Set in the middle of the busy Queen East dining district, it meets all the criteria for the neighborhood…hipster feel (including the fact that there is a rooster as their logo yet not an ounce of chicken on the menu…so witty), small menu, plaid shirts and an iota of pretension, but hell, they do take reservations. After being seated, we were required to wait quite a while for a drink order. That being said, the drink list is excellent with a small but solid draught beer selection (including my beloved Stonehammer from Guelph), a decent wine selection and some unique cocktails. In particular a fresh rhubarb mojito was the drink special. Quite nice.
The staff were happy to recommend various dishes and the table settled for a mix. They even were able to fulfil my pickle fetish with a side of homemade minis. Had a chance to try a few dishes….
The venison polenta was it fantastic. Even better, a chef arrives tableside to finish the dish with the meat mixture while explaining the process he used to prepare it. Great touch.
Duck confit was terrific. Cooked well with most of the fat rendered out and the sides (lentils) complimented the dish well.
The beef tartare was fresh, simply prepared, seasoned well and portioned heartily.
Oysters were fresh and well-presented.
Diver scallops were perfectly cooked although I was not fond of the accompanying sauce. It had a medicinal note to it which I felt drown the sweet taste of the scallop a bit.
Brussel sprouts and potatoes were rich. May be difficult for a vegetarian since aninaml fat seems to be a mandate.
Had the Panna Cotta for dessert and rhubarb dessert for the table, neither of which are on the menu anymore. Neither were mind-blowing but were decent.
Steak was average.
All in all an enjoyable dining experience. The environment was a bit distant and not overly welcomming despite the trendy decor. Food was solid and the value was there. Do the polenta, do the duck and if don’t have room for dessert, that’s quite ok.