By Annabelle Goodman –

19 Baldwin St
416 340 0303
I love having recommendations for new restaurants. It is equally as exciting when I discover a gourmet spot on my own. My friend and I had been to the AGO. We decided to walk in the Baldwin Village to find a restaurant to inspire us. Frankly all of the restaurants on the block are worth pursuing. It is a charming area of town. I had never heard of Valens and it beckoned to us.

What a delightful discovery! The interior is pleasant and inviting. The service was extremely warm and always efficient. We were delighted with the food. That says it all.

The home made whole wheat bread was exceptional. We were impressed with the Prix-Fixe menus as well as the general menu. The $22.00 Prix-Fixe is surely an exceptional value. The young couple at the next table had just finished dining on the three courses. We asked them for their impression. They were so pleased. After tasting the food we will be back.

Several Salads are featured on the choices for the Prix-Fixe. I understand the Samosas are exceptional. The Soup of the Day was Curry Zucchini and Chicken.

Second Courses also offer many choices. The guests at the next table had indulged in the Butter Chicken. I overheard them rave about it to the server. I was interested in the Spanish Paella or Maple Salmon. Our server told us the Rack of Lamb is a house specialty. I have never seen such a large Crème Brule. We hinted that we would be happy to help them finish it. They did it nicely all on their own. Can you imagine choosing amongst Lava Cake, Cheesecake, Crème Brule or Chocolate Mousse? I must return.

We were tempted by many of the suggestions but decided to opt for a healthy, low calorie occasion. My friend enjoyed her Grilled Vegetable Salad. It was enormous and beautifully constructed. Tips of asparagus and shredded pieces of carrot sat on top of the tower of fresh vegetables. It was a winner. I was so impressed with my Caesar Salad with a side of Grilled Shrimp. The shrimp had a fabulous BBQ flavor. The greens were crispy and the dressing flavorful. It was a delicious satisfying meal.

There is no doubt you will find something delectable from the menu.  The regular menu has many choices. The Prix-Fixe offers exceptional value. There are also dinner specials.

On this evening Cheese Ravioli with roasted red peppers and oyster mushrooms was served in a rose sauce. ($14.00) Pan Seared Arctic Char is served with avocado pineapple relish and served with rice and mixed vegetables.($20.00)

It is always fun to explore a new area of town. It is especially rewarding when you make such a satisfying discovery.c