A Guest Post by Jenna Zuschlag.
The restaurant is located at the eastern end of Leslieville on Queen Street. When you first step into the restaurant you literally find yourself in the kitchen. We think Edward Levesque himself was at the helm of the grill, but we’re not entirely sure.
After a short wait, our waitress (who was incredibly friendly without being invasive or overbearing) seated us in a row of tables along one side of the long narrow dining room. They had a small wine selection for Winterlicious, none of which really appealed to us, so we were allowed to order off the main wine list. They have an extensive list mostly made up of private label bottles from Australia and New Zealand. We chose a lovely Shiraz Grenache
from Clare Valley – it was amazing.
The Winterlicious menu had quite a large selection compared to other participating restos we’ve been to. From the six apps offered we chose the halved fennel salad made with shredded apples, blood oranges, almonds, and pomegranate in a rosemary and buckwheat honey vinaigrette (for dan), and the roasted beets with onion, arugula, chevre and tarragon vinaigrette (for me).
The fennel salad was great, but sort of weak flavour-wise. The beets were earthy tasting and were perfectly paired with the herbed chevre. It’s definitely something I would have again and probably try to make on my own.
The mains selection was great. You could chose from hangar steak, oxtail, salmon, scallops, and roast lamb. Dan had the hangar steak, which was served with roasted plum tomatoes, chive mashed potatoes, and jus. He thoroughly enjoyed the meat, it was prepared according to his liking, but the portion was on the small side. I chose the seared scallops with parsnip puree, grilled leeks, and beet compote. The scallops were great, cooked just right, not too raw, but a bit lacking in the portion department as well. I wasn’t a fan of the huge piece of leek wrapped around my plate, but at least it was tender enough to cut through without making a mess of the presentation. I’ll be honest though, I spent most of the time coveting Dan’s steak over my scallops.
For dessert, three options were advertised, but only two were actually available that night – a triple layer carrot cake and chocolate truffle cake. We had both and split. The carrot cake was great, with rich icing and sans raisins (yuck). The chocolate cake was a bit on the rich side, but it quickly disappeared just the same.
All in all, it was a great meal. Lots of choice, great service, fantastic wine, and cozy atmosphere. We’ll definitely be back, probably to try out their brunch menu, which looks incredible.