After reading all the good reviews for Gezellig, I embarked my family to go there for Sunday brunch. Being in Westboro, it was the perfect distance to do the cycle with my 8 year old son (his first ride of the season). I had scouted the menu before hand to make sure there would be something my son could eat.
I was very impressed by the service and the food at Gezellig. My son ordered the breakfast poutine which was a poached egg with hollandaise sauce on top of fries and fried pork belly. The egg was perfectly poached and the hollandaise sauce was rich and very lemony which was the perfect foil for the fries. My son loved this dish…he even took some of my potatoes to soak up the sauce at the bottom of the bowl.
My husband ordered the fried eggs (sunny side up) on top of bread layered with pork rillet and goat cheese with a small side of greens and sundried tomatoes. The pork rillet was the star of this dish. It had the richness and a full flavour reminiscent of a pate.
I ordered the frittata with wild leeks, fiddleheads, duck confit and goat cheese with fried fingerling potatoes. I enjoyed the frittata but I think it could have had a bit more duck; otherwise, the other ingredients were well distributed and contributed nicely to the overall taste. However, I think next time if I had the choice, I would go with the fried eggs.
The cappuccino was well brewed using Bridgehead coffee. The green tea was a oolong green tea and very flavourful.
The service was amazing…I was very impressed, the waiter addressed my son and talked to him with the same respect as any other customer. He offered him his choices of beverages. The drinks were prompt, the food advice was spot on. The timing was well done.
After such a good experience at Gezellig, it encouraged me to book our 25th wedding anniversary dinner at Play Food and Wine, another Beckta restaurant. It is a sister restaurant in the market that offers small plates.
Again, looking at the menu online, I was able to see what dishes my son would want to eat. I was pleasantly surprised that there was more than 1 or 2 choices. We were not disappointed with the food. We ordered the 5 cheese plate, the mixed charcuterie plate (dried sausage, salami, prosciutto, chorizo), boar sausage, pork belly, scallops, and hanger steak.
The hanger steak was marinated in a soy marinade whose flavour complimented the steak. Accompanying the steak was fries with aioli sauce which my son devoured.
The pork belly was deep fried with a crispy outer skin. The accompanied beans had an amazing sweet maple flavour with the walnuts adding a nice crunchy texture. The scallops were seared perfectly. I think the boar sausage was the most disappointing. The sausage itself was normal. The accompaniments were the star. The squash puree had a sweet taste with a spicy bite at the end. The mustard was bold but it over took the flavour of the sausage.
The desserts were excellent and a perfect size considering the richness. We shared the chocolate pate with lemon chantilly and almond cookie chunks and white chocolate creme brule. These desserts paired well with the green tea and cappuccino.
My only disappointment was the service was a little slow. Not sure if they were under staffed. When we ordered drinks, my husband and my wine were brought to the table quickly but my son’s special lemonade took quite a long time to appear. It appeared with the cheese and meat plates. Our server did not seem too comfortable with interacting and including my son as part of the ordering experience. He neglected to ask him what he wanted to drink until I had to intervene and ask what drinks were available for him.
It also took a long time for someone to take our dessert order (at least 10 minutes). I give our server credit for asking Stephen Beckta to come and ask while he was still busily taking orders from a table of 8.
It seemed to take some time between finishing our cheese and meat platters to getting our hot dishes. The 4 hot dishes came out at the same time. I would have preferred to wait less between the cheese plate and be served the hot dishes as they were ready. As we were doing the small plate sharing, there was no need to have all the dishes out at the same time.
I quite enjoyed the small plate concept and being able to order a 3oz glass of wine that can match the dish. It allows me to be able to taste many different and orthogonal dishes in the same meal.
In the end it was still an enjoyable meal that the whole family liked and was still a good choice for the 25th anniversary.