After reading another blogger’s lunch visit to this place and checking out some reviews on yelp and the like, I decided to come here for my latest review, expecting to be pretty impressed. Sadly, as food blogging has started to make me realize, keeping one’s expectations in check is the key to avoid disappointment in restaurants. 😦 Of course, it wasn’t all bad, just…

I wonder if any of the people saw me through the glass...

Location: 372 Bay Street
Price: You can see the prices on the menu, but IMO, (the stuff we got, at least) was all kinda too small for what we were paying.
Website: http://www.thegabardine.com

Well, where do I start? I think it’s good to start with something nice about the restaurant. They had really good service! The person at the front tried to find a table for us, and when she couldn’t, she graciously offered to let us sit at the bar. Throughout the meal, they were attentive to our needs for water and quick to be around when we needed them. However, the lighting, especially during dinner time, proved to be quite bad </totallynotanattempttocoverforbadphotographs>.

so dim :(:(:(

With the bad lighting in mind, we should move on to the food. Now, our bartender/waitress told us what all the specials were, and we ended up ordering two of them. To start, we ended up sharing the bruschetta of the day: sundried tomato, fresh mozarella cheese, and olive oil on crisped bread. The ingredients sound yummy, right?

...They had nice plates!

Yes, that is how small the portion was. I wish I could say I ate a couple before I remembered to take a photograph, but this was kind of a minuscule portion, especially compared to Caffe di Portici‘s, which happens to only be a buck more at most for nearly triple the size of the food. Now I wouldn’t be so harsh if this was some extremely amazing mini gourmet bruschetta bite, but it really wasn’t. Far too salty, and the crisps didn’t hold the really salty bruschetta mix well at all.

Another pretty plate, another small portion. Also this doesn't look that appetizing...

The waitress/bartender also told us about the lake trout special of the day, so my girlfriend decided to get it. I had a slice of the fish — admittedly, it was cooked perfectly. But for $20, I would have expected an actual dinner sized portion of food. I mean, my girlfriend doesn’t eat a LOT, but it says a lot if she’s still hungry after eating an entire entree. Also, no matter how hard I tried to take a picture of this, I really couldn’t get it to come out looking good. Is it just me? Or is this dish kinda… ugly?

Ah! A regular sized portion of food!

Okay I gotta admit this was pretty darn tasty. It better be though, if you’re a $13 Mac and cheese. It also happened to be a good amount of food! The crispy bread crumb layer on top added a delicious hint of toastiness and a bit of extra texture as I dug into my pasta dish. The macaroni itself was cooked well, and had heaping mounds of yummy, gooey cheese all around it. Not much to say — a simple, but good dish that’s honestly really hard to screw up. And thankfully, the Gabardine passed with this dish.

YUMMEHHHHH

Yeah I think I’d go to the Gabardine just to have this dessert. Roasted Marshmallow Ice Cream Sandwich. Da-yam. This was pretty tasty and was definitely the highlight of the night. It would be a pretty big dessert (unless you had a small dinner… :O) to tackle with one person, but if you’ve got a +1, this would be perfect ending to your meal! The roasted marshallow flavor really comes through and imparts the ice cream with this really amazing flavor that’s hard to describe. If you guys have ever roasted marshmallows over fires, think of that, but in frozen dessert form, covered with a layer of chocolate wafer (some sort of variation on a smore?) Along with chocolate sauce, and a side of fruits. I might be overstating how amazing this is, but I guess in comparison to the rest of the night, it really was the best.

Conclusion: I don’t like giving negative reviews to places but honestly I really thought that the portions would be bigger. You can call me cheap, but I prefer to say that I’m economical. Good food and good portions, two things that any university student on a budget should be looking for when having food. In any case, I’m glad that I had SOMETHING good to say about this place, at the very least! 6/10 Cheers!

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