Monday, 22 October 2012

Oliver & Bonacini Cafe Grill Waterloo

550 King Street North
Waterloo, Ontario


This restaurant has closed as of October 25, 2012.

In her opinion:
I always complain that there are no decent places to eat in our region. But that's not entirely true. If I'm honest with myself, I will admit that there are a few "decent" places in KW region and the Oliver Bonacini Cafe Grill in Waterloo is one of these such places. This cafe is a transplant of the Oliver and Bonacini empire which is mostly located in Toronto. We went for a late lunch on a Saturday afternoon and found the restaurant fairly empty. This simply meant that we had excellent service.

On the weekends, the cafe serves their brunch menu instead of their regular lunch menu that is served during the week. So after perusing the brunch menu, I decided that I wanted the "Smoked Salmon Pizza". It is described in the menu as smoked salmon with "Yukon Gold potatoes, rosemary, dill creme fraiche and capers".

This was absolutely delicious. This is a perfect brunch food. It combines pizza with potatoes, smoked salmon and capers in a tangy sauce. It's reminiscent of a bagel with smoked salmon. I really enjoyed this brunch pizza.

The pizza was huge and I managed to bring half of it home. However, I always leave room for dessert. And my go to dessert is  always the "Chef's Platter". It consisted of "chocolate marquis, carrot cake, butter tart and tiramisu". 

There is nothing more delicious then the "Chef's Platter" with a cup of coffee. It is important to note that this is a sharing plate. It is perfect for two people.

The carrot cake was topped with a refreshing lemon sour cream gelato. So delicious. The chocolate marquis is chocolate hazelnut heaven. Excellent. The tiramisu is creamy and delectable. They do this Italian dessert justice. Finally, the butter favourite thing on the platter. I know you are thinking, "but it's a butter tart". Yes, but the most delicious, flaky, incredible butter tart you have ever eaten in your life. So so good.

We had our son with us and we ordered his meal off the kids menu. Basically, for $9.95, he got a "crispy risotto ball", "fettuccine alfredo" and "Soma vanilla ice cream served with whipped cream and a chocolate chip cookie".

Let's just say that the bread basked came to the rescue where Ethan is concerned. Mom and dad ended up eating the "crispy risotto ball" which is stuffed with mozzarella and mushrooms and was served with a homemade tomato sauce. So good.  The fettuccine alfredo was excellent but not for my six year old since it was made with a Parmesan cream sauce and thus too pungent for our son. Finally, the ice cream was really delicious but too good for Ethan who would rather eat Hagen Daz then Soma! There's no accounting for taste!

Overall, a delicious experience at a very good restaurant in KW region. It wasn't our first time and it definitely won't be our last.

In his opinion:

We are good devoted followers of the Oliver and Bonacini brand, where we have learned to treasure some of their top restaurants like Auberge du Pommier, Biff's and Canoe. The Oliver and Bonacini Cafe Grill brand does not represent the fine dining arm of the organization but has an important place as a cafe/bistro serving high quality food in a nice balanced atmosphere.

There are now 5 different locations, Bayview Village the original flagship cafe, Waterloo, Oakville Place, Blue Mountain and the Yonge and Front location. It is nice that they branched up to Waterloo and gave our sometimes dull bistro scene an injection of brightness.

We have eaten at many of their locations before and once at the Waterloo spot before this one. The food is pretty consistent throughout and the same obsession with super clean, spot free wine glasses can be found in any of the cafes.

We decided to stop by this time on a whim and were seated promptly by a very attentive hostess. Our waitress made her way to us and offered us some water while we browsed the brunch menu, the only one available early on a Sunday. 

I decided to have the Rock Shrimp and Bay Scallop Linguine with tomato, basil pesto, white wine and extra virgin olive oil. The shrimp tasted very fresh, the scallops were tender and perfectly done and the pasta was al dente to the bite. The combinations of the sauce were not your traditional tomato or oil bases but a combination of flavours that work well together and enhanced the taste of the seafood.

Top that with fresh parmesan and I was off to the races on that dish. Not being particularly a fan of the traditional tomato sauces on pasta, I enjoyed how all three ingredients came together to smooth the flavour.

For dessert, we ordered the Chef's Dessert Platter, one that we have had many times, but never disappoints. Consisting of four mini desserts, it is the best way to have a tasting of the Cafe's best desserts. It has the famous OB carrot cake under a fresh lemon sour cream gelato, beautiful combination. The next one was tiramisu, creamy and full of flavour. Next was the chocolate marquis milk chocolate torte with hazelnut praline crunch and last but certainly not least, the butter tart, equally as delicious.

The Oliver and Bonacini Cafe Grill is a great place to be out with friends, going out with just the girls or just stop in for coffee and dessert. I suggest the cafe afogado and the Chef's Dessert Platter to share if you are just in for a drink.

Oliver & Bonacini Cafe Grill on Urbanspoon


  1. "It wasn't our first time and it definitely won't be our last."
    Unfortunately, it appears to have been your last. I'm disappointed, and they replied to your post 2 days before it closed, which is weird.

  2. Wow, we've been away for the last week and your comment is shocking news to us! That's too bad!