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.
Chef Brian Vallipuram garnered his flair for flavour in his birth country of Sri Lanka and honed it while training to become a Master Chef in kitchens across Europe and Pangea. After prestigious stints at various upscale eateries in Toronto, Brian headed to Rose Hall, Jamaica where he gleaned invaluable hotel-dining experience at the White Witch Restaurant at the Ritz Carlton Hotel. Currently rooted in Ottawa, Brian populates Grill Forty One's menu with handpicked fresh and local ingredients, enabling him to craft upscale dishes such as rack of lamb, slow-cooked duck, and Atlantic salmon.
Located inside the historic Lord Elgin Hotel, Grill Forty One takes its name from the year it came into fruition: 1941. Conceived of as a space where luxury mingles with warmth and a casual vibe, the eatery comprises a lounge with flat-screen TVs and huge windows where guests can gaze out onto vistas of Elgin Street and Confederation Park where squirrels are known to perform Shakespeare. Earth tones, wood trims, and a wall with built-in glass cabinets showcasing fine wines embellish the dining room. With booths and banquet seating, Grill Forty One accommodates those popping in for a cocktail before a night at the theatre or larger groups meeting for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
Baskin Robbins' worldwide expansion can be attributed to one thing: gourmet ice cream. More than 31 flavours fill its freezers, with classic flavours such as chocolate chip or butter pecan, and rotating seasonal flavours such as the cherry-filled black forest cake or green tea. Not content to just serve scoops, Baskin Robbins molds their ice cream into cakes, milk shakes, and sundaes made scrumptious by pieces of fresh fruit. Baskin's staff also swirls up soft serve cones, bowls, and parfaits filled with fruits and sweets. The ice creameries also indulge weight-conscious eaters with a menu of no-sugar-added sherbets, light yogurts, and sorbets.
Columbus Bakery's adept bakers employ Colombian ingredients and enthusiasm to craft a range of traditional sweet and savoury baked goods. A completely Colombian staff stuff baked and deep-fried desserts with tropical fillings, including guava and sweet arequipe, to satisfy diners and fight off packs of roving birthday cakes. Colombian coffee complements both traditional finger foods and baked goods. Bathed in natural light, the cafe space's tile floor, tall stools, colourful hanging lamps, and shelves piled with pastries welcome northerners with a South American flair.
Heart of the Hammer Cafe brings the best food, beverage, art, music and community activities available to Hamilton's downtown east-side, a neighbourhood flourishing with artists, entrepreneurs, families and neighbours who are getting to know each other.
Six days a week, the restaurant rustles up hearty lunch and dinner entrees and desserts. Its taste-procuring chefs make every meal from scratch, except for the eatery's microbrews and other bottled and on-tap beers, which require a brewery. Reward eggs for their tasty dependability at breakfast by letting them cavort with toast, home fries, and your choice of meat in the Deluxe breakfast ($5.95). Quesadillas ($7.95–$9.95) and wraps ($7.25–$9.50) are among lunchtime’s hearty morsels, as is the bacon-and-cheesy Banquet burger ($6.75), which inspires spontaneous adulation from nearby diners. To cleanse the palate, turn mild-mannered chicken wings ($0.50–$0.85 each) feisty by tossing in third-degree hot sauce. Mini-mes stay satiated with the children’s menu, in which spaghetti and tomato sauce ($4.95) share the spotlight with chicken fingers and fries ($4.95) and children's cancan lines.