Weekly Lunch Pick: Gallery Grill’s hearty, hand-rolled fregola

Weekly Lunch Pick: Gallery Grill’s hearty, hand-rolled fregola

Gallery Grill’s warming fregola (Image: Renée Suen) 

Hart House’s gem of a restaurant is a reliable spot for inventive takes on seasonal ingredients. The menu card offered by chef Suzanne Baby might appear short, but the selection at this lunch-only operation rotates regularly. After a quick bowl of jerked sweet potato soup ($5.95), our order of the fregola is pure comfort: the loose mountain of toasted al dente pearls (similar to Israeli couscous) provides a nutty backdrop to a rich bison ragoût. Tender braised kale and wilted sweet onions add a heartiness to the hand-rolled pasta, while feathery, grated grana padano cheese mellows out the spicy kick of the thick, tomato-enriched stew.

The cost: $21 before tax and tip

The time: a speedy 35 minutes from seating to cheque.

Gallery Grill, 7 Hart House Cir. (at Queen’s Park), Hart House, 416-978-2445, harthouse.utoronto.ca/culture/food