Though Mrs. Biederhof, Monty, and Veda play central roles in the world of Mildred Pierce, in Mildred’s Temple Kitchen, they’re covered in sauce and served on shared plates. Restaurateurs Donna Dooher and Kevin Gallagher discovered their mutual love for the classic novel and film when working in an upscale restaurant in Ottawa. Their shared passion for local, approachable cuisine led them to open their warehouse-district eatery in 1989, though they eventually settled in Liberty Village, where they continue to serve their character-inspired dishes with the aid of a diverse team of chefs.
Their chefs draw from a range of culinary backgrounds to reinvent classic dishes with global twists, such as gnocchi poutine, Sri Lankan–style shrimp and crab cakes, and chicken biryani. Though many of their menu items change seasonally, some have been menu mainstays since the beginning, including burgers hand-ground in house, profiteroles infused with Lindt chocolate, and pancakes hand-raised on a farm. To ensure each dish lives up to its potential, staff members seek out the freshest potatoes, asparagus, strawberries, and other produce on twice-weekly visits to the Ontario Food Market and use only Ocean Wise–certified fish.
Servers ferry dishes to small tables and a large, communal harvest table in the contemporary dining space, where hardwood floors contribute a rustic aesthetic and railroad-side windows spill in natural light while keeping out engine noises and railway bandits. A slightly raised, open kitchen lets diners watch their chefs prepare the meal, and an outdoor patio lets them bask in warmer weather.