Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Gallows - ironically, full of life!

Last night I fulfilled my sentence with The Gallows. As ominous as that may sound, the experience was well worth the wait and subsequent meetings are sure to be in the near future.

This new bar restaurant opened its doors about two months ago and from what I have been told and what I myself experienced last night, it is a pretty hot spot. The fact that the place was buzzing with people and noise from 6 oclock onwards on a Wednesday night is a tribute to success in itself.

The Gallows took up shop where the old Sage used to be and I must say, they have done a great job refurbishing and giving the place a completely different style and feel. The interior is a cross between urban abstraction and old barnyard. It has a bar section in the front which does wonders for drawing in the crowds and a sit down restaurant in the back. Wooden panels cover any walls which are not brownstone and little lights are placed under certain boards, creating a neat shadow effect. Other lamps are hung from the ceiling and slightly mimic the style found in interrogation rooms. The effect is undeniable, you feel as though you are dining within the confines of a darkly historic building...heavy with ghoulish scars. The bathroom takes the cake however with its House on the Prairie dress hooked up on the wall by the sink with a crow perched right by it. Very eerie...

As far as food goes, I went with a pretty strict mission in mind (to tackle their cheeseburger) and I found it very hard not to get distracted by all the other delicious sounding menu items. There was a particular magnetic force behind their traditional poutine: hand cut fries smothered in gravy and cheese curds as well as their farmer's plate, which was a beautiful assortment of cheese, spreads and pickled vegetables. Luckily, I was able to resist these many temptations and I stayed true to my path...the cheeseburger was all I had built it up to in my mind...and more!
Perhaps part of this was because I had been cheeseburger deprived throughout my stint to Europe, but whatever the reason, nothing can deny the perfect juicy medium rare burger topped with a slice of american cheese (cheddar would have been better but for the additional 1.50 charge...), sautéed onions and homemade pickles all hugged nicely, but not overpowered, by a modest white bun. The size was perfect, it was a hefty burger, but one I managed to finish off without too much discomfort and the portion of fries was just right.

My friends tried a few other menu items, the arugula salad with grilled peaches and pecans was up as well as their infamous scotch egg. (soft boiled egg wrapped in sausage and deep fried...ooer). All dishes got a stamp of satisfaction from relatively tough judges.

To finish the experience off, we had their very own bananas foster brulé which was a monstrosity of layers including peanut butter, chocolate ganache, caramelized bananas and torched fluff to finish it off.

All in all, it was a great meal and dining experience, the staff were very nice and attentive and the usual opening kinks were nowhere to be found. The only thing I found a bit disheartening was the level of noise. It was not the music that was loud, but rather the accoustics of the place which made it seem that the room was fit to burst with noise. I don't enjoy yelling across the table at my friends and I am sure the waiters don't relish the fact that they have to belt out the dessert menu multiple times before everyone at the table hears it.

Apart from that, the restaurant is a go and one I will be returning to promptly.

1 comment:

  1. Scotch egg - heavenly! I have suffered from the unavailability of this delicacy outside of Sauchiehall St on a Saturday night. Next time I am in Boston I will hie myself to the gallows with a spring in my step and a light heart!