Garrison Creek is an Italian restaurant named for the river that used to flow underfoot where it’s located.
The scratch menu feels equally designed for an Italian family or an Instagram audience, both ravenous, with items like ravioli as well as twists on spring rolls and poutine.
The space combines a former bar and baby store into one totally reconstructed and redesigned space that feels divided into several intimate smaller areas, accented by velvet and marble.
Olive Calde ($7) are a starter assaggini, a mix of large, firm green olives and softer black ones with rosemary, garlic and olive oil, served warm with grilled parmesan crostini.
Primavera Agnello spring rolls ($19) are, like much here, pricey for the portion size, but stuff a crunchy, bubbly fried wrapper with very flavourful, heavy lamb slow-braised for 21 hours, carrots and celery, drizzling with a rich vino cotto reduction.
Gnocchi Poutine ($16) is probably the best bang for your buck in my eyes, substituting potato fries for ricotta ones, cheese curds for softer and less stretchy buffalo mozzarella, the whole thing smothered in a vino cotto gravy that’s been reduced for 16 hours.
Potafoglio di Salmone ($21) is a much lighter app alternative, translating to “wallet of salmon,” a puck of avocado and sweet little confit tomatoes is wrapped in satiny Pacific smoked salmon.
Gnocchi GC is the priciest pasta option at $28, likely due to the generous amount of lamb in its ragu. The dense dumplings are lightly flavoured with sweet potato and rosemary, a parmesan chip adding sharp hits of flavour.
Nothing’s under $15, but opt for a simple penne arrabiata or spaghetti pomodoro for just under $20, or one of around ten kinds of regularly rotating ravioli, which might include varieties with Nordic shrimp, Atlantic lobster, osso bucco or PEI mussels.
There are also even steeper entrees like market-priced grilled steaks and fresh fish.
A Negroni Bianco ($15) is a simple but strong combination of gin, Bitter Bianco and dry vermouth highlighted by the herbaceousness of rosemary.
The Alba ($14), which translates to “sunrise,” is a pretty aperitif of aperitivo rosato and rose brut that balances out easy-drinking effervescence with a boozy edge.
There’s also a DJ booth with a regular live DJ. Much of the design, construction and even the art and photography on the walls, are done by the restaurant’s owners themselves.