The Harbord Room


We almost never find ourselves in this neighborhood so do not know too many places around. The Harbord Room was top of the lists and we spontaneously decided to give it a shot.

Our search for The Harbord Room took a bit longer than anticipated as we struggled to find the address. From the outside, the signage just read THR & Co in white and orange serif letters on a black background. The corner restaurant had warm brick cladding and a large side patio, onto the small street. We remembered seeing the lively, animated patio here in the summer days.

We entered into a narrow white-walled vestibule, and this corridor layout carried into the main room which lead to the hostess stand. The dining room of muted neutrals with the brick wall continuing on one side welcomed us in. The environment consisted of a lovely muted-pink banquette, grey marble tabletops, white ribbed ceiling with pot lights and some glass jar-inspired light features. We sat at a table right across from a metal wall with some subtle colours from the stained areas.

Jake, our polite waiter, was with us in no time to fill up our water glasses. We took a while exploring the menu - a single-sided, letter-size, black and white card-stock. The writing was quite tiny in size so anyone with vision problems, don't forget them glasses! Layout-wise, it was comfortably contained on the page, with a wide white margin all around. There were at least three fonts used on there, so it felt trendy and fun. A separate more specialized wine map, laid out a bit more traditionally, also landed on the table. The food menu included a drink section as the meal options were not too many, which we both appreciated. There were plenty of choices to tempt us.
Mon cheri noted that there was a lot of staff, for what it felt to be just the two of us. We really were the first clients in the restaurant, as it had only opened 30 min before we came in.
As we made our order, we asked Jake to give us recommendations for a couple glasses of wine. He let us taste quite a few before we landed on our decisions - Viognier Blend from Languedoc and a Nymphs Sacre which was their feature wine. The Viognier blend was light, in comparison to the smooth Nymphs Sacre, but they both finished with crispness.
While waiting for our dishes, we enjoyed their psychedelic rock playlist. We were not given any bread to get us started in between. At the same time, it seemed rather quick for our dishes were to arrive. As Jake said, it pays to be the first one in.

Our gnocchi came piled in a deep dish and covered in plenty of grated sheep's cheese and topped with roasted pumpkin seeds as well as a few fried leaves of sage and rosemary - memorable and enhancing garnishes. The tender gnocchi was definitely freshly made. It was surrounded by roasted butternut squash chunks as well as oyster mushrooms. We felt the ladder was in disguise as it was had to differentiate from the gnocchi, yet it's disguise was done once inside our palettes - it's chewy texture became very prominent. We both really enjoyed this dish. Even-though we had picked the Viognier blend to accompany this dish, the Nymphs Sacre did a better job accompanying it
Secondly we had their award winning Buttermilk Fried Chicken with Slaw. The dish was presented on a wooden board with the chicken in a clay pot. The chicken itself had quite a few lovely pieces without any bone but just tender juicy meat, as well as a couple of ones with plenty of bones and tendons, to occupy us away from enjoying the dish. The barter was perfectly done - crispy, uneven, and slightly spiced. The sides of this dish are what brought it to life, adding an intriguing character. Adding a layer of zesty flavour, the slaw was a usual suspect, however the chef even involved the hot sauce for a more holistic kick. We learned from Josh that he added some pineapple to it. Lastly, to add an extra (harmonious) layer to the chicken was their garlic mayo. We both agreed that it really made the dish. As per Jake's recommendation, again the Nymphs Sacre was the better choice - complimenting this dish fully.

By the end of our visit, the music had morphed into more of underground hip hop. Either way, it was consistently unique and not overly loud.
We had a nice chat with Josh as he inquired about our opinions on the dishes. It was great to have a waiter who is interested in more that just a nod and a smile.

The Harbord Room Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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