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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 Café La Gaffe

Ratings & Reviews - Café La Gaffe

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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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April 15, 2019

Reservations are definitely recommended. We made reservations and our table was ready for us. The service was a bit slow since there was only 1 person waiting and serving tables. The food was good but was under seasoned, normally it's spot on perfect. The risotto was a bit undercooked. I would still go back, it's one of my favorite places to go on Baldwin.

Ambiance: 5/5

Cuisine: 4/5

Service: 4/5

April 13, 2019

My friends and I had a lovely lunch at Café la Gaffe, after a visit to the nearby AGO. I had made a reservation and a lovely table was ready for us, even though we arrived earlier than expected. The room was warm and inviting. Service was friendly and efficient. My meal was delicious (Sea Scallop Risotto) and my friends enjoyed their meals, as well. The price was reasonable and everyone was pleased with the experience, from start to finish. I had been there before, so I was more than happy to recommend it to my friends. We will all definitely return!

Ambiance: 4/5

Cuisine: 4/5

Service: 4/5

March 15, 2019

I was a little concerned when I noticed the menu had changed and two of my favourites were gone. However i had the chicken sandwich with brie and avocado, and now i have a new favourite. i will still miss the chicken salad with maple and walnut dressings and the Azorean Chourico risotto. :(

Ambiance: 5/5

Cuisine: 5/5

Service: 5/5

March 10, 2019

Love the funky queen west vibe mixed with a French flare. Food is always excellent and the service is great. Good food interesting part of town.

Ambiance: 5/5

Cuisine: 5/5

Service: 5/5

February 25, 2019

Good

Ambiance: 4/5

Cuisine: 5/5

Service: 5/5

February 13, 2019

Everything was wonderful. We lucked out as it was still Winterlicious so we ordered from that menu. The garlic/mushroom soup was amazing! Also, the steamed veggies were done perfect, with crunch left! I liked the atmosphere. Just small but quaint. Much nicer than large venues (Personal preference) Will definately visit again.

Ambiance: 5/5

Cuisine: 5/5

Service: 5/5

February 8, 2019

Great ambience, amazing service and out of this world French cuisine!!!! It’s a Gem in cosy DT neighborhood!!

Ambiance: 5/5

Cuisine: 5/5

Service: 5/5

February 8, 2019

A fabulous meal and a very reasonable price! Highly recommend and will be back soon.

Ambiance: 5/5

Cuisine: 5/5

Service: 5/5

February 8, 2019

Great steak, great food, great service. Is a little small for the restaurant, but the food here is amazing!

Ambiance: 4/5

Cuisine: 5/5

Service: 5/5

February 7, 2019

Lots of choices on Winterlicious menu. Duck was devine as were mashed potatoes. Good to return to this neighbourhood stalwart.

Ambiance: 4/5

Cuisine: 5/5

Service: 5/5

February 7, 2019

Cozy restaurant with really nice food! Escargot and lamb were delicious!!! Definitely recommend!!!

Ambiance: 5/5

Cuisine: 5/5

Service: 5/5

February 6, 2019

Me and my two friends went for Winterlicious. We really liked the appetizers (Le Gaffe Salad and Caprese salad) and main dishes (although the lamb stew would have gone great with some bread. But the seafood pasta dish and the salmon were great). The chocolate cake was great but the crème brulee and cheesecake were just 'ok'. There was only 1 server on duty, but she didn't seem to friendly. Also, we all ordered coffee but the cappuccino came in a glass that was too hot to hold and drink.

Ambiance: 4/5

Cuisine: 4/5

Service: 2/5

February 5, 2019

Table for one! Winterlicious delicious.

Ambiance: 5/5

Cuisine: 5/5

Service: 5/5

February 5, 2019

A great find through Winterlicious.

Ambiance: 5/5

Cuisine: 5/5

Service: 5/5

February 3, 2019

The food was so delicious and the services wasso great.

Ambiance: 5/5

Cuisine: 5/5

Service: 5/5

February 3, 2019

Absolutely phenomenal meal. The taste of the food, the service, the cozy atmosphere all made our Saturday. The escargot were buttery and lovely. The lamb shank and steak were cooked to perfection and the creme brulee was delectable!

