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I finally made my way to the Gabardine, after having this near the top of my list for a while since it first opened! I made a reservation for four on a Friday evening and it turned out we didn’t really need one as it wasn’t very busy. I tried dropping by for lunch a couple weeks ago only to end up elsewhere since there was a huge line (they don’t take reservations for lunch).

Upon entering, we were directed to a table by the entrance which I found a bit cramped. The restaurant isn’t very big and has a pretty casual feel. It’s definitely a nice alternative to the typical expense-account financial district restaurants.

Since I was starving, Mike and I started with the Chicken Liver Pâté – with house pickles and toasts ($7). It came with a spoonful of the pâté, a side of greens, pickled mushrooms, several pieces of toast and a bit of sweet marmalade. The sweetness went really well with the pâté, which we both really enjoyed. I could’ve lived without the house pickles though.

For my main I was debating between the mussels and the bacon cheese burger since I read a lot of great things the Gabardine’s burger. In the end, I opted for the lighter option: the PEI Mussels – with white wine, garlic, cream and fries ($19). It came served in a bowl topped with a piece of toasted bread and the mussels were cooked well. My favourite part of the dish was the sauce! White wine, garlic and cream… a classic combination, how can you go wrong? It also came with a large bowl of fries on the side. They were nice and crispy and were perfectly seasoned (no ketchup required!).

Mike went with the Chicken Pot Pie, something that he didn’t see earlier on the online menu. I can’t remember exactly how much this cost, but I think it was around $20.

Chicken pot pie

I’m not a big fan of pot pie, but the Gabardine’s version was fantastic! The filling was really creamy and contained large chunks of chicken. It was topped with a delicious crust. We both loved this! But be warned, this is an extremely heavy dish since the filling is really creamy. Mike, who normally finishes his meal (and half of mine…) couldn’t even finish this.

The other couple we were dining with ordered the Roasted Brined Pork – with creamed polenta and vincotto ($21) and the Mac and Cheese – with a breadcrumb crust ($13). For the mac and cheese you have the option of adding ham for an extra $2. They both indicated that they enjoyed their dishes. They looked really good too! I could tell the mac and cheese was pretty heavy, since they ended up bringing leftovers home.

Despite the fact we were all pretty full, we couldn’t resist the Burnt Marshmallow Ice Cream Sandwich ($7). We ordered two orders of this and each one came with two triangular sandwiches. I was surprised by how large the portions were. I’m not sure how one person could finish this entire serving! The sandwiches were drizzled with caramel and topped with strawberries, blueberries and blackberries. I found that I couldn’t really taste the marshmallow in the ice cream, but the dessert was still delicious. Our dining companions recommended we try the burnt marshmallow ice cream at Greg’s – another place to add to my never-ending list!

Anyways, this dessert was fantastic and was the perfect way to end the meal! Highly recommended (just remember to order one serving to share!). Overall, the food was really great, however, we weren’t too impressed with the service. Our server wasn’t very attentive and every time he did come over, his attitude was as if he had better things to do than to serve us. Not very hospitable at all!

Burnt marshmallow ice cream sandwich

At a glance:

  • Great alternative to the other expensive financial district restaurants
  • Enjoyable food – highly recommend the burnt marshmallow ice cream sandwich
  • Not-so-enjoyable service
  • No reservations taken for lunch
  • Ratings (out of 5):

  • Food: 4.5 stars
  • Service: 2 stars
  • Atmosphere: 3 stars
  • The Gabardine on Urbanspoon

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