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It may seem bold to open up a restaurant during a pandemic, but with the amount of time and effort that goes into planning a restaurant launch, it's difficult to let it all go amidst the uncertainty. That's why Pompette, a new French restaurant that opened its doors in Little Italy, decided to go through with their launch -- and pivot their strategy.
Pompette began to post teasers on their Instagram back in December, hinting at their plans for opening at 597 College Street. The concept behind the restaurant was to serve as a casual, cheery neighbourhood joint serving simple and well-executed French food alongside creative cocktails and an impressive wine list.
The owners had planned to launch for dine-in service only before gradually introducing takeout, but are now implementing this plan in reverse. In fact, they've entirely modified their offerings to go beyond just typical takeout food: you'll now find pantry items, heat-at-home meals, prepared mains, cocktails-to-go and more in their space.
A takeout spread from the restaurant comprised of wine to-go, house spelt sourdough, leeks in vinaigrette, roasted chicken breast with mushroom duxelle and a beef bourguignon.
Refined and artfully crafted cocktails to-go available for takeout, like the Gin Milk Punch pictured above. Milk punch is made by pouring milk into the gin until it curdles, which results in a clear and bold flavour -- the technique of "milk washing" dates back to the 18th century.
While it's not what they originally envisioned for the restaurant, the owners are happy to have received positive support from the community thus far, drawing in neighbourhood crowds and curious passersby who pop in to pick up something delicious.
Their current model utilizes an online platform for customers to pre-order their food and drinks for same-day pickup from 12 p.m. -9 p.m., Wednesday through Sunday. This way, guests can grab meals that are made to last beyond the pickup day to enjoy in the comfort of their own homes throughout the week. Plus, it gives them a chance to go and see the beautiful space in person in anticipation of their dine-in opening, which is hopefully not too far away!