Weezie’s – A breath of fresh air (review + pics)
- BokChoi Oct 8, 2008 04:09 PM
Thanks to recommendations by both Googs and GrandGourmand, I found myself at Weezie’s to find out what it was all about. I had checked out the menu earlier during a jog out to Gilead Café from work, and found the prices hit my sweet-spot. Appetizers in the $7-$12 range, with mains around $12-20. Desserts came in at $7 a pop. I thought the space was quite quaint, so I made a mental note to come back and sample the food.
When I arrived, my party and I were promptly seated. I would have to warn you that the upcoming photos are of quite poor quality and not up to my usual standard as the lighting was just so darn poor. I could barely see my food, but I guess some would say that is called ‘ambiance’. Either way, it was lost on me and caused much frustration when attempting to take photos without flash so as to not disturb the other patrons. But that is of no concern to the average diner! So back to the review…
The space is quite small, but tables are well spaced out. The restaurant seats approximately 40 persons and has a few seats at the bar. One very apt waiter is able to serve the entire restaurant with ease – water glasses were always kept filled to the brim, and he kept checking in with us throughout the meal to ask if we were happy (and yes, we were quite satisfied indeed). From what I could see, the kitchen staff comprised of just Constance, and an assistant. However, the small crew ran a tight ship, and everything worked like clock-work throughout the evening.
Weezie’s Space: http://www.flickr.com/photos/bokchoi-...
Started out with some recommended appetizers; the salted cod cakes and beef tartare. As well, we sampled the daily soup – a roasted cauliflower soup. Unfortunately, I was unable to sample the soup (nasty flu going around and afflicted my dining companion), but they claimed that it was definitely one of the best soups they have ever had. Certainly stood out from the rest of the soups they have ordered in the past, and oft times better than soups twice, or thrice the price ($7). They mentioned that the sweetness of the cauliflower was nicely offset by a touch of added heat and spice. The texture was another noted highlight – as you could still taste the grains of the cauliflower and it was not pulverized. The tartare was also quite nice, though I would have to say I preferred my own homemade version better – as I have learned to tailor it to my tastes. It was a touch too sour for my liking, and had perhaps too much onion? It was still a very strong dish, but I would not order it again, as it just didn’t sit right with me. The toasted baguette slices it came with were a touch stale as well ($12). But it is not a huge fault. It is certainly a reasonably priced portion and had a nice texture. The salted cod cakes were definitely without fault. They were light, fluffy, and well fried. The ‘crust’ was so crisp it was as light as a feather. The meat was so sweet and subtle as well. An amazing first course. It really set the tone for the rest of the meal. I would definitely order this dish again my next time here ($8). The homemade aioli it was served with was also wonderful – made with olive oil. It was exceptionally light and not like a typical mayo condiment.
Next came the mains. There was a touch of a wait between courses, but that was fine as there was much casual discussion happening, and I knew that the Mac & Cheese that I had ordered needed to be fired up. First up - the salmon nicoise: An amazingly succulent piece of fish. It was generously portioned and the meat was very moist. It was almost as though it was prepared two ways – one portion poached and then the skin lightly seared (pan-fried) and then put back together. I found it so amazing that they could achieve such varying textures in that one piece of fish, as many other restaurants have failed so miserably trying to achieve. Made to the perfect doneness. Nothing too fancy, but still, truly a great accomplishment ($18). Next up – Pan-Seared Scallops. These orbs were deftly pan-seared and caramelized, thus leaving the meat juicy inside and the crust a touch crispy. Once again - amazingly handled. 3 medium sized scallops sat atop a bed of mixed greens. One standout ingredient in the bed were some halved grapes. I found the contrast of the sweet, yet tart grapes truly refreshing. They went perfectly with the scallops and with the other accompaniments. Finally, we have the pièce de résistance- Mac & Cheese. This was a jaw-dropping, eye-opening wonder of a dish. I never knew I could enjoy a macaroni dish this much. The cheeses complimented the dish so well – the parmesan and the asiago gave this rich earthiness I had never experienced in a macaroni meal before. It was another one of those “I love truffles, and all things earthy” moments – like my boudin noir tarte at Nota Bene. Truly a great find, IMO ($14). I will 100% be ordering this dish again. It is just close enough for me to make my way here during my lunch as well, in case I ever need a pick-me-up mid-week. The only weak points were the sides of fries and rapini ($4 each). The rapini were drowned in butter and thus too heavy for my tastes. The fries were a bit limp and quite oily so I would have to pass on them next time. I should also point out that the accompaniments with each dish were phenomenal and really complimented each dish. The fingerling potatoes were well flavoured, and textured (not overcooked) and went well to ‘fill out’ the salmon dish. The tufts of salad and greens intermingled throughout each of the courses were also well thought out. I was very satisfied with the portions of each meal.
