Where To Eat In Collingwood? The First Street Bistro!

UPDATE:  This restaurant is now closed.

I don’t get to eat out that often but when I do, I want to have a great experience, great food and great service.  I LOVE food (just look at my picture and all those chins), wine and good company too so having a restaurant like the First Street Bistro in town is pure heaven to me.

After spending over two decades in Alberta, owners Andi and Nancy Furrer decided they wanted to relocate back to Ontario primarily as family was in this part of the country.  That’s when we met and from the first real estate search phone calls and emails, we became fast friends which continues to this day.  When I asked Nancy why they chose Collingwood over every other town in Ontario she said, Collingwood’s location beside the Escarpment, on Georgian Bay allowed us to continue to enjoy our outdoor pursuits, which were very much a mainstay of our existence in the Alberta Rockies. Our family embraced the small town atmosphere, while the growth trends in the area provided a stable environment for our new business enterprise. Gee, and I thought it was because of me.

Chef Andi is a native of Zug, Switzerland and he brings a culinary acumen acquired over 30 years in quaint fine dining hideaways and high volume environments alike, in both urban and resort settings.  On completion of his European training, he worked in various prestigious hotels and independent restaurants before immigrating to Canada.  Chef Andi’s Canadian experience began at Jasper Park Lodge in Alberta; then included time in Toronto – from Yorkville to the Toronto Island Yacht Club as well as the Prince Hotel.  He enjoyed much success as a creative, high profile Chef during 20 years in Alberta, in the Rocky Mountain towns of Banff and Jasper, as well as in the city of Edmonton, during which time he became a member of Les Toques Blanches International.  His first ownership opportunity was a 150 seat restaurant in Jasper, prior to Between Friends Restaurant in Collingwood, now known as the First Street Bistro.

Nancy has spent many years involved in the service aspects of hotel and restaurant operations after completing post secondary studies in Hospitality & Tourism Management at Toronto’s Ryerson University.  After a 12 year hiatus spent cultivating their family, Nancy returned to the workforce to actively manage the office and dining room service at their restaurant in Jasper.  Since moving to Collingwood, she has managed the dining room service and administration needs for Between Friends Restaurant/First Street Bistro, while pursuing greater knowledge of wines of the world.

Even though the Bistro has been mentioned in Toronto Life, Where to Eat In Canada and such, I’ve always thought that Chef Andi should be REALLY famous.  His passion for food is evident in his remarkable knack for marrying seasoning and textures that, combined with his wealth of food knowledge have built him a strong reputation for producing consistently memorable and truly awe-inspiring cuisine. He uses locally grown organic produce whenever possible and even gets out to handpick his own Wild Leeks and Fiddleheads each spring. Asparagus and strawberries come from Meester’s farm and White’s Fisheries supplies fresh Georgian Bay Whitefish, Lake Trout and Sturgeon on occasion.  The Bistro carries a good selection of wines and spirits with a cellar list always available with special finds and vintage releases.

As a team, Andi and Nancy have been complimenting each other for more than 27 years.  They have an amazing team including servers Marc and Diane who raise service to a whole new level.  Having said all of this, you’ll be glad to know that the Bistro offers casual fine dining at a very reasonable price level that will make it a favourite place to visit again and again.

I know I’m gushing and no, they don’t even know I’m putting this up on the blog.  I just think we are very fortunate to have a place as phenomenal as the First Street Bistro right here in Collingwood.  I would best sum up my feelings by saying that when I dine at the Bistro, I don’t just leave full.  I leave fulfilled.  There is a world of difference and if you have not experienced it yet, do yourself the favour soon.

Related Posts:

Collingwood Welcomes A New Business To Town

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is an award-winning real estate Broker who has successfully been helping people move since 1989. When it’s time for a move in or out of a bigger, smaller, better, more expensive, less expensive, newer, older, house, condo, farm, investment property, vacant lot or business, talk to Marg.

This entry was posted by Marg on Saturday, April 12th, 2008 at 7:50 am and is filed under About Town, Local businesses. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

5 Comments

  1. tina says:

    I agree with your enthusiasm for First Street Bistro!! We are regular diners there as well. It might be interesting to note that at restaurantica.com First Street is rated #1 in Collingwood, a position most deserved.

  2. Marg says:

    You are right Tina. I just took a look at that site and they rate a perfect 10. I’ve always left there saying wow, wow, wow.

  3. Hi Marg,

    Wish we’d known about this bistro when we were up in Collingwood last month. Think I’ll start a where to eat in Oakville/Burlington series in my blog. I have had more visits to my restaurant review on Saga Sushi than any other post! Keep giving us more restaurant reviews and thanks!

  4. Rhonda says:

    I am not surprised that the Bistro was rated #1. The complement of Andi and Nancy and their staff produces a fabulous environment. I always tease Andi about how terrible the food was and usually end in a conversation with me asking questions about how he does it. How can he continously produce great food with never a miss.
    He once responded that consistency is the key. It’s all well if someone enjoys their meal one night, but what if they bring friends another night and it’s not the same? He’s then lost the new customers as well as the confidence of the original. BUT THAT NEVER HAPPENS. The Bistro consistently serves delicious food with great service.

    Whenever I have to take people out for a meal, I take them to the Bistro because I have total confidence it will be a great experience. I also love that they have private rooms for personalized events, small and large(sh). I once had a work event there and they customized the menu for me with the name of the company on the menu and everyone enjoyed themselves. It’s those small details that make it a special place to go.

  5. I love the First Street Bistro too!
    Whenever I have my family is coming in from NYC that is where we go… We love the atmosphere, the awesome food, the great wine, and the fabulous service.
    My mom is a vegan, and when the Chef prepares a special meal for her, I can not tell you how great that makes her feel. She does not have to order a plan salad and veggies, like other restaurants. The special attention to detail and service makes the experience even more special. I love the Bistro and my family, friends, and special guest love it too!
    I am really glad you put them on your blog…but sad that even more people are going to know about what a diamond in the gem restaurant it truly is.
    You guys are awesome!

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