A few months ago I missed out on a brunch outing to The Guild for a girlfriend’s birthday. Researching their menu I was intrigued by the “bits and bites” selection that’s available Wednesdays and Thursdays. $15 for a bite of 6 dishes that included crispy pig ears and chicken heart, I was sold.

Atmosphere: The decor inside was meticulous. Whimsical details included the tiled ceiling, burlap upholstery and mason jar terrarium centerpieces that each housed a special surprise.  I liked the splash of red on the walls and the features using worn down wood. The restaurant feel ranked fairly high on the hipster scale. This was cemented when I overheard another table ask the server about the “flavour profile” of a dish.

Service: Our server was super friendly and identified each dish that was being served. She answered all of our questions about portions for the bites and checked up on us frequently. It also feels like the chef was more than generous with our food portions and we received quite a few bites with each small dish.

Food: The plan that night was to start with the “bits and bites” menu, one of each kind for $15 and then wing it based on how full we were. Of the 6 dishes offered that night, there was a wide range of safe to more unusual fare.

I liked the chicken hearts, they had a great texture but wasn’t still chewy and the kimchi flavour was a nice kick. The chimichurri steak was good but not memorable, likewise for the fried smelts and fried pickles. The mole beef heart was good and I wouldn’t have know what I was eating without being told. My favourite was the crispy pig ears. I do like pig ears in general with the crunchy layer of cartilage between layers of chewy skin. Frying the ears brought out the difference in texture and was a great snack alongside a drink.

We were still nursing our drinks after clearing these dishes so we added an order of the house smoked andouille and diver scallops. The sausage was juicy and flavourful, for me though the most memorable component of the dish was the pickled mustard. I enjoyed the scallops but again it wasn’t a stand out from any other restaurant.

For dessert we had the foie gras, hazelnut, caramel chocolate bar and the coffee cake. I loved the coffee cake, it was moist full of coffee flavour and topped with a creamy caramel ice cream. The presentation of the chocolate bar was very straightforward. The texture was more granola bar like and not what I had expected. I was expecting more like a Dairy Milk instead of a Mr. Big.

Overall I think The Guild has some interesting ideas and twists to their menu, but it was a hit or miss meal in terms of food. The service was amazing though and I had a good time. As is I’d like to try out their brunch menu and would return for drinks.

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