Add a photo

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
Sort by:
Language:
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.

Are you the owner? Reply or Contact YP
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!

Are you the owner? Reply or Contact YP
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
Are you the owner? Reply or Contact YP
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
Are you the owner? Reply or Contact YP
October 13, 2018

Great experience all around!!

Ambiance: 5/5

Cuisine: 5/5

Service: 5/5

October 2, 2018

We both enjoyed the excellent prix fixe menu, which includes a wide choice of items at a reasonable price. Also, a good selection of wine and beer, and very friendly and considerate service. We'll be back!!

Ambiance: 4/5

Cuisine: 5/5

Service: 5/5

October 2, 2018

Simply Amazing!! Will be my favorite restaurant!! Everything about this little gem is perfection!

Ambiance: 5/5

Cuisine: 5/5

Service: 5/5

September 29, 2018

This was a celebration lunch for a coleague and proved to be the perfect venue for this type of event. The weather was warm enough to sit in the covered outdoor area at the back of the restaurant. It felt more like beong at someone's home with an ontimate cosy atmosphere. Some of us had the pizza chosen from a choice of 5 or 6 options with mouth watering selection of toppings . A nice surpirse was that there was a small anount of salad that accompanied the pizza, just the rogjt amount to complement the pizza. Those who chose the speciality salads.were equally pleased with portion size. The price was very reasonable given the pleasant atmosphere, attentive service and delious food with good size portions. This is a very established restautant on Baldwin street and I can understand why. I plan to go back soon.

Ambiance: 5/5

Cuisine: 5/5

Service: 5/5

August 31, 2018

We reserved a table on Aug. 27. The restaurant was understaffed. The waiter told us about 15 people walked in so we would be served in order. Poor guy. The air conditioning wasn't working. We could hear pots and pans clanging from the kitchen. Not relaxing either. We walked out without ordering. Won't be back. They shouldn't have travelzoo vouchers when they're understaffed.

Ambiance: 2/5

Cuisine: 1/5

Service: 2/5

August 30, 2018

Terrific

Ambiance: 5/5

Cuisine: 5/5

Service: 5/5

August 30, 2018

Really cute little restaurant in a nice area of town.The food was nice and flavourful and I really struggled to decide what rating to give it and the service - would have given them both 3 1/2 stars if that was an option. It was certainly good value for the voucher,It's just that the restaurant bills itself as authentically French and yet lacks certain details that would support that authenticity - in France or any really authentic French restaurant, steak would typically be served with "frites" - here it is served with a choice of mashed potatoes or rice (who serves steak with rice?) The escargot were good but my friend's salad was swimming in balsamic vinegar and it would have been nice to get more than one piece of bread to mop up the garlic butter with (it was never offered and none came with the main dishes which had copious sauces) .Red wine was served warm ( a true French restaurant would know that red wine should be served at a temperature "a la cave" - slightly cool). My friend's meat arrived without the promised sauce, although the server noticed before she said anything and whisked it away, but I was left waiting to eat my food until he returned with her plate, which took several minutes. Add to that a lack of air conditioning on an extremely hot and muggy day and you have an experience which is less than ideal.I sometimes get the feeling that when you come in with a voucher, the restaurant may feel that it doesn't have to try as hard and skimps on the details, but I would have preferred that the restaurant offer less options and execute the offerings better. Since neither my friend nor I had eaten at this restaurant before, this was their opportunity to impress us and there are other restaurants in Toronto which serve more authentic and better executed French cuisine. Would I return? Possibly, but only when the weather is cooler.

Ambiance: 4/5

Cuisine: 3/5

Service: 3/5

August 26, 2018

Second time here, very different experience. Empty restaurant but told all seats reserved. Shoved into a tiny corner table , two large people, very uncomfortable. Hostess less than friendly and dismissive. One waiter overwhelmed and forgetful.

Ambiance: 3/5

Cuisine: 3/5

Service: 3/5

August 25, 2018

Third time there in two weeks. Consistently delicious, excellent service. Shout out to Emma!!! Made sure I surprised friends for their birthday..

