For me, there isn’t much guesswork when it comes to eating in the downtown core. There’s only about a handful or so restaurants that I’d dine at, no questions asked. With the right combination of great food, atmosphere and decent price points, The Gabardine (@TheGabardine) is one of those few restaurants.
Financial District / Downtown Core
372 Bay Street
Reservations: 647 352 3211 / NO breakfast or lunch reservations
Transit: 2-min walk from Queen station
Hours: Monday-Friday 8am-10:30am, 11:30am-10pm, Saturday 5pm-10pm (Closed Sundays)
At the kitchen helm we find Chef Graham Platt. If you follow him on Twitter (@Grahamplatt), you’ll see photos of very delicious-looking food photos…that will eventually lure you to The Gabardine! Also, I can’t believe they’re open from breakfast until dinner! It’s really rare for restaurants to be open almost continuously for the entire day.
A bunch of us came here back in February for the next leg in our ultimate burger quest. #TeamBurgerEaters forever! (Well, until we exhaust all the restaurants on Toronto Life’s “Best Burgers” list in Toronto; in which case we’ll move onto other adventures. I vote more family-style meals!) .
Although we originally planned to eat THE burger that they offer, the menu swayed us into different directions. Several of us still got the burger, and loved it.
Deep Fried Beer Cheese Croquettes (12) – w/ maple mustard
Mucho good. That about sums it up for me. A bit pricey but since we were all sharing (yep, all 7 of us), it was fine. Great for sharing!
Maple Cretons (10) – w/ mustard and toast
It seems like cretons has its roots in Quebec cuisine. Correct me if I’m wrong but from my extensive scientific Google research, I’ve discovered that “cretons” is a French-Canadian pork spread (pork scrap?). And from our field research at The Gabardine, cretons is delicious. Now how about frying it?!
Mac and Cheese (18) – w/ smoked ham
I had this the first time I came (here) and it was almost too glutinous. Almost. The chilly weather outside is the perfect excuse for this rich dish.
Sirloin Bacon Cheeseburger (18) – w/ aioli, tomato, lettuce & fries
There it be. The glorious #16 burger on Toronto Life Best Burger in Toronto. How does one approach such a thick burger?! You try the right-side up, upside-down methods; neither methods are very effective. It was all a blur but the next thing I knew, I had sunk my teeth into it. It’s a messy burger, but that’s almost a prerequisite for the good ones.
Roasted Brined Porkchop (26) – w/ black eyed pea ragout sauteed mustard greens & red eye gravy
One of the guys ordered this. Like the cheeseburger, I’d say that this is another very ambitiously-sized dish. Because of the brining, the pork chop stayed moist.
Verdict: #TeamBurgerEaters @ The Gabardine was a success! We left happy (and stuffed). The Gabardine is super chill and you’ll find anyone and everyone filling its dining room. People have commented on their “grandma plates” but I find them adorable and fun. Local, sustainable, uberly good comfort food. What's not to love?!
Check ‘em out! http://www.thegabardine.com/
4 out of 5 NOMs