Monday, 25 March 2013

A Classy Bay Street Lunch

With another day on my own in Toronto, I decided to explore the downtown area, and opted to have lunch there as well.  My sister suggested a few places, including The Gabardine, to try for lunch or dinner.  Knowing that there would be lunch crowds on weekdays, I planned on heading downtown to get to The Gabardine between 11:30am and 11:45am to be able to get a seat.  Unfortunately, I left for downtown late and arrived about 11:50am, and there was already a small line-up with an approximately 40-minute wait in the packed place.

A view of the bar and drink menu blackboard at The Gabardine.
One of the overhead lights at The Gabardine.
Just a gentle reminder from the staff of The Gabardine during my December 18, 2012 visit.

Not surprisingly, many people didn't bother waiting in line as they had limited lunch breaks, but as I wasn't on a fixed schedule, I had the liberty to wait.  By some stroke of luck, however, I only had to wait 15 minutes, as apparently someone's lunch date fell through and a space opened up at the bar.  It was a fairly small but highly popular place; no reservations were allowed for lunches.  In spite of the hectic atmosphere with most diners wanting to be done before their lunch hours were out, it was still a pleasant and somewhat relaxing experience with a mix of friendly, easy-going and relaxed staff and a decor and dishware that hearkened to Toronto's early 20th-Century days.
Curry Pumpkin Soup
As I hadn't had breakfast beforehand I thought I'd indulge on a larger lunch.  For starters I had the soup of the day, Curry Pumpkin Soup.  Garnished with a dollop of cream and sprig of cilantro, the soup was smooth, and the sweetness of the pumpkin coupled very well with the spiciness of the curry.  The spiciness was not too strong, but it left enough heat lingering in the mouth after each delightful spoonful.
Shrimp Po'Boy
For my main course, I ordered the Shrimp Po'Boy, a submarine sandwich originating from Louisiana.  The sandwich was stuffed with fried shrimp and layered with butter lettuce, tomato relish and aioli., and it was served with potato salad and leafy greens in vinaigrette.  I learned the hard way that this sandwich could not be eaten by hand; after losing a couple of the shrimp, I had to resort to using my fork and knife.  I loved the tomato relish; the tomatoes and onions had a pleasant sweetness and tang to them.

The Gabardine is another very good addition to Toronto's dining scene.  Whether you're there for a work lunch or just for pleasure, this restaurant is well worth a visit.  If coming for lunch on a weekday, however, arriving early or after the peak lunch hour period is highly recommended to avoid the long wait for a free table.

Name: The Gabardine
Address: 372 Bay St., Toronto, ON
Cuisine: American, Fusion
Price Range: $15-$40 lunch and dinner
Accessible: No

No comments:

Post a Comment