Thursday, November 10, 2011

Toronto: The Gabardine

in a sea of suits
:Business District:
Gigi and I made plans to meet up. As per usual, we had a long wishlist. I left it to her to narrow down the list.
The Gabardine won the draw, but we were the ones who got lucky.

A lot has been said about this place already. I agree that it doesn’t really fit on Bay Street. It’s a welcome change from the usual watering holes. From the moment I walked it, I forgot where I was. It reminds me of something I might find in Montreal; a comfortable clean space with white walls, framed images and antique-y hanging lights.

It’s a bit crowded in the front given the bar area, but the dining tables weren’t as cramped as some critics have made it out to be.

At the risk of sounding like a superfan, I loved this place. It was warm and welcoming, and the service was spectacular. I’ll say that again, because I don’t get to say it often – spectacular.  Our server anticipated needs, knew the food, was friendly and attentive, and aware of his surroudings (i.e. knew when to engage and knew when to be invisible) - basically, a bonafide superstar.

Gabardine’s menu includes a wide range of unpretentious food like grilled cheese, sirloin bacon cheeseburger, and chicken pot pie.

They say come in and get fed, well, Gigi and I are really full:

We shared some fries (of course) and the sweet corn hushpuppies with buttermilk poppy seed dressing ($9).

Really good.  Perfectly fried, moist and buttery.
I loved the mismatched plates, “Grandma’s china” as Gigi said.

She had the black cod with braised lentils and mushrooms ($24). For those of you that know a little about me, you know I love black cod. One of my favourites is at Blue Water in Vancouver. The Gabardine’s is a contender. It was really, really good. Delicate and delicious:

I had the shrimp po’boy with butter lettuce, tomato relish and aioli ($14). I’m a sucker for po’boys. It was really good. The bun/baguette was the way fresh bread should be – crispy outside, soft middle.

Potato salad - Purple and gold fingerlings
We finished with the burnt marshmallow ice cream sandwich ($7). I wanted to love it, but I ended up liking it. I wasn’t too crazy about the sandwich part. I may have been hoping for a graham cookie, but then again, I’m thinking s’mores. Now there’s an idea.

It really was fine grub.

Bird marks the spot.
Note: Staying true to form, they’re closed Saturdays and Sundays.

The Gabardine on Urbanspoon

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