to the dinner table. Janes on the Common watch out, this is your competition. Lamb pie. Trifle. Ramen noodles. The new menu is a mix of modern British and French comfort foods, with asian flavours thrown in. The new menu was developed by the whole kitchen and the new chef de cuisine, Andrew Farrell, a Pictou boy fresh from the organic kitchen of the Austwick Traddock, a Yorkshire boutique hotel in England.
Dennis Johnston will stay on cooking in the kitchen, though. "I still like to burn myself," he says.
One big shocker. No more reservations. That's right. You just show up and eat.
Another shocker. "I think I can tell you now," Johnston says, that for the last 2 years, "what we've actually planning has been Monica's succession from day in and day out chores." Yes, Monica Bauché is planning a semi-retirement. "She still will be there during service to meet and greet clients, she absolutely loves that, but she's at a point now where she should back away a little bit."
Fid reopens officially tonight. Listen to my interview with Dennis Johnston and the photos by Moon Hee Nam.