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[Brunch] A La Carte at the Gardiner Bistro

by - July 10, 2015

I was invited back to A La Carte at the Gardiner Bistro to try their updated brunch menu a couple of weeks ago. The dining room was rather spacious, and I loved the natural light that illuminated through the windows. The overall ambiance was modern, cozy, and bright. A La Carte at the Gardiner Bistro is located on the third floor of the Gardiner Museum, and is a great spot to grab lunch or brunch. My guest, and I, were quickly seated by the hostess, and perused the menu while we waited for our server. The brunch menu featured a variety of classic brunch choices such as pancakes or waffles, grilled cheese sandwich, eggs and sausages, egg benedict, smoked salmon benny, etc ...

The restaurant is open for both brunch and lunch, and offers a Bistro inspired menu. Additional, the dining room was beautifully decorated with an elegant atmosphere. The space used to house a cafe run by Chef Jamie Kennedy until 2013 when Toronto caterer, À la Carte Kitchen, was handed control over it. Since then, they have transformed the space, and serving up delicious food. Please note that if you are a member of the Gardiner Museum, you will also receive 10% off on food items.  

 Brunch at A La Carte at the Gardiner Bistro began with a plate of bread accompanied by EVOO and Za'atar spice (Lebanese spice). I have never been a fan of dipping bread in olive oil, but the Lebanese spice made such a difference in the taste, and texture. It just simply blended well with the olive oil, and bread.

The soupe du jour was the chilled cream soup with green peas ($4). 

 For my brunch item, I opted for the egg benedict - soft poached egg, English muffin, pea meal bacon, hollandaise, and home fries ($19). The execution of the egg benedict was simply done, but it was done well. The beautifully poached eggs were carefully placed on top of the English muffin, and oozed as it was pierced by my fork. The hollandaise was a great addition, and blended well with the ingredients used on the egg benedict. However, I'd have liked if they added some greens to the dish, as I thought the portion of the side salad was too much for me alone. 

Photo courtesy of Derek Genova from A La Carte at the Gardiner Bistro
Photo courtesy of Derek Genova from A La Carte at the Gardiner Bistro
I also got a side order of salad ($6), as I needed some greens with my meal.

 J got the daily special, which was appropriately titled The One That Couldn't Get Away - 2 pieces of crab cakes on a bed of greens ($18). Crab cakes are often composed of crab meat and various other seafood ingredients, and seasoning. The ones from A La Carte at the Gardiner Bistro contained a mixture of salmon, halibut, sea bass, and lobster tail. The crab cakes were crisp and golden on the outside, while moist on the inside. Additionally, J thought that the portion was rather generous, and he had a filling meal.

The overall component of the dishes were good, and we had an enjoyable brunch at A La Carte at the Gardiner Bistro. Food came out at a slower pace, but the service was amazing. Our server, Andre, was incredibly attentive, funny, and efficient. He was overall a very personable guy, and we felt comfortable around him. I'd like to thank all of the staff from A La Carte at the Gardiner Bistro for their warm hospitality, as we felt very welcomed.

Photo courtesy of Derek Genova from A La Carte at the Gardiner Bistro
Lastly, A La Carte at the Gardiner Bistro is also participating in this summer's Summerlicious ($18 for a three course meal - lunch only). More information here.

Address: 111 Queens Park Toronto, ON, M5S 2C7 (Gardiner Museum, 3rd Floor)

Disclaimer: The food provided in this post was complimentary. However, all of the opinions expressed in this review are of my own.

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