My first visit to Woodlot was back in 2011, before I started blogging about every meal, for a friend’s birthday. At the time she was vegetarian and I loved how accommodating Woodlot’s menu was. The majority of starters, pastas and sides were vegetarian and a whole separate menu was available with mains. This year for the same friend’s birthday, I suggested we re-visit Woodlot with her boyfriend.

Atmosphere: Our group of 3 was seated in the dining area on the second floor with dark wood tables and an exposed brick wall. We were closer to the back wall, but tables near the front had a perfect view into the open kitchen. Warmth and tantalizing aromas rose from the wood oven, making me hungrier by the second. Mixes with the dim and intimate lighting, the mood was relaxed and comfortable.

Service: While I found our server a little curt, he was professional, patient and we were trying. Instead of focusing on the menu, we chatted and he checked on us a few times before we were ready to order. Our cocktails arrived quickly and dishes were also served at a steady pace.

Food: A basket of freshly baked sourdough bread was served to the table and quickly devoured. Made in-house daily, the bread was fluffy, flavourful and had a great crust. Woodlot offers loaves for purchase at the restaurant/bakery daily after 3pm.

For starters, we split the Wood Fired Spiced Aubergine and Mozzarella Empanadas and Ember Grilled Hen-o-the-Woods Mushrooms. With the soft and chewy mushrooms, the wild rice offered a nice contrast in texture. The dish had strong natural, woodsy, flavours. Served on a wood board, the pair of empanadas came with pickled turnips and a kefir cream. Even without meat, the empanada filling was savoury and rich. The pastry itself was flakey and crunchy.

My friend shared the Roast Glazed King Oyster Mushrooms with her boyfriend and we all split the an order of buttery Gnocchi, that melted in your mouth. For my main, I chose the Crispy Seared Rainbow Trout, which was lightly seasoned and cooked beautifully, to a blush. Adding more substance to the dish were three balls of swiss chard wrapped around a mixture of barley, walnut and apple. With all this, we also ordered two sides, Warm Kale Salad and Seared Rapini. I loved the kale salad, that was generously topped with malt pickled shallots. Each bite was sweet, sour and hearty.

There was still dessert. I was sold on the Bittersweet Chocolate Tart with raspberry and toasted marshmallow (my weakness) while my friends wanted to try the Sticky Toffee and Ginger cake. Our only solution was to order both. I didn’t love my choice. I did like the tart raspberry flavour with the sweet chocolate, but the marshmallow was dense. With each bite, I couldn’t be helped but be reminded of Viva Puffs cookies. The Sticky Toffee and Ginger cake was incredibly moist and very sweet. Between the two, this was the stronger plate.

Cozy and intimate, Woodlot serves up elevated comfort dishes with fresh, local ingredients.

Woodlot Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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