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Review Hart House Gallery Grill

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Taryn Mar 6, 2004 10:12 AM

A few weeks ago I asked for help finding an elegant lunch/brunch spot for a few ladies before we attended a play at the George Ignatieef Theatre. Bumblegirl directed us to the right place.

I just wanted to write back and thank you for your spot on suggestion of the Hart House Gallery Grill at the University of Toronto. It was perfect for the occasion. We were able to manage the stairs without difficulty despite some mobility issues. Thank you to Yannick and SacredKow for your suggestions as well.

The views are from the room are lovely… to my right I could look out the windows into a beautiful courtyard surrounded by old stone buildings, to my left I could peer down into an old wood paneled hall that made me wonder when Harry Potter was about to appear. I wanted to go back to school!

The service was excellent, the perfect balance of attentive and unobtrusive. There were just five of us.

One of my companions selected a wine and I am so sorry I didn’t take notes… something like Sarum…blah blah blah? While their list is quite small they seem to have selected very appropriate pairings for the largely fish and egg dominated menu. I know the wine worked very well with my dish.

I had the porcini-dusted striped bass, olive-oil-crushed fingerling potatoes, marinated heirloom tomatoes,
pancetta, and toasted sage. Some baby spinach leaves completed the plate. The fish was excellent, very “clean” tasting, very lightly crusted with the porcini and perfectly moist and tender. The marinated tomatoes created a mild dressing that brought the whole dish together.

Two of the others had the poached eggs on toast, frisée salad and grilled spicy chorizo. The other two had the special, which on this day was smoked trout and salt cod on frisee with a mild vinaigrette.

I never got to taste their dishes as they were consumed quickly! I am going to assume that this constitutes more “thumps up”. I still think I made the best choice with the bass though. May I have another order now please?

As I mentioned above we were attending a performance and so time was an issue. If not, I might have been able to review the Hart House Farm maple crème brulé or the terrine of mushrooms, pecorino toast and
onion-herb salad. Well, I guess I just have to go back, poor me.

I thought the value was outstanding as well. Mains were $11.95 to $14.95. I believe they are just open for lunch weekdays and Sunday brunch. Hidden gem.

Thank you again Bumblegirl.

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    Goober RE: Taryn Mar 6, 2004 03:29 PM

    Hi,

    It's been awhile. But I had duck confit and creme brulee. Their creme brulee was amazing! Just the right balance between bitter and sweet. The duck I remeber being not so tender. But a good overall experience nonetheless.

    1. b
      Bumblegirl RE: Taryn Mar 25, 2004 11:20 AM

      Just saw your post - I'm glad your brunch went so well! The Gallery Grill, and Hart House actually, are one of the better-kept secrets in town, I think ;)

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