On my visit to Toronto, a new restaurant popped open that was all the buzz in the city. Woodlot is a smallish restaurant off of College on Palmerston and boasts a cozy atmosphere with rustic charm. A large shared harvest table sits in front of the tiny kitchen while reserved seating is upstairs overlooking the restaurant.
The atmosphere is homey, welcoming and unpretentious. With a large wood oven on the main level, you can see the oven master carefully pulling dishes in and out and tending to the fire.
So what’s on the menu? Comfort food. Fancy comfort food that fills your taste buds with glee! Two menus are available, one purely vegetarian and the other for carnivores.
First up was our drinks, besides the normal alcoholic varieties, they also make their soda pop. The dark pop (by no means was it a cola) was a refreshing slightly sweet bubbly drink with a mild herby taste. The white pop was closer to a lemon lime drink.
We ordered a number of dishes and decided to share them all. The waitress smartly coupled mains with sides and timed the dishes perfectly. The potato gnocchi were like little pillows of clouds enrobed in a creamy tomato sauce with lots of cheese. Each bite was creamy and delightful with sometimes a surprise of delectable sausage.
The brussel sprouts were a nice accompaniment, sliced in half with a buttery sauce.
If you like beef carpaccio you’ll love the heritage beef crudo. Raw chunks of beef coupled with some toasted baguettes covered in olive oil, smoked salt, herbs and pepper. So simple but so well done that it was probably one of my favourites.
It was a surprise to see cabbage rolls on the menu, but these little bundles were covering a meaty interior of shredded duck.
There was an overall citrusy flavour and the dates paired great with the gamey meat. The portion was large!
Oh the venison pie! This baby easily could feed two hungry people and is the most impressive dish on the menu. A large bone protrudes out of the centre. The first thing you’ll notice is the mouthwatering smell, buttery crust with rich meat steaming out of the centre.
The crust was very flakey while the venison was tender and not gamey. The rich gravy covered the various root vegetables like carrots, parsnips and potatoes. Comfort food at it’s best!
With our venison pie came the mashed potato with bone marrow. I can’t even describe to you what bone marrow tastes like but you could definitely taste it in these creamy smooth potatoes!
Along came the spaghetti carbonara. Although it’s a common dish, sometimes ordering something traditional at a restaurant like this gives you a pleasant surprise. The sauce was very thick and creamy and it had a smokey flavour that was not overpowering but added depth to the dish. We did not regret ordering this!
Along came dessert, a small little jam jar filled with hazelnut creme with some crunchy salty nuts and toffee on the top! Creamy and not overly sweet, this was a nice little treat.
The lemon blueberry tart came with an adorable burnt marshmallow top!
The inside was silky smooth and with the buttery shortbread crust, this dessert was my fav.
A couple of complimentary madelaines graced our table when our coffee drinks arrived.
This restaurant couldn’t have been more perfect for my last evening in Toronto, a few good friends, great food in a warm and happy atmosphere!
Woodlot Restaurant and Bakery
293 Palmerston Avenue