7 Hart House Circle
416 978 4733
Annabelle Goodman —
Like to dine in a Neo-Gothic style atmosphere? I feel I have travelled into the past when I enter the wonderful Hart House. Hart House was conceived by Vincent Massey as a hub for university students, staff and faculty. In the early days it was a men only facility. It is now great to attend lectures and concerts in this wondrous building. A theatre, library and chapel all welcome everyone. I delighted in reading the famous quotes posted on the long wall in the hall. The Gallery Grill is a spectacular place to enjoy the finest cuisine. The restaurant is on the second floor. The main dining area overlooks the Great Hall of Hart House. In the bar area antique musical instruments grace the wall. It is totally an ethereal experience. The food is outstanding. The Gallery Grill is only open for lunch and brunch on the weekends. A reservation is essential.
It is a small menu that changes daily. The Chilled Tomato Soup was enhanced with toasted pine nuts and rosemary. A Parsnip Puree was offered with Celtic blue enhancement. I did consider the soup with the Simple Green Salad. Summer Tomatoes were served with smoked ricotta, and a sweet miso esplette dressing.
My dining companion and I had a quandary in deciding amongst the five main courses. I was contemplating the Grand Socca Nicoise with charred tomatoes, beets tzatziki, eggplant dip, salad of celery, olive and boquerone. It was explained that this dish was a crepe with the addition of the many side dips. Interesting and tempting. My friend opted for the Tandoori-Spiced Lamb Belly with melon and quinoa salad. It was a work of art. She loved every bite and even took some home to enjoy later. The Wheatberry Bowl offers, chicken tsukune style with tonkatsu sauce and figs. I went wild for the Grilled Wild Salmon. It had a tandoori flavor with a grilled taste. It was beyond spectacular. The flavor was outstanding. The fish was moist and literally melted on the palate. I also enjoyed the Turkish bulgur kisir and rouille. It was a magnificent lunch, beautifully plated in a wondrous ambiance.
The Maple Syrup Crème Brule was inviting but on this occasion there was no room. I noticed guests at the next table enjoying the Salted Almond Caramel Tart with spiced bourbon ice cream. I almost reached out for a taste. It really looked amazing. House Made Ice Creams are always featured. Candied Fennel Chocolate Chip Crunch and Stawberry- St Germaine, Chocolate Chai were featured on this visit.
I must remember to come back soon. I love to walk through the university grounds and observe the hallowed buildings. Hart House is one of the finest. When I enter the Gallery Grill I feel as if I am walking into the past. It has an elegant feel of being in a castle. The service is always superb. The menu is just a little out of the ordinary. That makes it even more special. Manager, Jerry Horton makes sure that guests are welcomed and treated as royalty. The food has always been amazing. I had my eye on the small private room that looked like it could seat about 10 people. What a place for a celebration. Gallery Grill is festive. It is historical. It is a gastric delight! All of the above and I also had the great company of a very special friend.