Jamie Kennedy Gardiner Review
Went yesterday for the first time. Have previously had great experiences at the Wine Bar, so relatively high expectations going in.
Wonderful location, views, feel and temperature. In a 40+ degree day, it was the perfect temperature and layout with the airy feel of glass and high ceilings (though I'm not sure how it would feel in January). Was offered the chance to sit on the patio which I would have taken on a day I wouldn't be in danger of melting.
Loved the view, loved the service. The food was.....okay. Menu offered plenty of choices I was intrigued by which was excellent, but I was not excited by the dishes we had beyond them being....okay. Had the frites which of course were good and then the hip of beef sandwich. Was excited by the look of it, an open faced pile of shaved beef on soft bread, but the flavour was merely of the horseradishy sauce. It didn't have any other flavours going on and seemed as though the beef was solely a vehicle for the sauce and didn't have a flavour of its own. My date had the chicken pot pie with a beet/raisin compote. The compote was fantastic - the beets exploding with flavour. The pie had a nice crust, flaky and beautifully baked. The filling again was okay, though nothing I would recommend as a must-try. $30 each for shared frites and 2 mains with tax/tip. No wine or dessert (just too hot!). Clientele mixed - business lunches, friends, museum-goers.
In the end, I think I would give it another try on the chance we picked lacklustre dishes, but I would do so with the knowledge that it would likely be the last try.
It's funny you reported on this- I was there the day before you for lunch! It was my first time at a JK resto, and because the Gardiner is much closer to where I work it was more feasible for lunch.
I went with my mom and due to the previous night's celebrations I was not feeling up for a hearty lunch if you get my drift. We shared 3 plates- the beet and goat cheese salad, the cheese plate, and of course the fries. We sat outside because after you walk through the museum it is decievingly cool outside (the AC was on full blast), but by the end of the meal we were melting.
The meal begins with a bread basket with butter and a delicious dip- when we asked the waiter I believe he said it is a navy bean dip? Something like that..light but so good. The plates were a tad crowded on the tiny tables, but no matter, they were delicious. The salad consisted of slices of red/yellow beets and goat cheese, sprinkles with pistachios and arugala on the side..not sure if they were drizzled with something! Absolutely delicious though. The cheese plate was great, Quebec artisan cheeses I believe, with walnuts (i think they were salted- but even they were delicious), pear slices and light-as-air crackers (possibly homemade?)...the only complaint (not really though!) was that by the time we had each had a taste and pondered over our favourites, we had forgotten what cheese was what! That really is our own fault though. The fries? What can I say...I didn't think you really could improve on "fries" but somehow it's possible! Unfortunately it doesnt seem like the Gardiner location carries the daily poutine creation like the JWKB does- I would've loved to try that. My next stop will definitely be the WB!