May 16, 2012

Dinner @ Woodlot

I've been dying to go to Woodlot for a long while, but it never works out, perhaps because it's ridiculously difficult to get a reservation there on short notice. Generally, you leave them a voice mail and hope that they call you back with your desired availabilities. Luckily, Julie wanted to go there for her birthday, so I didn't have to be the one calling the restaurant for a reservation.
The interior exuded a rustic, communal vibe that felt very welcoming. We sat at the upstairs dining area which overlooked the entire open kitchen, as well as their famous wood-burning oven. There was also a roof window which allowed plenty of sunlight to brighten up the space.
I wasn't feeling for anything alcoholic that day, so Jeremy and I each ordered a house-made soda ($3 each). He chose the cherry flavour, and I went with the white soda, which was an elevated version of a Sprite. The sodas were very delicious and refreshing, and they're a great alternative to cocktails.
The rest of the party was more than half an hour late for our 6 pm reservation, but thankfully, the staff was very gracious about it. I've previously had some bad experience with another restaurant's staff giving me attitude when I was 20 minutes late for a reservation, so I really appreciated the staff's understanding here. Once everyone placed their orders, we were given a basket of Woodlot's sourdough bread. I'm a huge fan of sourdough bread, especially served warm with butter!

For starter, Jeremy and I shared a baked caramelized onion soup ($11) with aged gruyère and red fife sourdough bread.
This onion soup certainly wasn't lacking in onions! There were heaps and heaps of sweet caramelized onions with every spoonful of soup! I also liked that the soup wasn't overly laden with cheese, which made it less heavy. Of course, French onion soups are extremely rich in nature, so sharing is highly recommended!
Two of my friends shared ember grilled hen-o’-the-woods mushrooms ($13) with wild rice, black walnut, mache and balsamic vinegar. The portion looked rather small, but I was told that it was actually quite filling. I didn't try any but heard good feedback about this starter.
The birthday girl ordered whey-fed pork chop ($28) with prune, bacon, brown bread and walnut sauce. This was an outstanding dish, both in flavours and presentation. I sampled one piece of pork chop and it blew my mind off. I hardly ever order pork chop at a restaurant (unless it's deep fried) because it's often dry and bland. But Woodlot's pork chop was moist, flavourful, and just truly delicious. I'll definitely be coming back soon to order this for myself.
I was quite tempted to order russet potato gnocchi ($23) with roasted aubergine, graine de paradis, chili, lemon and ricotta salata. But I ended up choosing something else, which was unfortunate because I really enjoyed the piece that I tried. The texture was perfect, and the flavours were bold and bright.
A couple of us ordered naturally raised flat iron steak ($29) with mixed mushroom and béarnaise sauce. It was another stunning presentation on a wooden plank. I also thought that the steak was very tasty, and the béarnaise sauce was a lovely complement to both the meat and earthy mushrooms.
After a lengthy debate, I opted for chicken and porcini mushroom pie ($27) with sherry cream, sunchoke, parsnip and parsley root.
The pastry was tasty and flaky, but the fillings didn't wow me. I actually liked the parsnips a lot, so I thought that there was too much chicken and not enough veggies, especially mushroom. Perhaps I'm not a big fan of chicken pot pies in general, but I preferred all the other entrées over mine.
In spite of the fact that we had two birthday cakes to devour later, we still ordered dessert- spiced bread pudding ($11) with chocolate chantilly, candied pecan and brown butter. At first, I mistook the chocolate chantilly for ice cream, and I think ice cream would've been a better pairing here. The chantilly was too rich on top of the dense bread pudding. In all honesty, the dessert was quite similar to a chocolate muffin, and it certainly wasn't as good as the chocolate bread pudding from Mildred's Temple Kitchen
I feel a deep need to come back to Woodlot as soon as possible because I truly loved everything except my own entrée and the dessert. All in all, the food and service were fantastic, and the restaurant definitely lived up to my expectations!
Woodlot Restaurant & Bakery on Urbanspoon


  1. I hate you so much, I don't even want to read your post on Woodlot =(



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