Last night a few girls of mine got together to celebrate a friend’s birthday at Weslodge. The experience can be described as a string of tidal waves. There were high and low points of the fare.
Venue: Upon entering the restaurant, you feel like you’ve become a part of a secret society. It’s a merger between cowboys and the modern city. Servers dressed in traditional saloon wear wait on suited businessmen. The dimly lit restaurant has their details all thought out, from the abstract tiles to mahogany and woody décor. We love how this place makes us feel.
Drinks: Weslodge takes their cocktails very seriously. Led by Elan Marks, the menu is creatively crafted with standouts like ‘The Streetcar’ and ‘La Floridita’. ‘The Devil In A Blue Dress’ tickled our tongue with flavours of sweet autumn and hints of smoky tobacco. Each story seems to have a story to tell from the savvy combination of ingredients. Elan Marks has crafted the cocktail programs at city hotspots such as Nyood, Kiltura, The Drake and Patria.
Food: Our party partook in the $55 prix fixe menu. It’s a shared concept so we were able to agree on what was a standout dish and what could have been taken off the menu together. We particularly enjoyed the scotch (quail) egg where pork is grinded in house and the yolk is runny. The sweet tomato jam and freshly shaved truffle also gave it an extra kick of flavor. We’re also fans of the green pea pesto toast with bufala cheese, truffle, pickled red onion and mint.
If one change was made, we could order this dish again and again. The crispy hen and biscuits plate is hands down, one of the city’s best … minus the biscuit. The hen is moist, meaty and flavourful wrapped with a crispy, sweet maple and bourbon batter. Unfortunately, the biscuits were a big cry for help. No chef should make a biscuit that’s this chewy and hard to swallow.
The pappardelle and zucchini flower pasta, roasted cobia and chocolate mousse cake dessert with olive oil pudding are notable.
What needs to come off the menu: the crispy shishito peppers (a salty fried mess) and charred Brussels sprouts with house bacon (uninventive, oily).
Service: Our server was somewhat uncivil. Her demeanor was cold and unfriendly. When we called in for a reservation, we had given notice of the birthday girl’s shellfish allergy. We were assured that the menu would be changed. Before dinner, we notified the waitress and she said she would bring attention to the kitchen of this allergy. Next thing we know, our table is sat with 5 plates of clams. When we asked why this happened, we only heard excuses and saw no action. After bickering with us for ten minutes, the manager came and solved the problem right away. We only wished the server did the same.
If you’re willing to shell out the cash for drinks, come here. Be mindful that the food is catered towards complementing their cocktails so it is heavier on the salt. The vibe of the restaurant and their cleverly crafted cocktails is what we would come back for.
480 King St. W, Toronto