Restaurant Review: The Gate – Refined Cuisine from former Langdon Hall Chef in the Grey Highlands

RestaurantThe Gate
Address14 Sydenham Street
Dinner for two with drinks$350

Located in the scenic embrace of the Grey Highlands, just a short journey from Toronto, The Gate opened its doors in December 2023. Under the culinary direction of Chef Jonathan Gushue, previously of Langdon Hall, and co-proprietor Jennifer Bélanger, this establishment immediately sets itself apart by offering a blend of rustic elegance and contemporary finesse, promising an exceptional dining experience.

Upon entering, guests are greeted by an ambiance that exudes both warmth and luxury, making it suitable for intimate meals as well as celebratory gatherings. The interior design combines rich wooden elements with softly glowing ambient lighting, creating a welcoming yet sophisticated atmosphere that complements the gourmet adventure that lies ahead.

Executive Chef Phillipe de Montbrun helms the kitchen at The Gate and his well-curated menu is both approachable and innovative. The culinary journey at The Gate starts with the lobster and fennel marmalade, a sophisticated and refreshing appetizer. This dish perfectly balances the sweetness of ocean-fresh lobster with the aromatic subtlety of fennel, accompanied by housemade crisp buckwheat crackers that add just the right textural contrast. Hands down, a favourite.

Following the appetizer, the semolina pasta introduces a rich dialogue between the nutty undertones of pistachios and the sharpness of parmesan. The dish is executed with a creamy consistency that’s punctuated by the crunch of pistachios, showcasing Chef’s deft hand at marrying simple flavours with luxurious execution.

Despite these strong starts, the meal encounters a slight hiccup with the winter greens salad and Lion’s Mane mushrooms. Both dishes are conceptually sound but suffer from an excessive use of acidity, which unfortunately subdues their natural flavours. The salad, though creatively combined with Grana Padano, walnuts, and rye croutons hiding underneath its crisp leaves, is dominated by its overly zesty dressing. Similarly, the naturally succulent Lion’s Mane mushrooms are unable to showcase their meaty depth due to the vinaigrette’s sharpness.

The menu regains its footing with the polenta, a dish that truly comforts the soul. Infused with the savory aromas of thyme and black pepper and encircled by a ring of vibrant green basil oil, this dish transports the diner to a sunlit Mediterranean landscape with each spoonful.

As the main courses are served, the Ontario lamb and scallops emerge as the stars of the evening. The lamb, perfectly tender and richly flavoured, is expertly complemented by a light cauliflower puree and a delicately balanced vinaigrette au jus. The scallops, sous vide to a delicate perfection, are brilliantly paired with an earthy blend of mushroom, basil oil and seaweed, offering a sublime taste of the ocean.

Dessert is served with equal flair, with the blood orange sorbet leading the finale. Its sharp citrus notes are masterfully tempered by the creamy richness of goat yogurt ice cream, providing a refreshing end to a rich meal.

Notably, The Gate excels in its beverage offerings. The wine list, meticulously curated by sommelier Mathilde Coquin, features some hyper-local selections that showcase the best of regional breweries and vineyards, ensuring that each pairing enhances the flavours of the dishes. Additionally, the restaurant offers a range of inventive mocktails, providing delightful non-alcoholic alternatives that are as thoughtfully crafted as their spirited counterparts.

The service and hospitality at The Gate are exceptional, with attentive staff ensuring a welcoming and refined dining experience. However, the pacing of the meal occasionally felt disjointed, which detracted slightly from the communal dining experience.

Overall, The Gate stands out as a testament to culinary innovation and local sourcing. While there are moments where the flavour balance could be more finely tuned, the overall dining experience remains profoundly impressive. For those seeking a culinary adventure in Flesherton, or even a worthwhile detour from Toronto, The Gate provides a richly flavourful and authentically local dining experience steeped in genuine hospitality and innovative culinary practice.


Mme. M.


La rubrique de Madame Marie

1 étoile – Run. Before you get the runs.
 étoiles – Mediocre, but nothing you couldn’t make at home.
 étoiles – C’est bon, with some standout qualities.
 étoiles – Many memorable qualities and excellent execution. Compliments to the chef.
 étoiles – Formidable! Michelin Star quality. Book a reservation immediately.