Lunching at the new little bistro, The Gabardine, in downtown TO reminded me of similar meals in Paris and New York. French bistro details like schoolhouse lighting, a small space, perfectly but casually appointed down to the tall, bright red pepper-mill. Starters like whipped paprika deviled eggs on pea shoots drizzled in a balsamic reduction that reminded me of snacks on menus in Fort Green, Brooklyn. But The Gabardine left a wonderful impression with me for reasons all its own. Tarragon frites, a perfect chocolate cake with butter cream and ganache masquerading as an adorable Hostess cupcake, and a cocktail called El Diablo (tequila, cassis, ginger beer and lime) which I was told by one of the owners, was a recipe from a Mexican friend, so good they drank it all summer and she asked for the recipe. I would have too.
No matter what, do not leave without trying the burnt marshmallow ice cream sandwich. No seriously, ok? Good. You’re welcome, in advance.