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Rundles provides a premier dining experience in a serene dining room overlooking the river. Proprietor James Morris eats, sleeps, thinks, and dreams food, and Chef Neil Baxter delivers the exciting, exquisite cuisine to the table. The prix-fixe dinner offers palate-pleasing flavor combinations. Appetizers might include shaved fennel, arugula, artichoke, and Parmesan salad, or warm seared Québec foie gras. Typical main dishes include poached Atlantic salmon garnished with Jerusalem artichokes, wilted arugula, and yellow peppers in a light carrot sauce; or pink roast rib-eye of lamb with ratatouille and rosemary aioli. For dessert, try glazed lemon tart and orange sorbet or hot mango tart with pineapple sorbet.
The look is Venetian, in a theatrical Stratford way. Flowing white silk scarves hang from primitive stone masks in this sophisticated, calm space. Several three-course prix-fixe menus and a wine-with-dinner menu offer plenty of choices. The Tasmanian ocean trout, flavored with lemongrass and served with sliced fingerling potatoes and a delicately balanced lobster bouillon, is an example of the considerable artistry lavished on both the preparation and presentation.
Where To Eat Canada, 2013-2014
By Anne Hardy
Rundles is designed for a hot summer day. Inside it's decorated in white on white, relieved only by the tropical flowers on every table. In the kitchen dinners are prepared by Neil Baxter six days a week all summer long. His cooking is at once imaginative and correct, and he's at his best with such things as pan-fried Atlantic halibut with soybeans and ginger dumplings, loin of lamb with a purée of Jerusalem artichokes and dry-aged rib-eye of beef with king oysters. Meals end with a glazed double-lemon tart...
On the bank of the River Avon, Rundles is an idyllic spot for pre-theatre dining in Stratford. The room, all grey cement and pale wood, feels like a Mies van der Rohe–designed spa. Chef Neil Baxter, who’s been head chef since 1981, has a flair for the dramatic, in a good way. The tender poached lobster with salmon roe, cubed cucumber, yuzu jelly and dill oil sparkles like a mosaic of multicoloured sea glass and tastes bright and clean. Flawless panfried rib-eye showcases classic training and finesse. At the end of the meal, the server suggests “the famous lemon tart.” The brûléed concoction, studded with toasted pistachios and sided with smooth orange sorbet, lives up to its recommendation.
Stratford’s Standout Culinary Star
By Ms. Aefa Mulholland
From OUTTRAVELER.COM, August, 2009
The one that you must not miss is Rundles Restaurant. Stratford’s standout culinary star sits alongside Morris House, another gem of design. This gourmet haven has been concocting some of the country’s finest fare since 1977. On my visit, I marveled over each morsel of gingery shrimp, Dungeness crab, and cucumber roll, reveled in the succulent duck confit, and was astounded by the tart perfection of chilled rhubarb dessert soup. In a nod to the land of his birth, Morris’ wine menu features vintages from descendants of the “Wine Geese,” Irish emigrants who went to France in the 17th and 18th centuries.
By Christopher Cook
Reprinted from HOUR DETROIT, September, 2006
At one end of the lakeside park in Stratford is the Festival Theatre to which patrons flock for world-class performances. At the other end is Rundles, one of the best restaurants between New York and Chicago.
Rundles is as-close-to-[a]-perfect dining experience as can be found. Chef Neil Baxter, Rundles’ Chef de Cuisine since 1981, prepares modern French cuisine, with influences from countries such as Morocco, Mexico, Thailand and China.
Rundles balances service, atmosphere and food. According to owner James Morris, “Rundles should be the ultimate complementary experience to theater and at the sametime distinct from any other restaurant.”
Hail To The Chefs
By James Chatto
From TORONTO LIFE, April, 2002
Rundles Restaurant has a cool, open feel in the summer. Its décor is debonair. Chef Neil Baxter’s cooking, like Bach’s music, is known for it precision and finesse.
Baxter doesn’t slut up his textures with masses of butter or reduce his sauces to sticky absurdity. He won't over-burden a plate.