A Colleague of my wife who resides in Richmond recommended Can Can highly so we decided to give it a try after walking up and down the Careytown District. We were pleasantly surprised and elated at our decision almost from the ‘get-go’ with their posted menu at the door and, upon entering the establishment – you’re taken back in time to an age of what French Bistros were all about in the 1930s… a somewhat liking to, if not replica of, a huge ‘Speakeasy’. The subdued elegance, yet comfortable and likeable atmosphere begins your journey into what will be an enjoyable culinary experience. Starting with our Server, we were attended to in a way very few restaurants now-a-days offer the patron. From the knowledge of the dishes offered, its preparation, how you are treated, with no pushing towards offerings they want you to have, or hurrying you, to the care and diligence in dealing with potential allergy issues my wife suffers from (i.e., soy, nut, bean et al). They were willing, voluntarily I might add, to use alternative or leave ingredients out if she desired! We decided to splurge on offerings not readily found elsewhere, and surprisingly, not ‘Specials’ done occasionally, but their regular menu! Starting with a Cream of Mushroom soup, prepared with chicken stock, not cream – it was incredible! I had the Beef Tartare prepared in a Sherry Dijon Aioli accompanied by slices of their in-house-baked baguette – it was extraordinary! Word to the wise, this is an oversized serving that one must enjoy. You must put aside any heart, cholesterol or dietary weakness you may be experiencing and fully enjoy it – a must. As one comes to a French restaurant with the knowledge (I would think) that any diet or ‘everyday’ conformity is to be thrown out the window, we proceeded to have our main courses, the Pan-Seared Red Snapper. It was prepared in a green tomato chutney, with red peppers, white asparagus, artichokes and orange mint sauce – fantastic. In addition, although we requested the omission of an ingredient (white beans) due to allergies, it was still an unbelievable dish! I had a fabulous rendition of Roast Porchetta with Mostarda, crispy pork belly, potato puree and gruyere, roasted fall fruits in Brandy and Swiss chard. Wow! No words can describe how well prepared and delicious this pork decadence was. I forgot to mention that we started our evening there with cocktails that although simple, exhibited the abilities of a fine bartender in its preparation – a Canadian Club & Ginger Ale with a twist of lime, and a Jameson on the rocks with a twist of lemon – followed by a magnificent red table wine for dinner consisting of Domaine Le Courou. The wine was a difficult choice to make due to an incredibly extensive wine selection, both by the glass or bottle! I must also say, it had been quite some time since being given the opportunity to taste a couple of wines at no charge before making a final selection – kudos Can Can! By now, being really satisfied with dinner, we took a risk with a dessert (shared of course), having a wee-bit space left for it. Our selection of their Fleur de Sel Chocolate Cake with Chocolate/Vanilla sauce and chocolate chip Sablee accompanied by their French Press Coffee was a fabulous culmination to a spectacular meal! In closing, although I did not mention the sour dough House bread renditions of both white and wheat were so good, my wife inquired if they sold it to go? Whereupon Victor, our Server, offered us a free (no charge!) whole loaf – we did not refuse! We highly recommend the Can Can Brasserie to the most diehard French Culinary Aficionados, as well as those who may not much experience in this realm. The only drawback to the complete experience was realized as we were leaving – and that was that because of the acoustics, décor and hard woods and tin ceilings, when full, the restaurant’s din may be somewhat overwhelming. Having arrived prior to the dinner crowd, we were able to immensely enjoy the whole experience. Otherwise, this is a place we’ll happily return to, where all the desired points one seeks in a dining experience are well above average – atmosphere, food, libations, attention and ultimately one’s satisfaction are four star plus! Last but not least, you get much more than what you pay for – the prices are comparable to the quality, value and product! Make sure to go hungry! We shall return… see you soon Victor! Bon appétit from Rick G. el Gástro Ecléctico!