Tuesday, April 22, 2014

The Grand Opening of Bywoods on St. Clair West

760 St. Clair West
Toronto, ON M6C 1B5

Date Visited:  April 16, 2014

Bywoods is the latest in the slew of new trendy restaurants such as Pukka, The Crest, and Emma's Country Kitchen transforming the St. Clair West neighbourhoods of Wychwood, Oakwood and Corso Italia.

The menu is heavily Italian influenced and the service is friendly but noticeably nervous to get things right.

Bacon Caesar ($10) - Yum!

Our waiter recommended the Arugula & Crispy Bocconcini with oven dried grape tomatoes, toasted pine nuts & balsamic dressing ($13) as an appetizer but it was disappointing.  The slightly crispy batter of the bocconcini didn't adhere well to the mozzarella and it was cold on the inside, not something I would expect from a hot dish.  We also only received five bite-sized mouthfuls which I found to be a bit steep for the $13 price tag.

We also ordered the Pan Seared Scallops ($16) with grilled chorizo, avocado mash, mixed greens, black olives & jus.  The scallops were perfectly cooked and they worked well with the buttery avocado mash.   The chorizo was too overpowering though and we had to eat it separately to prevent it from ruining the other flavours.

The Strozzapreti ($16) with bolognese & shaved grana padano was ordered as one of our mains.  The bolognese sauce was meaty and delicious but it could have been a tad less acidic.  We would have enjoyed a more 'al dente' strozzapreti too.  

The Moroccan Spiced Lamb ($24) with apricot, smoked potato puree & spinach was our other main.  The lamb was cooked medium rare as ordered.  It was juicy and each delicious bite had the right balance of fat content and gaminess.  The sweet and acidic apricot sauce was a good accompaniment especially for the leaner portions of the lamb.  The potato puree was creamy and was uniquely reformed into the shape of a skinless potato.  The spinach was still firm and not overcooked.

There are some hits and misses at Bywoods and hopefully they will work out the kinks as they move forward.

The grand opening of Bywoods was April 14, 2014.

Bywoods on Urbanspoon

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