Annabelle Goodman —
This delightful dining spot has it all. The Gardiner Museum adds so much to the culture of this great city. On the third floor of the museum is a hidden treasure. The large dining facility is brightly lit with the natural light and the floor to ceiling windows on three sides. I find the room to be elegant and classy yet so warm and welcoming. The large white grand piano and the well spaced tables give a regal quality. A La Carte is open for brunch and lunch. Private functions keep it busy every evening. The servers are really delightful. The last few visits we had Andre to look after us. On this occasion Stephen regaled us with stories and we discussed many current films. At the same time all the servers are so attentive and really strive to please. Derek is to be congratulated for being so efficient as the manager. It is always a delightful experience to dine here. I was dining with a dear friend and we appreciated the calm quiet atmosphere while enjoying the fine cuisine.
111 Queens Park – 416 586 8086
The warm bread was crusty and delicious. An original touch is the small dish of spices and mixed salt. Add it to your bread to please the palate. A bottle of fine quality extra virgin oil was great for dipping the bread.
I think the #1 dish on the menu has to be that Lobster Sandwich. Lobster, granny smith, dill, lemon zest are fully stacked in a toasted brioche and served with summer greens or fries. I always like to check how many tables are enjoying that favored dish. My friend was tempted with the Crustless Quiche with seasonal vegetables, fresh herbs, daily featured cheese and a side of organic summer greens. Sounds great. She did decide to order the Pan Seared Salmon and make it her dinner meal. It featured new potatoes, sautéed seasonal vegetables all enhanced with an herbed lemon butter sauce. The perfectly seared piece of salmon nestled on top to make a splendid presentation and a gourmet lunch. Stephen, our server, affirmed for me that the Salad Nicoise was a great choice. A large bowl of baby greens was topped with olives, baby potatoes, haricots vert, hard boiled eggs, and olive oil poached tuna. Every bite was enjoyed. It was a large portion but I was not about to leave anything. Kale and Peach Salad is a popular choice prepared with baby kale, shaved peach, Manchego crusted chicken breast and fennel vinaigrette.
Each day there are daily specials. A variety of Starters makes for a light lunch or a first course for a heartier meal. Tomato and Mozzarella Salad is enhanced with basil, arugula and Salah’s Gold Olive oil. Artisan cheeses are served with marinated olives, toasted walnuts, grapes and crostini. Mediterranean Calamari is sautéed and served with Provencal Tomato Sauce, hummus and micro greens.
I finally had my Lemon Tart. It has become a joke with the servers. I always ask for a lemon tart and they regret that it is not available. To my great surprise and pleasure I was greeted with the fact a lemon tart was on the menu. A scoop of whipping cream, a strawberry cut to look like a flower filled with blackberries made for a plate almost too good to eat. Eat it we did. Delicious! The Macchiato and Café Au Lait were the perfect conclusion to a wonderful meal. How soon can I return?