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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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January 18, 2019

This is the second time in the last couple months that I've gone to this restaurant and it was freezing cold. Lovely otherwise, but not recommended until the weather warms up.

Ambiance: 1/5

Cuisine: 4/5

Service: 4/5

January 8, 2019

We ordered the prix fixe dinner to celebrate my birthday. The food was delicious and the portions were sizable. I ordered the caprese salad, escargot, seafood pasta, and creme brulee. My bf also had the caprese salad and then ordered the bruschetta, duck, and brownie cake. Our server was very attentive. Great experience! Would definitely recommend!

Ambiance: 5/5

Cuisine: 5/5

Service: 5/5

January 5, 2019

Lovely dinner, so tasty, lots of perfectly cooked vegies. Potatoes could have been warmer. Loved sitting by the window but it is a bit drafty -- don't know how you could insulate windows and still maintain charm, unless you got new double or triple pain glass. Overall, it was great dining experience.

Ambiance: 5/5

Cuisine: 5/5

Service: 5/5

January 1, 2019

Great food. Reasonable prices.

Ambiance: 4/5

Cuisine: 4/5

Service: 5/5

December 31, 2018

Great service, calm and quiet environment, happy with my visit!

Ambiance: 3/5

Cuisine: 4/5

Service: 5/5

December 23, 2018

Unfortunately The atmosphere and service level has gone down hill over the years since the original owner passed on. The interior has not been maintained, lighting didn't work, music wasn't even playing, complete opposite to what we used to be greeted by. The food was still good but the experience overall was not what we expected. Too bad, we won't be returning. Now it explains why there were no guests.

Ambiance: 2/5

Cuisine: 5/5

Service: 3/5

December 18, 2018

Server seemed to get annoyed when we asked for separate bills and left us waiting quite a while after this. Cleared other tables to make us wait.while in middle of our transactions. but her service good up until then and food great.Perhaps staff should ask before running bill...thanks

Ambiance: 5/5

Cuisine: 5/5

Service: 4/5

December 16, 2018

Terrific meal - very tasty Eggs Florentine, nice coffee. Prompt, friendly service

Ambiance: 4/5

Cuisine: 5/5

Service: 5/5

December 12, 2018

Service was great and food good as always. Two guests had Maple Chicken Salad always a must have. One had Vegetarian Pizza with Brie which was delicious. Only problem the kitchen over cooked something so restaurant got rather smoky causing us eye irritation and clogged sinuses. Once windows opened improved. The kitchen is close to tables so easy for this to happen. Great place to visit when in the area.

Ambiance: 4/5

Cuisine: 4/5

Service: 5/5

December 8, 2018

Great service, delicious meal!

Ambiance: 5/5

Cuisine: 5/5

Service: 5/5

November 19, 2018

Always delicious

Ambiance: 4/5

Cuisine: 5/5

Service: 5/5

November 6, 2018

Love this place - the food and service superb!

Ambiance: 4/5

Cuisine: 5/5

Service: 5/5

November 4, 2018

Simple food, extremely well prepared. Best calamari I've had in years. Outstanding escargot. etc.

Ambiance: 5/5

Cuisine: 5/5

Service: 5/5

October 29, 2018

This restaurant is located in a cute little pocket that in the warmer months would likely be a hub of the community. The atmosphere is rustic French and the service is very attentive. We were both very impressed with our dinners and dessert. We will try to return on our next AGO visit!

Ambiance: 4/5

Cuisine: 5/5

Service: 5/5

October 25, 2018

As always a wonderful experience. The food was superb and the service was excellent. We will be back!!

Ambiance: 5/5

Cuisine: 5/5

Service: 5/5

October 24, 2018

this lunch was to say good bye to a coworker changing positions. I had the omlette and salad and she had the Nicoise Salad. The omlette was so tasty and fluffy! Her dish was amazing, fresh and well made. Thanks for another great meal!

Ambiance: 5/5

Cuisine: 5/5

Service: 5/5

October 21, 2018

Our waitresses were excellent. Yam soup was delish. The warm chocolate cake/dessert was to die for..

Ambiance: 3/5

Cuisine: 4/5

Service: 5/5

October 18, 2018

One of our fave restaurants from twenty years ago, and it's just as good as memory serves. French Onion soup was amazing.

Ambiance: 4/5

Cuisine: 5/5

Service: 5/5

October 18, 2018

Food and service was great. The restaurant is a little tight for space, but was not a problem. Would happily return.

Ambiance: 3/5

Cuisine: 5/5

Service: 5/5

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

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