For years, Lucien was known as one of downtown’s most elegant and fussiest fine-dining establishments. But owner Simon Bower recently recast the restaurant as more casual and accessible (read: affordable). Part of the transformation includes a new lunch menu by chef Etienne Lemieux, formerly of Cowbell. Most indicative of Lucien’s new image is the chicken and crumpets ($16), a decidedly downhome dish. Two giant pieces of buttermilk-soaked chicken are breaded, fried and served atop a pair of crumpets with sautéed collard greens soaked in a rich bacon cream sauce. A daub of gastrique counteracts the salty, savoury flavours.
The cost: $23 including tax and tip
The time: 1 hour
Lucien, 36 Wellington St. E., 416-504-9990, www.lucienrestaurant.ca