Ambiance: 5/5

Cuisine: 5/5

Service: 5/5

August 24, 2018

Really Enjoyed! Beautiful day & great table on patio. Lovely waitress who was so accommodating. Had steak redone a bit more and they generously gave us a new plate with a second helping of the vegetables. Tasty food all round! Would recommend & go back :)

Ambiance: 5/5

Cuisine: 5/5

Service: 5/5

August 23, 2018

Fantastic food, excellent waiter. We had an enjoyable evening.

Ambiance: 4/5

Cuisine: 5/5

Service: 5/5

August 21, 2018

Food was great and so was the service.

Ambiance: 5/5

Cuisine: 5/5

Service: 5/5

August 17, 2018

It is small cozy restaurant with a great informal atmosphere. The restaurant itself is not sure conditioned and with heat wave in Toronto sitting inside would have been unbearable. Fortunately we were able to get the last table in the back patio where it was more comfortable. The patio is first come first serve and even though we had a reservation a patio table could not be guaranteed which is unfortunate

Ambiance: 4/5

Cuisine: 5/5

Service: 4/5

August 16, 2018

Excellent as always!!

Ambiance: 5/5

Cuisine: 5/5

Service: 5/5

August 14, 2018

Had high expectations for this restaurant. Love the location. I adore French cuisine but am open to all other styles of cooking. Sadly the food was a bit disappointing. The only thing that was consistently excellent was the service. The salad was wet and soggy, had no flavour despite the ingredient list, it had to be salted and I never salt excellent food. Seafood pasta was ok. The use of bay scallops was disappointing.The steak was to be rare, but wasn't.Too thinly cut for a steak.Creme brulee also flavourless, not a hint of even vanilla. The cheesecake: unremarkable not exquisite.Very tight seating outdoors and a huge ant problem that made the dining somewhat unpleasant.

Ambiance: 4/5

Cuisine: 3/5

Service: 5/5

August 12, 2018

Food and service were very good. But we sat in the terrace at the back and it was frankly a bit shabby and run-down.

Ambiance: 2/5

Cuisine: 4/5

Service: 4/5

August 12, 2018

food was great and the service was great just needs a little updating for the seating area

Ambiance: 3/5

Cuisine: 5/5

Service: 5/5

July 22, 2018

Service was great, fast, sat on front patio was nice. Main course was great. Only issue was the escargot app tasted burnt. Other then that everything was great

Ambiance: 5/5

Cuisine: 4/5

Service: 5/5

July 23, 2018

Seating was not very comfy. Atmosphere quaint as expected. A few repairs wouldn't hurt. The service was okay. Food was good. Salad too much olive oil...grilled chicken was amazing and ice cream with poached peach was great.

Ambiance: 3/5

Cuisine: 4/5

Service: 3/5

July 22, 2018

Probably would normally have passed by it without going in, but I booked it online as it was part of this year's Summerliscious and the menu looked pretty good. It had a small patio area which is where we sat. We were a little early and waited inside for a table to clear. It was pretty warm inside, the doors were open so I suspect there was no air conditioning on. It looked a little grubby but we were seated on the front patio right at 1:30pm which was the time I had booked for. They did offer to seat us earlier but in the back and I didn't want that. The service was excellent; the staff were really friendly and the food was plentiful and fantastic. We had salads to start which were very fresh and well presented. We had the chicken for the main, which was in some kind of mustardy sauce. It was very good and was accompanied by potato, a chunk of beetroot and carrots and green beans, all fresh and lovely and hot, followed by Crème Brulee. Wine is available by glass and 1/2 litre as well as bottle. We will be back!!

Ambiance: 4/5

Cuisine: 5/5

Service: 5/5

July 21, 2018

Our waitress was very rude. We ordered Summerlicious and it was clear the salads just came from the fridge because they arrived 30 seconds after we ordered. The restaurant was extremely hot. It took 20 minutes for us to pay for our meals because the waitress kept taking away the payment machine after each person paid, and only returning 5 minutes later. Overall a very poor experience.

