Friday, July 8, 2011

Brockton General

My two friends Cindy and Adrienne took me to Brockton General for my birthday last month. Cindy and I have been wanting to try Brockton General for a while now. Why? Well, there are a number of things that make this restaurant quite interesting:

1) There are only three "employees" at Brockton General - two of them are owners Brie Read and Pam Thompson, the third one is Chef Alexandra Feswick, 2) Brie and Pam are both first time restaurateurs, 3) their menu changes nightly (except for its bar menu which consists of cheeses, olives, and bread); and 4) Brockton General was listed as one of James Chatto's Top 10 New Restaurants of 2010.

Brockton General has been opened for almost a year now. It is located in the Dundas West area (1321 Dundas St. W. at Lisgar St.). It's a very small place, with 8-10 tables at most. It is a quaint little restaurant with a three-person bar, very casual and non- pretentious.

A list of cheeses is written on the chalkboard on one wall (I think the chalkboard used to be a door) and on the opposite wall is the night's menu written on butcher paper consisting of 3 appetizers, 4 mains, and 1 dessert.

Rose - Hendricks Gin, rosewater & cardamon syrup, a splash of lemon juice, and soda. All three of us ordered this and loved it. 


Woodlot bread with white bean, anchovy & garlic mash ($6.5) - That night's bread was from Thuet instead of Woodlot (not an issue for me because I love Thuet bread). The mash was disappointing though because we all thought it tasted bland; we couldn't taste the anchovy much, if at all.

Bacon wrapped asparagus, fried egg ($8) - Nothing much to comment here except that everything on this plate tasted extremely fresh like it was just picked from the backyard. I wish they wrapped each asparagus with bacon!

Pork belly, fennel eggplant, tarragon ($8) - Nothing much to say here either except that it was a nice piece of juicy roasted pork belly with crispy skin on top. But still not all that special or memorable.


Gnocchi, mushrooms, cream ($16) - The gnocchi was cooked perfectly; it was "pillow-y" not mushy or too al dente. The sauce had a really good consistency too. You know how a lot of the times it is difficult to taste the mushrooms in a dish? Not here. The mushrooms were pungent with a very strong earthy flavour ♥ Also love the pretty purple and green~

Ham, scallion pancakes, rhubarb compote, beets ($17) - Cindy and I thought that this dish had a very farmhouse / rustic feel to it. Sorry I didn't get a picture of the scallion pancakes but they were delicious; very unique as I've never had scallion pancakes before at a restaurant (that is, besides 葱油饼 at Shanghainese restaurants). The slightly seared ham was juicy and not dry at all. The beets, just like the asparagus, felt like it was just picked from the backyard.

Flank steak, grits, pea shoots, grilled peppers ($19) - I personally have not had grits like this could seriously pass for polenta! I'm usually nervous about flank steak since it is a very lean cut and tends be tough, however, I was very happy when this piece turned out tender and soft. 


Cinnamon apple cake, maple cream ($7) - Placed on a plate that reminds me of home, this cake was not overly sweet and was a great ending to our meal.

Without a doubt, the mains that night far exceeded the appetizers for us. Overall, I found the food at Brockton General to be very simple, basic, not super refined nor complex. The dishes were made with love and had subtle flavours. Rather than overpowering their dishes with strong flavours, Brockton General lets the freshness and the true flavours of each ingredient shine through on their own.

Remember the menu changes every night, so hit up Brockton General if you're feeling adventurous.

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