Ambiance: 5/5

Cuisine: 5/5

Service: 5/5

February 3, 2019

Had winterlicious dinner here, food was amazing, good quality food & broad selections for the price. The atomsphere was way below the average comparing other restaurants, we were asked to sit on the hallway right beside the kitchen. The table was small and the seat was very uncomfortable. I had to sit back to back with customer next to us and there was nowhere I can hang my winter coat. The area was smoky, you can smell the smoke from the kitchen. We asked if we could sit in the dinning area in the front given there were many empty tables, but we were declined by the female server and were told that there was reservation booked for a large group of people, and also some other people particularly asked for the front table as well. Well, how come we were never asked where we would like to seat when we were booking the reservation? There were always empty tables in the restaurant from the time we walked in to the time we left. Not sure what was going on with the restaurant management. You guys should provide more meaningful customer services training to your employees on the floor. I paid little tips in here when we checked out comparing with majority of the restaurants i’d ever been to in the past. I’ve been to many many summer/winterlicious restaurants ever since, unfortunately this is the only below average experience I’ve ever had. I might consider coming back because of the great food, meanwhile I wish I could have a better dinning experience if I come back next time...

Ambiance: 1/5

Cuisine: 5/5

Service: 2/5

February 3, 2019

The main course was warm not hot.

Ambiance: 4/5

Cuisine: 4/5

Service: 4/5

February 2, 2019

Atmosphere was very nice and warming! Service was absolutely amazing, very fast and smooth! Food was good, other than the veggies not being fully cooked.

Ambiance: 5/5

Cuisine: 4/5

Service: 5/5

February 2, 2019

nim nom nom nom nom. Great menu. Good selection for all types of eaters. Everything was tasty. The creme brulee was excellent.

Ambiance: 5/5

Cuisine: 5/5

Service: 5/5

January 28, 2019

Participated in winterlicious 2019 pre fixe menu and was disappointed that staff/chef do not know what are the ingredients used. Then we asked if we could order off regular menu & was told only winterlicious and another pre fixe option was available which had similar items. Also once wait staff seats you they forget about you, had to keep looking for them just to order and also to get drinks refilled. Have dined here previously but this time was below average experience, will not be returning.

Ambiance: 4/5

Cuisine: 2/5

Service: 2/5

January 27, 2019

We had an amazing dining experience at Cafe La Gaffe. The quaintest little French bistro right here in Toronto. Really wish I had noted what Pinot Grigio we had there.

Ambiance: 5/5

Cuisine: 5/5

Service: 5/5

January 27, 2019

The place looks a little outdated but the food was excellent. We were here for Winterlicious. Escargot for appetizer was superior. I love escargot and order it everywhere I go. But this place had the best escargot I ever tried. So was the lamb shank. Simply delicious! I'm not a great fan of desserts in general. So cream brule was OK for me. Overall I would definitely recommend this place.

Ambiance: 4/5

Cuisine: 5/5

Service: 4/5

January 27, 2019

Despite having a reservation, the only free table was in an awkward place, and not conducive to a lunch visit. We therefore had to wait for about 20-25 minutes for a table. the waitress was not very attentive (eg. no sugar with coffee). The food was disappointing, despite the wide variety of options for mains.

Ambiance: 3/5

Cuisine: 2/5

Service: 2/5

January 27, 2019

Three of us went here as part of Winterlicious. Food was great. Service was perfect. A very nice atmosphere in a local restaurant. I'd highly recommend it. The restaurant is not flashy or modern but more quaint and comfortable.A great experience.

Ambiance: 5/5

Cuisine: 5/5

Service: 5/5

January 27, 2019

It was a nice environment, but the waitress brought me the wrong order. When she corrected it, it still wasn't right as the menu description didn't match the food. The chefs combined the two dishes as the salmon dish she bought me had capers which wasn't included with the chicken I had ordered, but when the chicken came it had capers and missing avocado. Other than that, it was good food and a nice environment

Ambiance: 5/5

Cuisine: 5/5

Service: 3/5

January 28, 2019

Service started off slow but picked up quickly after that

Ambiance: 5/5

Cuisine: 5/5

Service: 4/5

January 28, 2019

We had a great winterlicious experience and we will sure go back

Ambiance: 5/5

Cuisine: 5/5

Service: 5/5

January 26, 2019

Had to sit by the kitchen and were interrupted by staff often as we were sitting in front of a door that they required to go in and out of. Very cramped seating in this area as well. Too bad because the food was excellent.

Ambiance: 1/5

Cuisine: 5/5

Service: 3/5

January 24, 2019

Server did her job but seemed a bit disinterested One meal was great; the other good but not as good as usual Dessert was past its prime. Not my best experience at this restaurant that I frequent

Ambiance: 4/5

Cuisine: 3/5

Service: 3/5

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