Ambiance: 1/5

Cuisine: 2/5

Service: 1/5

July 21, 2018

This restaurant was ridiculously hot as there is no A/C inside and one sad little fan to cool the entire space. It was difficult to sit through to finish the meal since we were all sweating while we tried to eat. Food was mediocre and the dessert didn’t even come with all the components listed in the menu. Difficult to get the attention from the waitress as they seemed a bit understaffed, though she was pleasant enough. Will not be returning again.

Ambiance: 1/5

Cuisine: 3/5

Service: 4/5

July 20, 2018

our reservation was at 4:30 but when we got there the server said kitchen is not open until 5. I was expecting better/same quality of food as when i had it last time for winterlicious. but I was disappointed. the snail was bitter, the boulabbaise wasn't good. the mussel (appetizer) smelled fishier than normal.

Ambiance: 5/5

Cuisine: 3/5

Service: 4/5

July 20, 2018

My colleagues and I came by for lunch for their summerlicious menu. We ordered the beef carpaccio and caprese for starters and the seafood pasta and mushroom risotto for our mains. While I cannot speak for the caprese and seafood pasta, I can say that their food is not good. Our beef carpaccio (which is supposed to be raw) was cooked. How did you manage that? The mushroom risotto was a mess. We literally dug around for mushroom in a plate full of roasted red pepper and way too much sundried tomato which was incredibly overpowering. On top of that, blue cheese was added to the risotto. There was so many different flavor profiles going on that I did not enjoy it. My colleagues felt the same way (three of us ordered the "mushroom" risotto). Aside from the food, the restaurant does have a very nice atmosphere to it. It felt cozy but a tad too warm inside. The service was great. Servers were attentive and quick to pick up our plates and fill our water. Much appreciated! We would not return or recommend.

Ambiance: 4/5

Cuisine: 1/5

Service: 4/5

July 19, 2018

We went for summerlicious and had a great time. I enjoyed my seafood pasta (though it could’ve used more seafood) and cheesecake.

Ambiance: 5/5

Cuisine: 5/5

Service: 5/5

July 18, 2018

My wife and I last came here 25 years ago when we were at UofT. We were very sad to see that almost nothing had changed. Yep same 25 year old chairs, benches, tables and decor. The bohemian look was great back then but now it just looks dumpy. Service was okay and the food was good value for the money. I wouldn’t recommend the basmati coconut rice that was just bland.

Ambiance: 1/5

Cuisine: 4/5

Service: 4/5

July 17, 2018

it was a very good visit at your place, we'll come agian... thank you

Ambiance: 4/5

Cuisine: 4/5

Service: 4/5

July 17, 2018

Food is amazing but the place is really hot. The place need a better ventilation and need an AC.

Ambiance: 2/5

Cuisine: 5/5

Service: 5/5

July 14, 2018

Great little place.. Food was excellent.. However furniture could use some updating especially chairs.

Ambiance: 4/5

Cuisine: 5/5

Service: 4/5

July 13, 2018

It was very pleasant to sit outside in the shade of a large tree. The food was very good. I had the soup. It was delicious but more appropriate of a cold winter day. The risotto was also delicious , the presentation a bit blah. My husband had the caprese salad and the duck. Both were very good. The crème brûlée was nice and creamy with a beautiful crust. A bit more vanilla would make it even better. I did not enjoy the unorthodox Sangria ( fake cherry flavoured drink, reminds me of cough syrup ) it was however replaced with my choice of beer, no problem. I appreciated that. The service is most efficient, a little smile here and there would have been welcome. The draft beers were unfortunately not available, neither was the IPA one.

Ambiance: 4/5

Cuisine: 5/5

Service: 4/5

Get an opinion about this business!

Think your friends might be familiar with this business? Ask your friends on Facebook to see what they think.

Appears in 11 Smart Lists

Editor’s Pick
Contact this business
Close menu
Subscribe to YP Newsletter