Volume 95, Issue 67

Friday, February 1, 2002
 

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ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT

Where's Waldo? We found him

Weekend fun for all

Disc of the Week

Tricky Woo hammers away at status quo

So, you want a tip?

Shits and Giggles

G-Dep Child still got the stigma

Where's Waldo? We found him

Waldo's of London

215 Piccadilly St.
433-6161
Four stars (out of five)

By Molly Duignan
Gazette Staff


Waldo's of London proves one man's meal is another man's canvas.

In this case, owner Mark Kitching is the painter and both the food and the restaurant's decor are his tools of artistry.

After taking the stairs down into Waldo's off Richmond Street, expect to be awed by the ivied brick walls and huge glass ceiling. The Mexican tile floors and wrought iron furniture set a scene of an outdoor patio rather than a colorful, intimate dining experience.

Beyond the patio-like atrium are more dining rooms, including the private "Manhattan Room," which accommodates up to 34 people. The "Imperial Room" boasts lush, high-back leather chairs – perhaps Waldo's most endearing feature.

The wine list offers an extensive selection divided into dry, light body and fruity for white wines and dry, light and medium body for reds. Prices per glass average $6, while selections from "Mark's private selection" are $34-85 per bottle.

A look at the menu reveals a mixture of continental cuisine influenced by an Asian and Middle Eastern touch. The menu is highlighted by exotic, original dishes like Waldo's lobster bisque ($10) or the chicken crepe with sundried tomatoes in an asiago cream ($9).

To start, the popular baked brie in phylo pastry ($9) is served with a raspberry coulis and sliced fruit, creating a hot appetizer that anyone would love.

Another option is the smoked Duck and feta ($11), served on a bed of greens with a red wine and shallot vinaigrette. Although this kind of salad is surprisingly refreshing and subtle, Waldo's traditional caesar salad ($7) is a masterpiece in itself. The delicious salad is fresh and crisp, light on the garlic and perfectly creamy.

For an entrée, you can choose from a wide variety of different plates.

The catch of the day ($21) was a baked salmon topped with sautéed shrimp and lobster meat over a cognac sauce, served with basmatti rice and vegetables. Beyond the generous portion of smooth and rich salmon, shrimp and lobster, the stack of grilled vegetables is awesome.

The baked chicken cassis ($19) is slowly baked and finished in a black currant sauce. The chicken was cooked to perfection and the tangy currant sauce added zest to the perfectly garnished dish, while the fresh peppercorn gives the plate a kick.

Other choices include Beef Medallions Forestier ($26) with wild mushrooms and a cognac cream or the Pasta Buffet ($17), where there's a wide selection of fresh seafood, meat and vegetables with your choice of sauce and pasta and more.

If you can handle more, check out the dessert menu.

The five-layer chocolate torte ($6) is to die for, but the large portion is best shared. The rich mountain of chocolate is almost too good and, as the menu claims, it is "the ultimate chocolate experience."

Possibly the most popular dessert is the classic white and dark chocolate mousse ($6). This decadent treat is smooth and creamy over a bed of raspberry coulis and the presentation is a sight for sore eyes. For the biggest sweet tooth, try Waldo's infamous dessert platter ($15), a selection of desserts, fruit and ice cream to share.

For a restaurant designed for fine dining, the small and neglected washrooms do not meet the high standards set throughout the establishment. Those who pay attention to detail will notice the menus appear out-dated and reminiscent of an old-fashioned diner, but such an aesthetic faux pas is forgivable.

Despite the high end prices of a meal at Waldo's, the restaurant offers a two-for-one pasta bar special for Western students on Tuesday nights. Although they are not open Sundays or Mondays, Waldo's is conveniently located, the service is fast and polite and the ambiance is incredible.

Worth going to for colour and presentation alone, Waldo's is a unique restaurant made richer by its stunning setting.




To Contact The Arts and Entertainment Department:
gazette.entertainment@uwo.ca

Copyright © The Gazette 2001