* Click here for rating key
Gaia Bistro Restaurant Review: There are so many reasons to fall for Gaia Bistro, a beautifully restored old house on trendy South Pearl Street that turns out a delightful board of seasonal dishes, many of which benefit from the use of organic ingredients plucked from the restaurant's own gardens and farm. We like the French press coffee, the complimentary baskets of house-made breads and muffins, and the organic buckwheat crêpes, swelled with everything from chorizo and creamed spinach to poblano chilies, bacon, sweet ricotta and oven-roasted tomatoes. Sandwiches are tasty, too, especially the Monte Cristo. And dinner just ups the ante, with steamed mussels; seared lamb chops with mashed sweet potatoes; and duck breast drizzled with an ancho chile jam-and-red-wine-sauce. The best seats are on the patio, a shaded oasis that, during warm weather months, is flush with aromatic flowers and fresh herbs. The intimate dining room, bedecked with hardwoods and mismatched tables, is tight, and there's nowhere to linger while waiting for a table, but the efficient staff is seasoned at moving parties along.