What you will find at Gwendolyn that is sadly a rarity in the restaurant industry, is a commitment to serving handmade food made from local, seasonal ingredients. The owner, Chef Michael Sohocki, is a devotee of the Slow Food Movement, a noble international effort that encourages traditional and regional cuisine while simultaneously being mindful of the local ecosystem.
Restaurant Gwendolyn on the Riverwalk — Photo courtesy of Restaurant Gwendolyn
Even more impressive, Gwendolyn refuses to utilize all of the modern gadgetry that most restaurants can’t seem to live without. Whether this decision is an homage to his Grandmother, Gwendolyn, or perhaps just because making things with the care and precision of one’s hands imparts some essence that is otherwise lost, it doesn’t matter, because it works.
Inside Restaurant Gwendolyn — Photo courtesy of Restaurant Gwendolyn
The menu is small, offering a three or five course pre-fix menu with two options for each course that changes daily. You can check the website to see what the current day’s menu will be, and you’ll want to call ahead to book your reservation.
Pan-seared shrimp with housemade rotini and bechamel — Photo courtesy of Kimberly Suta
So what kind of food can you expect from Gwendolyn? A one-of-a-kind, never to be forgotten meal starts with warm bread and poppyseed butter that tastes fresh off the farm. Next, perhaps an amuse bouche of a biscuit with a spicy piece of house-made andouille sausage drizzled in a brown butter hollandaise sauce. Then an appetizer of a creamy roasted red pepper soup of such scintillatingly complex flavors, the tongue rejoices. You might be lucky enough to sample a heart-warming and rustic entrée of charred Moroccan lamb served with a bright lemony tabouleh and curried cauliflower.
Last but not least, dessert might be a heavenly “Christmas Spice” soufflé that transports you – body, mind and spirit – into the quintessence of holiday joy.
If there is but one complaint, it’s that you’ll leave wanting more!