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From opulent steakhouses to swank boîtes and hushed rooms for those in the know, there's no shortage of fine-dining draws in Yorkville. Now, it's time to add one more to the list. Unique, chic and serving up a concise menu of modern French dishes infused with Korean flavours, 156 Cumberland is Yorkville's hottest new attraction.
For those who recognize the address, 156 Cumberland was, until very recently, home to Chabrol, chef Doug Penfold's beloved, award-winning French bistro. After several years at 90 Yorkville Avenue, Chabrol planned to unveil its new, bigger home in March 2020 -- exactly as COVID hit.
From there, the restaurant survived for 18 months on takeout, catering and small events. In August, with so much uncertainty still ahead, Penfold and the team announced that Chabrol was closing.
The space wasn't empty long, with 156 Cumberland taking over and opening by late October. Owned and operated by chef MJ Jeong, formerly of Canis, Après Wine Bar and more, along with his wife Jennifer, the new restaurant brings a fresh approach to classic French cuisine to a bustling Yorkville strip. The team "hopes to spread more knowledge for Korean food and that there is so much more than bibimbap and Korean bbq!" says Jennifer.
On the menu, guests will find a carefully curated, seasonal lineup of exquisite, novel dishes. "The menu is concise," says Jennifer, "so the chefs in the kitchen can focus on making sure each dish is made to perfection with the freshest ingredients."
To begin, there are three appetizers, including beef tartare presented inside fried tofu skins with gojuchang and hamachi with cucumber, wasabi oil and turnip. Second-course plates include chicken wing with black garlic glaze, chestnut and white kimchi and a dish of mushroom, truffle, congee, poached egg and Parmigiano Reggiano.
Currently, the kitchen offers two mains; a beef short rib with spinach and maitake mushrooms or halibut with charred kale, celeriac and seaweed butter.
Coconut custard with grapefruit granita and kaffir lime and brown butter cake with poached pear and burnt honey ice cream round out the offerings.
"We are a small business offering a personal, intimate dining experience," says Jennifer. With its chandeliers, soft washes of colour, artful plates and hushed ambiance, 156 Cumberland offers the sleek sophistication preferred by the neighbourhood's well-heeled crowd.
Visit their website to make a reservation for dinner from Tuesday to Saturday, between 5 and 10 p.m.