CLOSED: G for Gelato and Espresso Bar (Toronto)

Location: Toronto, Canada
Address: 75 Jarvis Street
Type of Meal: Dinner

After hearing about G for Gelato and Espresso Bar from fellow food bloggers, I finally had a chance to try it when an Eat n Mingle meet-up was held there. Essentially, the group organizes events with a special fixed price menu and opens it up to all their members on a first-come first-serve basis. For $25, participants received a salad, pizza and two scoops of gelato - the full spectrum of G’s menu. Prices listed below are the item's regular menu cost. So, I found a friend and together we went to the meet-up and dined with over twenty other like-minded individuals.

Normally, I’d prefer Caesar salad ($9) on account of the garlicky dressing and parmesan cheese garnishing it. G’s was decent, but my friend and I both found the house salad ($6.75) more impressive. The ingredients within the salad itself (romaine, bell peppers, cucumber and tomato) aren’t unusual, but the light vinegar and oil dressing was fantastic. My friend put it best as to why we like it so much – it was so nice and salty to complement the neutral vegetables.

In most reviews I read, individuals tend to order and recommend their margarita or funghi pizzas. But, I stuck to the pizza al pollo ($20) which is more of my taste. The crust was thin and airy, with an ever so slightly blistered crust. But you definitely need a knife and fork, at least for the middle part, as the chef loads so many ingredients onto it. On top of the pesto sauce there was a generous portion of grilled chicken, caramelized onions, roasted red pepper and mozzarella. All ingredients tasted fresh and the pizza arrived exactly how I liked it – piping hot!

Luckily, my friend ordered the funghi pizza ($17) and we traded a couple of slices. Another white pizza with a faint truffle oil base, this was topped with big pieces of sautéed mushrooms, an entire salad’s worth of arugula, parmesan and fontina cheese. Perhaps it was due to the sheer amount of arugula but the pizza was a little bland, in my opinion. The mushrooms could benefit from a bit more salt and the addition of garlic. With less greenery and an extra drizzle of olive oil over the arugula it would be even better.

The best part of going to an Eat n Mingle event, aside from meeting individuals, is that everyone is friendly and welcoming. Moreover, since everyone loves food, people naturally want to try other things and are willing to share. So, I also had the opportunity to try a slice of the maialina pizza ($18) made to tomato sauce, spicy Italian sausage, spicy sopprossata, basil and mozzarella. The spicy meats definitely brought a zing to the dish but it wasn’t overpowering. A great pizza that was bursting with flavours.

You can’t go to G, named for their gelatos, without trying some ($5.50). With about 20 flavours to choose from I was torn. Especially when a special flavour, pumpkin pie waffle, was made especially for us that night (I snuck a spoon off of someone and it was delicious). 

We finally narrowed it down to London Fog (an ode to Earl Gray), rosewater vanilla, lavender blueberry and salted caramel. My favourite was the salted caramel a nice balance of sweet and savoury with a butterscotch like taste. Perhaps it’s due to trying it first, but found all the other flavours somewhat muted and hard to distinguish. I really couldn’t get a taste of the earl gray or lavender, which tend to be strong flavours. The rosewater in the rosewater vanilla did permeate through and reminded us of ras malai, the Indian dessert.  

Overall, it was a satisfying dinner. We all left stuffed with a bit of the sugar high. Drinks were ridiculously affordable with three glasses of sauvignon blanc totaling $17 (with taxes). G’s reasonable pricing and informal atmosphere makes this a great place for a low key meal. Of course, you could always also stop by for a quick breakfast, a scoop of gelato or even some pastries.

Overall mark - 7 out of 10

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Gastro World's Grading System

  • Anything under 5 - I really disliked and will never go back
  • - decent restaurant but I likely won't return
  • 7 - decent restaurant and I will likely return
  • 8 - great restaurant that I'd be happy to recommend
  • 9 - fantastic restaurant that I would love to visit regularly and highly recommend
  • 10 - absolute perfection!