Meet the owner

One sign of a good restaurant is the quality of its staff. If they’ve been there a while, you know you’re entering an establishment that’s trusted and focused on delivering a great experience. And if you find a spot where a staff member thought so highly of it he wanted to buy it, like Nathan Arulappu did at Café la Gaffe, then even better.

Nathan started working at the restaurant and immediately fell in love with its ambiance, food selection, location and team atmosphere. So when the opportunity came up in 2004 to take a more active role in the business, he leapt at it.

“When I went to university, I worked here,” says Nathan. While most of us leave our university jobs behind when we graduate, Nathan was drawn so strongly to Café la Gaffe, it felt like home. His connection to his team is strengthened by the fact that he has maintained his original position in the kitchen, remaining hands-on preparing the food, instead of hiding away in the back.

His employees appreciate seeing him working alongside them, and they can see how invested he is in the restaurant. “We work together as a team,” says Nathan of the staff and owners at Café la Gaffe.

Read the story of Cafe La Gaffe

Ratings & Reviews - Cafe La Gaffe

How would you rate this business?
  • Atmosphere: 3/5
  • Food: 5/5
  • Service: 3.5/5
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Restaurantica12
By

Everytime I think of this place I salivate

Great food! The Lamb Shank, the Chicken and pasta, the Risotto..ALL AMAZING! A must visit. I work close to this restaurant and my co-workers grab lunch from here once in awhile and each time I have been impressed. The fact that we go for lunch..indicates the fast service. The extension of the restaurant is..well imaginative.

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Restaurantica12
By

Best of Baldwin

I've been to Cafe la Gaffe several times, for both lunch and dinner, and I've never been disappointed. The food is delicious. I'm a vegetarian and have tried a few of their pizzas as well as their mushroom risotto, and all have been great. I've never had problems with the service (except for one silly incident where the waitress kept forgetting to bring me a tea bag for my tea). Overall, I find the place cozy and pleasant. The only issue is that their portions are huge and I always end up so full!

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Restaurantica12
By

If I'm on Baldwin, I'm probably at Cafe le Gaffe...

If I'm on Baldwin, I'm probably at Cafe le Gaffe. End of story. It is a cozy little French restaurant that I fell in love with many years ago. Although I find the accompanying salad over-dressed, they're pizzas are great. Well layered with toppings, I've never had a bad experience.

Atmosphere: 3/5
Food: 5/5
Service: 3/5
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Restaurantica12
By

Based on the lack of reviews you would think this...

Based on the lack of reviews you would think this place is a hidden gem. Fresh ingredients, interesting combinations, and an affordable wine list - what more could you ask for? The goat cheese pizza with madras curry spices sounds odd, but it's a wonderful combination.

Atmosphere: 3/5
Food: 5/5
Service: 4/5
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February 15, 2018

First visit and loved ambience. Fixed price menu was terrific. Good selection and well priced.

Ambiance: 5/5

Cuisine: 5/5

Service: 5/5

February 15, 2018

Very nice

Ambiance: 4/5

Cuisine: 4/5

Service: 4/5

February 9, 2018

Our first visit. Will come back.

Ambiance: 4/5

Cuisine: 4/5

Service: 4/5

February 8, 2018

I went for Winterlicious. It was great! I love the portion sizes, and the variety of food. The service was excellent. The seating was a little tight but that's to be expected for a smaller restaurant, and the music was a little bit loud, but it didn't bother me that much. Overall it was a great time.

Ambiance: 4/5

Cuisine: 5/5

Service: 5/5

February 9, 2018

Had a wonderful time! the food is top notch and due to the "hole in the wall vibe" its nice that you can dress a bit more on the casual side and still enjoy some fine dining. They had a great variety of dishes, my girlfriend and I each chose different dishes for the app, entree, and dessert and every dish was amazing. The service was both responsive and friendly and each server had great knowledge of the dishes available. You can see the kitchen and your meal being prepared from your seat which is always a nice feature. If I were to have one complaint it is a very very minor one, the music which was playing during the dinner service I found to take a bit away from the atmosphere as there was a lot of indigenous chanting and throat signing. While I appreciate the music it's self and it's both nice and interesting to find somewhere that does give host to that music I found it did not really match the rest of the atmosphere presented at the time, perhaps having it during the lunch service would be more fitting. Again, this is a very minor and personal preference which should not detract anyone from coming to this amazing restaurant and enjoying some fantastic food and service.

Ambiance: 4/5

Cuisine: 5/5

Service: 5/5

February 7, 2018

Great value. Food is quite good.

Ambiance: 3/5

Cuisine: 5/5

Service: 4/5

February 6, 2018

We had a great evening. The food was very good. I will recomend it.

Ambiance: 4/5

Cuisine: 5/5

Service: 5/5

February 5, 2018

Ambience...probably nice in the summer, but very cramped and cold in the winter. Service.....Very poor. Never was offered bread, pepper, was served soup with a tea spoon and never was followed up on the meal. Food.....tasty , generous portions and lots of choice..

Ambiance: 3/5

Cuisine: 4/5

Service: 2/5

February 3, 2018

Came in was given the winterlicious menu only no other choice there but $33 menu while website has whole menu. Water never refilled, it's basic service any restaurant Entree very small it seemed like a "winterlicious" portion. Food was decent but so small its a snack. We both ate burger king after and loved it more. At end "do you need change" I said no its okay giving tip. No thank you for coming, enjoy your night etc pleasantries. Just took cash and left. It's just polite and want us to come back right? So many restaurants to choose from this will be forgotten in the crowd.

