November 15, 2012

The Gabardine

I've heard so many great things about The Gabardine that I couldn't be more excited to finally try it out for myself. My friends and I met up for a Friday lunch. We arrived promptly before 11:30 so we luckily were able to snatch a table for 7, quite a difficult feat for such a small restaurant. The place soon filled up within 10 minutes of opening for lunch service and remained extremely busy throughout our meal. Note that The Gabardine does not take reservations for lunch.
Ivan had the fish pie ($20) with with clams, mussels, haddock,smoked trout, mashed potato and buttermilk biscuit. The "pie" turned out to be more like a seafood chowder. I tried a spoonful and it was luxuriously rich and creamy, maybe a little too heavy for lunch.
Sandy and I shared a shrimp po'boy ($15) with butter lettuce, tomato relish and aioli. I was so glad we settled on ordering this as it turned out to be my favourite dish on the table! What really stood out was the sweet tomato relish, which packed a punch of flavour. It was a difficult to contain everything in the sandwich - the delicately fried shrimp, in particular - into one bite, but the resulting combination was absolutely delicious!
Mona and Alexa shared the sirloin bacon cheeseburger ($18), which they both reported to be too salty. We also couldn't finish that mountain of fries, despite our best efforts
And lo and behold... we have the Gabardine's famous mac and cheese. We tried the version with smoked ham ($18). To me, mac and cheese is the epitome of comfort food, and I've heard nothing but praise for the Gabardine's version. I have to say that it was superbly cheesy. Perhaps I didn't love cheese as much as I thought I did, but I found it all a bit overwhelming after a short while. I also wanted more of that breadcrumb crust, but maybe that was obscured by the smoked ham. I would be happy to share this with a table of 4, but eating its entirety would be too indulgent. 
I really wanted to try dessert here, but after chowing down my po'boy and mooching off too much of that mac and cheese, my stomach had absolutely no room to spare. Overall, I enjoyed my sandwich immensely, but the mac and cheese didn't exactly live up to my expectations. That said, I'd definitely want to come back for dinner to try some of their other offerings.
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