Whispers in Elora

Last night my wife and I went to Whispers in Elora.  I have heard various things about Whispers – organic ingredients, an interesting chef, and clearly marked gluten free options – so I thought I’d give it a try.

I should say, that up front I was a bit skeptical.  If you don’t know, Whispers is a vegetarian restaurant, and in the words of chef Anthony Bourdain “To me, life without veal stock, pork fat, sausage, organ meat, demi-glace, or even stinky cheese is a life not worth living.”

Ok, perhaps that’s a little over the top.  I could get through a dinner without meat if I just put my mind to it.

Joking aside, my first reaction wasn’t as I expected it to be.  The decor was 80’s and it felt like an upscale Swiss Chalet.  There was an elderly musician performing some old Irish folk tunes.  (Come to think of it, maybe hiring him was an April Fools joke?  It was not a good match, and I’m a big fan of all types of live music.)

Anyway, to the food.  I was really impressed at their menu.  The whole menu was clearly marked with GF, LF, V, and LS indicating gluten free, lactose free, vegan and low sodium dishes.  This is really quite a blessing for Celiacs visiting restaurants.  I knew exactly what I could have, but informed my server nonetheless.

I started off with the beet and cucumber salad.  It really wasn’t much to write home about: lettuce, beets and cucumber with some balsamic reduction.  For dinner I had the chili on rice, and the sweet potato fries on the side.  The chili was ok, but really not a lot of flavour.  The best thing I ate all night were the potato fries – served hot right out of the frier.  Mmm.

My wife (a non-Celiac) had the pear & gorgonzola salad to start, and spinach ravioli as the main course.  Like my meal, hers was just ‘ok’ as well.  For dessert, we split their take on apple crumble.  It’s made with nuts instead of oats and it really needed more apples, sugar, butter…or all three.  If you’re going to have dessert, make it worth it!

Overall, although we both appreciated the fact that these were organic ingredients, we honestly felt like we could make better food at home.  The food just didn’t “wow” us and nothing really stood out as really wonderful.

Although I won’t be going back anytime soon, I wish them all the best.  Having a menu with clearly marked options is something all restaurants should have, and this was truly appreciated.

And if you’re a vegetarian (especially a Celiac vegetarian), it’s definitely worth checking out.  The number of options for Celiacs (or people with other allergies) is quite nice.

Have you been to Whispers?  What did you think?

But this review is about the food, so

2 thoughts on “Whispers in Elora”

  1. Whispers was one of my absolute favourite restaurant! Amazing meld of earth friendly, gut friendly, and most importantly, amazingly delicious food. The lady who served me was a really sweet and down to earth person. It was easy to be passionate about a place that felt like a wholesome place to go out to eat. Unfortunately, they closed down some time ago. I was up to Elora two summers ago in 2013 (I have no car and live in Waterloo, so only visited their place thrice) and their store was empty, with the sign taken down. I do not know if they relocated or went out of business, but I miss them.

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