Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Hawthorne Food and Drink

Chef Eric Wood (@chefericwood) and sous chef Binh An Nguyen (@_binhan_) teams up at Hawthorne Food and Drink (Twittter: @HawthorneTO, Facebook: Hawthorne Food and Drink), a 46-seat restaurant which opened its doors early December of last year. Located on Richmond St E., Hawthorne focuses on fusion - chef and general manager Eric Wood (former executive chef at Fabarnak) is all about bringing together the city's wide variety of ethnic flavours and incorporating them into his restaurant's ever-changing menu. 

Not only is Hawthorne a restaurant, it is also affiliated with a non-profit training program for its front of house and back of house employees who wish to learn, gain experience, and improve their skills in the restaurant and/or hotel industry.

Sous chef Binh An Nguyen (former The Spoke Club, Winchester Kitchen and Bar) at the pass.

My friend Amy (@lu_amy7) and I had dinner at Hawthorne last month. We started with a few cocktails...

Vodka, Lemon Juice, Pure Yuzu juice, House made Thyme Oil, Muddled Saskatoon Berry

RYE BABY ($10)
Canadian Club Rye, SpiceBox, Ginger lime cordial, Honey 

Bulleit Bourbon, Housemade orange Spiced syrup

Porchetta di Testa, Candied Beets, Truffled Fennel, Beet Gastric, Pea Sprouts, Hearts of Palm (amuse)

12 herb butter milk crust, boxwood honey, za'atar sprinkle

Vanilla poached tomato, chestnut gnocchi, charred kale, onion fondue, bee pollen

Chinatown lobster broth, long bean, crispy toast chili peanut dust 

ELVIS ($7)
Grilled Banana Bread, Peanut Butter Dust, Strawberry Jam, Candied Bacon

 THING 1, THING 2 ($7)
Earl Grey Creme Brulee, Powdered Sugar Beignet

Black Pepper Baked Meringue, Lemon Rosemary Jelly (amuse)

First things first, I was really impressed by Hawthorne's extensive cocktail list. If I remember correctly, its cocktail list spans almost three pages long, offering a lineup of inventive and creative cocktails. Hawthorne also makes their own sodas with all natural ingredients. Kudos to that.

Our dinner started with a beautiful amuse; luscious porchetta di testa, sliced ever so thinly, rest on top of sweet, candied beets. It surely got my appetite going. The fried quail was a definite show-stopper. Abandoning our cutlery, Amy and I both nibbled on the fried quail with our hands (which is, in my opinion, the only way to eat fried chicken, or quail in this case). The butter milk crust was hot and crispy, encasing the lean yet juicy quail inside, it was so delicious. A truly great and tasty alternative to fried chicken. Without question, my entree lives up to its name - the arctic char's skin was thin and extremely crispy, and its pink and moist meat underneath was distinctively flavoruful. Our dinner ended with an excellent earl grey creme brulee, and the "Elvis", which incorporated a mash-up of components such as grilled banana bread, peanut butter, strawberry jam, and candied bacon, gave us both a pleasant surprise because yes, it totally works!

Hawthorne Food and Drink on Urbanspoon

 Hawthorne Food and Drink at RestaurantGuideBook.com