Order: Italian Job sandwich, and 2 pints of Rickards White.
Bill: $27 (individual bill)
Website: Yes gownandgavel.ca
Online Menu? Yes
It was a super hot day, and my friend and I were meeting for lunch. Naturally we wanted a patio. I work downtown, near Hess, and so I suggested one of those and she picked Gown & Gavel. To be honest, aside from Smokes Poutinerie, I’ve never eaten at Hess. Yes, in my younger days I’ve been there drinking on the weekend, I think everyone who grew up in Hamilton has, but shamefully I’ve never been there for food. So why not give it a try?
I walked on to the patio, kind of hovering for a couple minutes until a server who was at a table taking an order told me to just grab a seat anywhere. I was there before my friend, so I grabbed a table half in the sun and half in the shade. There is a great selection of patio tables both in the shade and sun. It’s a huge patio. Not long after I sat, she brought a couple menus, and I got a Rickards White draft. They have a decent beer selection. Mostly big name beers, I don’t remember seeing any micro’s, but a good selection none-the-less. It took a few minutes and she returned with my beer. My friend still hadn’t arrived, but there was a Euro Cup Soccer match on, and the server didn’t mind waiting while I waited. She did swing by a couple times to check on me though, I wasn’t ignored and she didn’t seem irritated that I was holding up a table (some server’s hate this).
When my friend finally showed up our server swiftly came over. We quickly decided on lunch, and I got a second beer. She ordered the Grilled Vegetable Panini with fries, and I got the Italian Job Panini also with fries. We agreed to split half and half so we could each try both. The server left and quickly brought our drinks, leaving us to talk and enjoy the sun. As we talk I carefully note all the plates coming out to the patio, they look spectacular. Plating is certainly a specialty for this kitchen, it made we wish we had ordered a whole bunch of appetizers instead.
While we waited our server had brought over a basket with all the condiments we could possibly need. A moment later our food arrived, and we split our sandwiches as agreed. The fries were amazing. We both agreed on this, and it was the one thing we both finished. Thick steak cut fries, seasoned perfectly. They were very, very good.
The sandwiches were a different story.
The Vegetable Panini, it was good, and had a mixed variety of grilled veggies, feta and a balsamic reduction. Unfortunately, the veggies seemed to have been held in a steam table or something, because they were all browny-grey, and while it tasted great, it didn’t look so appetizing when you opened it up. It wasn’t terrible though, I would probably eat it again if I was offered it, but would order something else off the menu to try, like a burger or app which looked great as they were paraded by.
The Italian Job, on the other hand, don’t order it. It sounded so promising, with Prosciutto, Salami, Roasted Red Peppers and Boccaccio. Trying to eat it on the other hand, was horrible. My friend, who’s Italian, also agreed. It was tough, chewy, and fell apart on the first bite with the Prosciutto pulling out and the peppers falling out the back. What a mess. The idea of it was great, and I still picked it apart and ate all the components individually, but as a sandwich it was just a bad idea. Again, I wished I ordered a burger or an app.
The server came to clear out plates, and I reluctantly gave up on this half sandwich. The fries and the Veggie Panini were plenty anyway, especially after 2 pints. She brought our bills and we hung out on the patio a little longer finishing our drinks and enjoying the sun.
Recommended? The patio for a beer and (maybe) an app? Two thumbs up. What an awesome patio. Big, lots of sun and shade, it was great. The fries were really, really good too. But there are lots of patios in Hess Village, and I think for dinner I’m personally going to try somewhere else next time. The Italian Job sandwich was definitely two thumbs way, way down.