Happy Mother's Day! Here's to all you mothers out there :)
My brother, Dad and I took my Mom to a pre-celebration a couple weeks ago.
We went to the Gallery Grill. Fabulous and delicious food in the perfect, serene setting of Hart House at University of Toronto.
My typical Sunday consists of a homemade Sunday Brunch with savoury green onion waffles, poached eggs, smoked salmon, some random fruit and veg smoothie, and then a long afternoon slumber. Since I'm leaving for school in a week, my family and I decided to mix it up and go out for brunch instead. However, we wanted something a little more innovative than the typical brunch and opted for Gallery Grill at Hart House at the University of Toronto St. George Campus.
They change the menu often in order to accommodate local produce and organic goods as well as naturally-raised foods, so I didn't really know what to expect going in.
The Atmosphere. Hart House is a huge castle-esqe building. If you're familiar with Hogwarts, then this is what you might expect. We were seated on the second floor balcony looking over a large hall (kind of like the Hogwarts Great Hall). The photo (above) is the view from our seat. The tall glass windows were a nice touch. The restaurant reminded me a lot of Cafe Alcazar in St. Augustine, Florida, which is also located inside a historical building of similar architecture.
House-made Cheddar Drop Biscuits with Chive Butter || $3.95
Usually when I think of biscuits, I think of Popeye's. These biscuits reminded me a lot of Popeyes except they were 10x fluffier, 10x more buttery, and topped with a subtle amount of crisp cheese. They came slightly warm, seemingly right out of the oven. Not to mention, Popeye's doesn't have any whipped chive butter on the side. Everywhere I looked (at other people's tables), I saw these cheddar drop biscuits. It's pretty obvious they're a popular favourite. I would probably go to Gallery Grill just for the biscuits.
bread || with meal
The olive bread and wheat bread with olive oil were lacklustre compared to the biscuits.
Grilled Beef Cheek with Mushroom Oats and Pecan BBQ sauce || $17.95
Beef cheek is one of the most tender pieces of meat and Gallery Grill has paired it beautifully with a lightly dressed salad to cut the fattiness. The mushroom oats add a different dimension of texture.
Roasted Pickerel with Pomelo Salad, Quinoa and Scallion Drizzle || $18.95
The two parts (salad and fish) tasted delicious together. However, after finishing the fish, the salad was way too acidic on its own.
Okonomiyaki Pancake with Fried Egg, Nori, Japanese Mayo, and Okonomi Sauce || $15.95
This is what I ordered. I've had okonomiyaki at TNT and there's always hesitation to order Asian cuisine at a non-Asian restaurant, but this dish was delightful. Okonomiyaki is a cabbage + flour pancake and Gallery Grill topped it with an egg to make it more breakfast-like. If there's two things I love it's eggs cooked over-easy and cabbage (separately). The odd pairing of the two was something I had never thought (or dreamed) of.
Warm Balsamic Apple Tart with Pistachio Gelato || $7.95
You can never go wrong with cooked apples and ice cream. There was no "tart" in this dessert, but I was expecting something doughy or flaky. After eating the dessert I found the "dough" was unnecessary, as the pistachio ice cream and cinnamon and sugar laced apples held their own.
This was no ordinary brunch. It was unique, delicious, and felt a lot like dinner rather than breakfast or lunch. Instead of my post-brunch nap, I took a stroll around the scenic U of T campus.
What are your Sunday rituals?