A friend and I had a delicious late lunch at the “Idlewyld Restaurant”:http://www.idlewyldinn.com/ at the Idelwyld Inn and Spa today in London, Ontario. It is located in the historic Old South neighbourhood south of downtown. Built in 1878 as a private home, it was at one point in the 1960s a nursing home. I mistakenly went to the seniors home next door first as it too is an old, large building with a private car park out front. After realizing that the seniors’ yoga class wasn’t part of the hotel complex, despite the large dining room that looks like a restaurant, I left and drove next door to the slightly smaller old, large building that has been an inn since 1985. The Victorian features of the building are still in evidence, especially in the trim, woodwork and windows.
The dining room and service are elegant and the menu is limited but varied enough to provide good choice. Lunch is served from 1:00 – 3:00 pm and we were settled at our table just before 2:30. It was almost 4:30 by the time we left but no one was rushing us out the door. After we ordered our waiter brought some warm herbed focaccia bread to the table with herbed olive oil and aged balsamic vinegar to tide us over until our main courses arrived. The vinegar was nicely sweet. My friend ordered the roast turkey sandwich with lettuce, tomato, brie, house cured pork belly and herbed mayonnaise on cranberry focaccia with the lightest French fries ($17). I ordered the ground bison sliders with pickled onion, arugula, aged Havarti, Jalapeño aioli on brioche buns and the house salad ($18). Yes, you do see one of her fries on my plate – I had to give them a try. We decided to have coffee afterwards ($2.50 with free refills) and have a look at the dessert menu – we did not resist the temptation. For dessert my friend had the warm caramel apple cake ($9). I ordered the orange vanilla cheesecake ($10) only to be told later that they were all out and would I like the raspberry cheesecake instead? Yes, no problem. In that case Ma’am, it’s on the house. A very nice touch, I thought. Without alcoholic drinks my bill came to $23 because I did not have to pay for my dessert.
I’ll definitely go back to try something else out on the menu.