Sides (fries + Rapini): http://www.flickr.com/photos/bokchoi-...
Mac & Cheese: http://www.flickr.com/photos/bokchoi-...
Salmon (terrible photo – apologies): http://www.flickr.com/photos/bokchoi-...
Lastly, we have the desserts. The desserts were a daily variety comprised of a cookie plate (3 each of: chocolate chip cookies + coconut macaroons + lemon shortbread) and profiteroles (each dessert was $7). The profiteroles were filled with store-bought ice cream and drizzled with milk chocolate. The pastry that encompassed the ice cream was well done- a perfect ‘crusty’ texture to compliment the oozy ice cream. It was firm, yet light, with definite substance - and I appreciated that. The cookies were also quite solid, with the chewy macaroons being my favourite. They were moist and had a great chewy-dense texture. The shortbreads had a strong (nice) lemon flavour, which cut the inherent richness of the dessert – though I would have to say they were quite light to begin with. The chocolate chip cookies were also strong – gooey and soft. I loved that it had both white and milk chocolate, but no nuts! I really despise macadamia nuts and was excited to find that they did not infect and taint my cookie. However, the desserts, unfortunately, were not quite as strong as their counterparts earlier on in the meal. Next time, if I had to cut out one thing, it would be a dessert. However, one dessert would be a perfect amount to share amongst the table and end off an otherwise (almost) perfect meal.
I would highly recommend Weezie’s as I have yet to find such an affordably priced resto, yet with such a capable kitchen and wait-staff. I really hope they maintain their quality and prices so that I may make this a regular stop. An absolute gem, and I am so happy to have tried it. This is good ol' fashioned comfort food done well. Nothing too fancy, but it hits all the right spots. You get exactly what you want (and more - when considering the Mac & Cheese), and you leave satisfied. The menu is quite limited, but the space is small so it's understandable for inventory purposes. Constance is a very talented young Chef and I cannot wait to see what she does with the place and where she takes it. Thanks once again to grandgourmand and Googs for pointing this one out to me. Doubt I will ever make my way to Gilead again, if I have to pass by Weezie’s. Why would I pay $9 for a sandwich, when I could have a to-die-for Mac & Cheese for $12 at lunch? I just cannot wait to return. I think I'll try the famed burger next time. I should probably make another reservation soon…
Weezie’s menu: http://www.flickr.com/photos/bokchoi-...
Cheers and Happy Eating!
Hi jennjen18, I have just uploaded a new photo - thanks for the message. I hope this version is satisfactory.
No, unfortunately there are no truffles or mushrooms - the cheese (asiago) manages to achieve that earthiness that I love so much all on its own. I would really love a shave or two of truffle on top! But alas, I would not be willing to pay for such decadence. $14 is a great price for such a dish. The last time I ordered a truffle pasta at Clio in Boston, it was during the Spring Season and it was about $80 a plate. A dash or two of the oil would probably cheer me up a bit - though honestly, this dish does not need much tinkering.
Thanks sleepy - I will attempt to do my best to improve my reviews each time. Please do let me know how you enjoy it. I think the place is such a find. One must go in with expectations in check though! I am not promising the world, only that the meal is a great one and at such an unbeatable price.
Glad you enjoyed the place. I really enjoy it. the pricing and atmosphere are great. And aside from the food, I'm glad you noticed the server's attention to...well, service.
I really do like the steak tartare. I've only had it once. From what I recall, it was a mild flavour. Then again, I was somewhat used to the horse tartare at Batifole which I admit is heavily seasoned/spiced.
I think I have been to Batifole, but unfortunately did not have the opportunity to try the horse tartare - it has been a many years since my last visit though. Perhaps I will look into it again. I agree it was a mild-flavoured tartare, but it was just a touch too sour for my tastes, I prefer it spiced a different way (worcestershire sauce, more anchovies, etc.), but that is just my preference. Thanks once again for the recommendation.
Thanks for posting the address, JaimeK. I forgot about the most important aspect of a review!
354 King St. E. (at Power St.) 416-777-9339