A La Carte at the Gardiner

Annabelle Goodman —
There has been a myth that the food served at this favorite lunch spot is prepared off the grounds. They do a lot of catering but the kitchen is a bustling hive in preparing that first rate food. Three friends met the handsome Chef John who spared a moment from his exquisite cooking to chat with us. We all love this restaurant for the ambiance and the food. It is a brunch lunch spot. The evening is reserved for private parties. However, they are now launching a Friday Evening Dinner. It sounds wonderful. Check out the upcoming Winterlicious. Three courses are being offered for $18.00.

111 Queen’s Park – 416 586 8086

The tables are well spaced. The grand piano gives a decadent aura. There are full windows on three sides looking out to the ROM. It was delightful to look out at the gentle snow falling. It gave the room a magical touch. The staff obviously enjoys working together. Manager Derek stopped by to welcome us back to this popular spot. We always have a good time chatting with our server. Deborah even remembered us from our last visit. We continued our conversation about champagne vinegar. She is so delightful and a most efficient server.
On our last visit we enjoyed the Quinoa & Prawns and were tempted to repeat that pleasure. Organic spinach and diced vegetables are combined in the tasty quinoa. The succulent shrimp were a great addition. The citrus soy vinaigrette gave the perfect balance to the plate. The Baby Beet Salad is served with house pickles, red and golden beets, creamed goat’s cheese, arugula and toasted walnuts.
Sandwiches are large and filling. The Vegetable includes roasted peppers, grilled eggplant & zucchini, lettuce, tomato and a pesto mayo. It is served with a choice of Soup, Salad or Fries. The Mediterranean Chicken or Roasted Lamb are also popular sandwich selections.
The Crustless Quiche was being enjoyed at the next table. Seasonal vegetables, featured cheese and a side of greens make this a delightful lunch.
Grilled Halibut was the fish of the day. It was served with a large potato rosti and a delightful pico de gallo sauce. Three were dining but there were only two pieces of halibut. I was delighted when offered Grilled Salmon. The fish was great and we all felt very satisfied with each gourmet bite.
We were delightfully content, especially after finishing the basket of warm delicious bread. The carafe with that outstanding olive oil was too good. There went the New Year’s resolutions to cut back on calories.
We could barely refrain from shouting when we were told the Lemon Tart was the dessert feature of the day. We all love that refreshing lemon flavor. We shared the tart and some Chocolate Macaroons. The coffee was exceptionally good. I adore a good Macchiato at the end of a meal.
We looked around and realized that all the other guests had left. We were having such a great time. We were assured we were not in the way as the servers busily were setting up for the Friday dinner. This place has it all. It is always delightfully quiet. How refreshing. The food is delicious and beautifully plated. I have also enjoyed the Weekend Brunch. Thanks to the great staff and my wonderful friends.
Take some time to check out the gallery and the excellent gift shop.