|Oh yummy mac and cheese come to me!!|
What? The Gabardine for lunch
Where? 372 Bay st
The skinny: Let’s keep this short. You come here on your lunch break or for dinner because it’s so conveniently located in the financial district. On top of that, solidly prepared comfort food, very decent selection of drinks, and chill atmosphere.
Now that exams are over (yessss) it’s time I updated my blog—starting with my lunch at The Gabardine with one of my friends Mike (who’s also a huge beer enthusiast). This place is smack in the business district so it’s no surprise that men are in suits and ladies wear nice blouses and skirts. I felt a bit out of place but that’s ok! :D
The entrance is narrow but worry not, the seating is quite spacious inside! And then there's the sweeping bar that just calls to you: "stay! have a drink! grab a bite!" Yes I will.
What to expect from the menu? In their words, “fine grub & libations.” I guess that’s accurate enough. Think thoughtful apps, souped-up sandwiches, and mains that sound familiar & taste as good as they’re supposed to taste.
Here's a shot of the restaurant from our table by the kitchen in the back. This place has got a casual, relaxed atmosphere. Perfect for lunch, a glass of wine, and some lerisure reading. :D
So Mike and I decided to order a few things and here you see them getting finishing touches. It must’ve been past 2pm at this point—we were absolutely famished!
Next thing you know, BAM! All three dishes arrived. :) It’s not a lot, but it proved to be quite enough for the two of us.
devilled eggs (4)
This was our little snack/side in addition to our mains. Neither of us had had devilled eggs at a restaurant so we got curious.
Nothing spectacular but they were a nice light snack in preparation for the mac ‘n’ cheese I had also ordered.
cioppino with market fresh seafood & grilled bread (19)
I didn’t know what a “cioppino” was until Mike explained it to me: essentially a fish stew that’s combined with tomatoes in a wine sauce. When it came, it was still steaming it smelled so good!! As welcoming as any stew should, especially when it’s windy & cold outside. ;)
There were mussels, shrimp, lobster, crab, and whitefish in there. So yummy! The sauce was very warming but had a teensy kick to it that brightens it up. Mike secretly hoped for more bread to wipe off all the sauce! It was a pretty kick-ass sauce so I don’t blame him one bit.
mac and cheese with breadcrumb crust with smoked ham (15)
This. This is the main reason why I wanted to come here. I’ve heard and read about this over-the-top with creaminess mac ‘n’ cheese too many times already. :D Let’s just say it was well worth the wait (and the ADDITIONAL wait since Mike decided to sleep in haha).
The crust along with the cheese / sauce oozing out of the bowl are calling to me…I only managed to snap a few quick photos before digging in. Yep, I was so ready to dive in. It was so creamy and cheesy. Awesome. The super generous cubes of ham (so worth the additional $2!!) cut through the richness really nicely and offered a sort of textural difference. The crust though…I wish there was more of it and that it retained its bite better. It was probably the ham sitting on top of it that made it soft but still…I would’ve loved that crunch.
Of course we try each others’ dishes. This is what happened when Mike tried to get a spoonful of my mac and cheese:
The mozzarella is insanely stringy. It just kept going and going! It stretched a good few feet before it got a little too ridiculous (didn’t want to seem like such a kid haha) and we broke the strand. Still though, this is a testament to how much cheesy goodness is in the dish. So good.
We sat at the second table by the kitchen. The place to me has been designed very well. Everything flows and most importantly, you enjoy sitting and eating here. :D
Total damage: not too bad.
Verdict: The devilled eggs like I said weren’t revelatory but the two other dishes were pretty solid. Possible the best mac 'n' cheese I've ever had!! The price isn’t bad either. Next time I’m coming for the sandwiches!
Check ‘em out! The Gabardine
4 out of 5 NOMs