Reviews

Think Globally Eat Locally: Tapestry Bistro

It's not health food, exactly, but sensible preparation techniques and imaginatively presented ingredients create a series of sensational taste experiences with every visit.

By Karen Burson
Published February 11, 2009

Tapestry Bistro, 27 Dundurn Street North
Phone: (905) 481-2166
Website: http://tapestrybistro.ca

The dining space occupied by Tapestry Bistro is a refection of the rough 'n' ready, yet sweet character of the building's inviting exterior. The details of the converted former hydro station make the space feel by turns romantic and utilitarian. Warm brick and wrought iron, soaring ceilings and curved lines all combine to give Tapestry a feeling of modernity wrapped in an era gone by.


Tapestry Bistro: by turns romantic and utilitarian

The menu concept is tapas-esque, but the portions are generous enough to be considered tapas-plus. This approach allows diners follow their appetites and order as they go. A dish or two can act as a satisfying snack or a complete meal, while it's fun to create your own combos that are perfect for shared tastings with a group.

Try a little heap of crispy mushroom dumplings with ginger and miso dip, then move on to oregano roasted chicken, rounded out with braised fall greens, oven-roasted root veggies or jasmine rice.

Sustainability-minded folks will love the numerous vegan and veggie options, especially desirable during their Sunday brunch. Where else can you find curried scrambled tofu in Hamilton?

While the menu shows a clear Asian influence, it also features items that can only be described as classic comfort food. This approach hits all the right spots on an adventurous palate, so the resulting selection manages to be eclectic without seeming scattered.

Since owner Sam Robertson has a fondness for other people's old family recipes, it's no surprise that he describes his creations as "good food ... like mom used to make, but prettier."

Staff are consistently charming, helpful and attentive. Food is just plain good. The wine list, created by Niagara-based sommelier Karen LaVigne, even includes mead. The honeyed taste and golden colour are lovely with the cheese fondue.

Since Tapestry puts its emphasis on ecologically farmed, seasonal and local ingredients) one constant at this new establishment will be change. Look for seasonally evolving menus - designed to take advantage of superb regional ingredients - prepared and served at their peak.

Robertson is highly conscious of how flavours are best revealed, which makes for a menu that offers nutritious, real foods that both chef and diner can feel good about.

It's not health food, exactly, but sensible preparation techniques and imaginatively presented ingredients create a series of sensational taste experiences with every visit.


Staff are consistently charming, helpful and attentive. Food is just plain good.

Since 2002 Karen Burson has worked in a wide range of food and community development environments and in an impressive variety of roles. Among them: as an award-winning chef/caterer, event and conference planner, food writer, and as a cooking demonstrator both in community settings and on local radio and cable television. She has worked as a manager and board member for The Sky Dragon Community Development Cooperative and as the lead facilitator for Hamilton’s Ward 2 Participatory Budgeting Process. Karen served for several years as the environmental representative on City of Hamilton’s Community Food Security Stakeholder Committee (CFSSC).

Karen is most proud of her work at Environment Hamilton, where she co-founded Hamilton’s affordable food program called the Good Food Box Network, which also led to a major collaborative food access pilot project with staff and management at City of Hamilton. She is now the owner of Henry Brown’s Small Batch Ice Cream. Located at the amazing Hamilton Farmers’ Market, Karen takes pride in turning her love of community-building and locally grown food into unique handmade products, while putting her values and expertise into action.

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By Ani (anonymous) | Posted February 20, 2009 at 16:01:04

I absolutely loved the Tapestry Bistro. Went for Valentines day, and am going back a week later for a Birthday celebration because we where so impressed. Food is Organic, rich in taste and I'm still thinking about the Day soup I tried and the Free Range chicken consumed. My new favourite.

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