When asked what makes Bistro Toulouse different from other
restaurants, co-owner Candice Mahala responded without a
beat: “The cuisine.”
“We serve a lot of classic dishes — like salad Lyonnaise, mussels Mariniere, Cassoulet and dark chocolate souffle — that would be hard to find anywhere else,” she said. Bistro Toulouse has fashioned its place as a neighborhood restaurant that draws many customers from just a few miles away.
“But,” added Mahala, “We do also have some devotees that drive from downtown, West Ashley, Summerville and other towns — as well as part-time residents and vacationers who come back when they are in the area, year after year.”
Mahala and her partner Matthew Schulz, head chef, met in culinary school in 2001 and were interested in opening their own restaurant. They spent “many years” working in New York, Naples, Miami and Washington D.C., before moving to the Lowcountry in 2013.
The restaurant’s success has been a gradual climb, mostly by design. “We didn’t want to be overwhelmed, so we opened quietly to give us time to make sure we were doing everything right,” Mahala explained.
Specialties include the classics, as well as “a fantastic” seared duck breast with house-made tagliatelle pasta and duck confit with sauteed mushrooms and greens. The menu also boasts fresh, local seafood.
“We have favorites that are always available, as well as items that will change seasonally,” said Mahala. “We also have daily specials.”
By John Torsiello