Thursday, May 7, 2015

Garlic’s of London Successfully Combines all the Elements of a Perennial Favourite

Garlic’s of London 

Owner Edin Pehilj, known to most people as Edo

Guest Relations Manager, Emma Pratt

Watch Edo tell the story of Garlic's in this video by Nick Lavery of Take 5 Digital

On several occasions, I have stated that Garlic’s could be the prototype for the ethical modern Ontario restaurant. It celebrates seasonality and the uniqueness and idiosyncratic characteristics of the terroir. The farm-oriented cuisine accessible and familiar and brings a rural culinary sensibility to the table.  Now celebrating 22 years on Richmond Row, Garlic’s successfully combines all the elements of a perennial favourite – as delicious, affordable, top-of-the-line cooking, and using seasonal and high quality ingredients. More than that, the restaurant is among a select few that have a prevailing ethos of purpose.

Garlic’s offers some of the best farm-to-table cuisine in the city. The cooking has an innovative edge, and is made from scratch with inspiration from local and signature ingredients and seasonal products. The up tempo ambience of the dining room exudes sophistication and urbanity and there is an open kitchen. The restaurant is just steps from the Grand Theatre and a short walk to Budweiser Gardens.

Owner Edin Pehilj, known to most people as Edo, continues to appreciate that the shrewd money is on chefs and restaurants that express their ethics not only on the menu but in the dining room and the larger community. Pehilj recognizes the significance of professional, hospitable and informed service. The staff admires him because they know they can trust him. Customers love him because they can trust his menu and his commitment.  As a result, Pehilji has managed to instill the restaurant with integrity and consistency.

The cooking repertoire of chef Carla Cwoper is influenced by passion and a focused commitment to a philosophy that advances the economic, ecological and social values of the local culinary and agricultural community. They are proponents of good agricultural practices and good farming.

Leading a well-coordinated team of polished service professionals is Guest Relations Manager, Emma Pratt. Pratt is the personification of what it means to be a restaurant professional: hospitable, knowledgeable, detail-oriented and gracious. In fact, it was Pratt who originally hired Pehilj eighteen years ago. Pehilj’s is the quintessential immigration story. He arrived in Canada eighteen years ago from Mostar, the biggest and most important city of the Bosnia and Herzegovina region in the former Yugoslavia, by way of Bavaria, Germany. Pehilj did not speak a word of English, but within a week seven was employeed at Michael’s on the Thames. The rest, as they say, is history.

House smoked beef brisket pasta with Ontario mushrooms, leeks, white wine, garlic cream and house-made tagliatelle is quintessentially Northern Italian. The luscious pasta of the house-made cannelloni is melt in your mouth.The chorizo and beef burger is a blend of ground chuck, chorizo sausage buttermilk and fried onions.

Past dishes have included: pan-roasted Willow Grove Pork Loin with sweet and sour glaze, herb roasted fingerling potatoes, sautéed baby broccoli and garlic confit; Renecker Farm’s elk loin with creamy white bean and bacon cassoulet, green beans and tomato relish; Metzger’s free-range, dry-aged Angus Top Sirloin; braised Ontario Lamb Shank with truffled northern white bean and house-smoked bacon stew, veal stock, roasted mushrooms, and tomato relish; and Everspring Farm’s medium rare Muscovy duck breast with mushroom risotto, perfectly sautéed rapini and garnished with fig chutney.

Cooper’s churros (reminiscent of the Turkish tulumba only longer) are a house signature dessert and what legends are made of... Garlics also offer a $30.00 3 course prix fixe menu daily starting at 5pm.

The restaurant’s loyalty to supporting local and sustainable food and agriculture has been instrumental in helping to raise the bar for intelligent and ethical dining in London. The wine list is laudable with some great VQA’s and lots of international selections.

Garlic’s continues to embody the warm relationship between authentic culinary pleasure and thoughtfully prepared cuisine that have modern twists on tradition.

 Open Sunday through Thursday 11:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.,
Open Friday and Saturday 11:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.

Serving an à la carte Sunday Brunch 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

 481 Richmond St., London, 519-432-4092

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