Ambiance: 4/5

Cuisine: 3/5

Service: 2/5

February 2, 2018

Menu in the women’s bathroom at eye level is a great touch 😊

Ambiance: 4/5

Cuisine: 5/5

Service: 5/5

February 2, 2018

Went for Winterliscious and it was fabulous! Loved the number of choices and the quality and taste of the food was superb. Highly recommend.

Ambiance: 5/5

Cuisine: 5/5

Service: 5/5

February 2, 2018

This is my second time at this restaurant and I love the decor, the service and of course the food. I wouldn't say I was blown away by the food. I am saving the last star for a life changing meal which I don't know if I will ever have one.

Ambiance: 5/5

Cuisine: 4/5

Service: 5/5

January 29, 2018

We sampled Winterlicious menu, which mostly tasted very good: bouillabaisse sauce was just right for my taste in terms of spicyness and thickness, though different from other places, it was delicious and served with it a side small bowl of rice; duck leg was tender, salmon with capers and lemon sauce just right, smoked duck, escargot and lemongrass soup did not fail the expectations. The only disappointment was crème-brûlée- it wasn’t light but rather thick and too generic, like something bought in a supermarket. Otherwise I’d give 5 stars. Service inside was prompt and courteous, with a smile and the waiter recommendations fit the taste. The team deserves a five-star rating: we booked through YP online but apparently it didn’t work - our reservation wasn’t on their list - I’d suggest calling the restaurant directly to reconfirm, and YP support- please fix your booking engine. The hostess found us a table regardless, but the place is quite small and had we arrived in “prime time” there would have been a problem because it was packed solid when we were leaving, and it was a birthday dinner. If you’re in a rush, and paying with a credit card come to pay at the cash register because wifi signal is weak and doesn’t reach all corners, if you’re seated at the entrance. It is quite cosy though, and stream of cold air when the door opens is neutralized by a portable heater by the door. Decor on the walls is some original paintings and vintage French posters, music playing on the background isn’t loud and allows a comfortable conversation, it would be perfect if they played some French classics or chanson from time to time to maintain the mood. Would come again.

Ambiance: 4/5

Cuisine: 4/5

Service: 4/5

January 29, 2018

It was pleasant and the service was great but the food was not above average

Ambiance: 4/5

Cuisine: 3/5

Service: 5/5

January 29, 2018

We really enjoyed our evening at Cafe La Gaffe, I'm glad to have found it online and I will definitely be back.

Ambiance: 5/5

Cuisine: 5/5

Service: 5/5

January 28, 2018

This wad my first time here. We were seated in the rear patio. I expected the atmosphere to be more upscale (cloth napkins as opposed to paper). Having said this the food & service were excellent. I would recommend!

Ambiance: 2/5

Cuisine: 4/5

Service: 5/5

January 24, 2018

A little cold but nice place to eat and chat.

Ambiance: 3/5

Cuisine: 5/5

Service: 4/5

January 17, 2018

Very good for a nice informal meal - service is attentive and the food is quite good.

Ambiance: 4/5

Cuisine: 4/5

Service: 4/5

January 14, 2018

It was amazing....

Ambiance: 5/5

Cuisine: 5/5

Service: 5/5

January 7, 2018

It is a small space in Baldwin Village - a little cramped but cozy. Eclectic decor and artwork. Interesting music choices. It was very day and thus very cold inside, despite being sat in a sunny spot. Great coffee and brunch menu options. My friend and I shared the duck confit omelette and banana french toast - both were yummy!

Ambiance: 4/5

Cuisine: 4/5

Service: 4/5

January 4, 2018

It was great

Ambiance: 5/5

Cuisine: 5/5

Service: 5/5

December 20, 2017

Amazing! My first time here and going back for dinner tomorrow! Yummy food, cutest place and reasonable prices... can't ask for more:)

Ambiance: 5/5

Cuisine: 5/5

Service: 4/5

November 30, 2017

Great place to have a dinner with friends in a quiet location downtown, consistently good bistro food.

Ambiance: 5/5

Cuisine: 5/5

Service: 5/5

November 19, 2017

I actually love the atmosphere of you mean decor....what I didnt like was all about he smoke from the kitchen entering the dining area....can't understand why you don't have a good fume hood?

Ambiance: 3/5

Cuisine: 5/5

Service: 5/5

November 20, 2017

Great food for a great price. Will definitely be back.

Ambiance: 5/5

Cuisine: 5/5

Service: 5/5

November 12, 2017

The flavours here are outstanding. The spicing is subtle but wonderful. The wine list offers hard to get, great value for money wines that match the food extremely well. There are a lot of alternatives on Baldwin Street but this is the winner!

Ambiance: 4/5

Cuisine: 5/5

Service: 5/5

November 12, 2017

Cozy, friendly, delicious, great value. Will be back.

Ambiance: 5/5

Cuisine: 5/5

Service: 5/5

September 23, 2017

Comfortable atmosphere for getting together and talking with friends. The service is competent and easygoing - attentive and not pushy. The food is very good for the money. Everything we had tasted as it should have.

Ambiance: 4/5

Cuisine: 4/5

Service: 5/5

September 21, 2017

Charming atmosphere but a bumpy ride getting to the back patio! Also, on hot days like yesterday, a fan for the staff would be nice.

Ambiance: 4/5

Cuisine: 5/5

Service: 5/5

September 11, 2017

Sumerlicious menu. I did not get items ordered as they were out of stock.The waiter did not inform e of this and simply substituted potatoes for rice which I hate. Quality was sub par compared to all previous visits.

Ambiance: 2/5

Cuisine: 2/5

Service: 2/5

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