Woodlot, 293 Palmerston Avenue at College
I go to Woodlot to get my proverbial rocks off; my cool new(ish) Toronto restaurant rocks off. Unfortunately, I leave unsatisfied.
Woodlot is a bakery from 7:30 am til 3:30 pm.
It is a restaurant from 5:00 pm til midnight.
Their shtick is food cooked in the massive wood burning oven.
They have a small menu with a separate veggie head card.
The focus is fragmented and I’m left confused.
I quickly shun the vegetarian menu as tempeh, soy and vegetables have less to do with a wood burning oven than Lady Gaga does with modesty.
The carnivore in me is excited by the cabbage rolls and they do not disappoint. Braised duck, prunes and wild rice get stuffed into big balls of savoy cabbage and the result is ‘stick to your ribs’ goodness. I don’t taste the wood but I get over it with a side of mashed potato with bone marrow. With its' wonderfully smooth consistency and glistening marrow, this is heaven.
Everything else needs work.
Ok, not everything. The space is great. It’s industrial but intimate. It’s warm and inviting. We score a table on the second floor overlooking all the fiery action.
And the complimentary Listerine with pill cup shooters is a nice touch.
The service is friendly.
Now, everything else needs work.
An oxtail and tongue terrine is too chunky. It has a slightly gross meat taste. When done right, tails and tongues make you feel giddy but when done wrong you are full of regret. The pistachios add a cool crunch but the side of currents taste like Christmas and it’s March.
I wonder how Woodlot will tackle the change in seasons because their food is winter.
It’s comforting and warming and not what we want to eat the other six months of the year.
The haddock had a nice crust but is severely under seasoned and totally overcooked. Ditto for the fregola. Ditto for the saffron sauce. Ditto for the cauliflower. Why is there no salt on the table?
I could do dessert but I know when to stop spending money on a meal that is only half worth it.