Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Hawthorne Food & Drink

I have been meaning to try Hawthorne Food & Drink (@HawthorneTO) since it first open but maybe it's a bit too late since Chef Eric Wood, the visionary behind the restaurant have since left for other projects and his sous-chef Bihn An Nguyen have since taken over. Hawthorne's mission is to empower and educate hospitality workers in the city and work alongside UNITE HERE Local 75 to create a paid intership program.

Wanting to make a reservation for 8:30pm Friday but was told that they were full and only seats at the bar available. But arriving on time, we found a half empty restaurant (>_<)

Upon entering the place, I can only imagine how bright and beautiful it will look during the day with light shinning on the mason jars through the large windows

They had an all Ontario Beer list, very short wine list, house-made sodas and an extensive cocktail list.... with pages to choose from, I just had to decide on one.

JitterBug Perfume $12
~ Victoria Gin, Lillet, Candied Beet Juice, Honey/Craked peppercorn
Since I love beets, I just had to try this one and it was delicious. Not too sweet w/ a hint of the beet juice and don't you love the mini beet salted beet skewer on top ;)

Lamb Empanada $10
~ braised lamb, sweet potato, salsa verde, cured lemon yogurt
Haven't had a lot of empanada before but this was just ok.

Crispy Fried Quail $10
~ 12 herb buttermilk crust, boxwood honey, z'athar sprinkle
This was probably my favorite dish of the night,the crust was super flavorful and crispy while the quail itself was slightly undercooked which left it incredibly moist and soft.

Smoked Beef Cheek $22
~ butter braised bak choy, stone crab chow chow, crispy potato cake
This is where the where the disappointment start; the beef cheek was melt in your mouth but the sauce was very one dimensional (something was missing).... couldn't taste the butter in the bak choy, it felt like it's either steam or boiled and then slightly grill. The stone crab was overall unnecessary and everything was lukewarm.

House-made Pappardelle $17
~ kale, leeks, charred fennel, toasted pecans, raisins, tomato, spiced butternut veloute
Love everything here except the pappardelle itself which was way overcooked and was stuck together in messy bobs/balls which is unforgivable.

Elvis $7
~ Grilled Banana Bread, Candied Bacon, House-made PB&J
With that description, we just had to order this dessert although the disappointment with both of our mains. But thought the Banana bread was rather dry and even drier after being grilled.... then there was only a slither of the Jam and while the PB was in dehydrated (powder) form... which left the dish without any moisture. The thing that I enjoy the most was the candied bacon which was more a brittle had such intense bacon flavor.

Apple & Rosemary Jelly (Complementary)
This was tart and refreshing, perfect way to end the meal.

Verdict :
This meal left me with more disappointment than anything
Maybe I'll come back just for the Quail and the cocktails ;)

Hawthorne Food and Drink on Urbanspoon

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