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Woods Restaurant - Can anyone comment?

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Has anyone been here yet that can comment? The menu looks delicious! Considering having dinner here early next week.

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  1. Check the Globe and Mail review today and you might wanna consider somewhere else. Chris Nutthall Smith gave it zero stars.

    Sounds like things are pretty much the same as when he was at Modus, which was crap also!!!

    19 Replies
    1. re: millygirl

      Yes, we have eaten there twice, once for dinner and once for lunch. The food, service, ambience...all were excellent. The menu is sophisticated modern/locavore. Nothing I've never seen before, but very satisfying and well-blanced. Particularly good FISH. Prices and quality are high, but consistent with the Bay Street area choices, and portions are large. There was no separate lunch menu and the dinner mains are way too much(food and money) for most lunches, but the burger for the guys and the starter green salad (honestly, a huge and GREAT green salad) for the girls, plus lovely desserts by the chef's wife worked for us. The kitchen and server could not have been more helpful, and will cheerfully split dishes if you like, which works well if you want to try just about everything, as we did.

      1. re: millygirl

        Just to clarify ... Did you think Modus was crap or was it the review of Modus that you thought was crap?

        1. re: ComerDemonio

          It was the meal. Worst dinner experience ever. I wrote a review on here but it was awhile back.

          Very similar to what CNS describes at Woods which is why I say sounds like nothing has changed much.

          1. re: millygirl

            I can't seem to find the on-line version of the CNS review. Could they have deleted it? I don't even see the CNS tweet that was linking to the review!

            1. re: ComerDemonio

              I think the article will be published online soon. The Globe doesn't publish all its Saturday articles while Saturday's paper issue is still for sale. The most recent online CNS article is from last weekend.

              1. re: ComerDemonio

                It's here:
                http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/f...

                1. re: syoung

                  whats with all the ad hominem venom?!

          2. re: millygirl

            I don't know about that logic, millygirl ;-). Seeing no stars from CNS makes me want to give Woods a try. Seems he's got a bit of a mean streak when it comes to some new restaurants.

            The only reason I still haven't dined at Modus is because of your review not his! YMMV, of course :-)

            1. re: prima

              IMHO, if one enters an establishment that opens its door for business, sat down, ate and 'swallowed' the food that was ordered, willing to pay for the food and left on one's accord without being thrown out. Then, there is no reason on earth why that establishment deserves a 'zero star'??!!!

              1. re: Charles Yu

                Sometimes it's just fuel.
                Of course 0* is possible.
                Those are the places to which I never return.
                There are plenty of places in Toronto that I would give zero stars to. Except I don't use a * based system.

                1. re: Charles Yu

                  It seems the Globe and Mail's single star means "Good" and CNS thought the place was less than good. Apparently your single star means "I didn't get sick" :) He gave his reasons for the rating so you can agree or disagree ... even if you hate the guy. I actually like the fact that he has a strong opinion which I'm willing to ignore when it suits me.

                  1. re: ComerDemonio

                    Agreed. One star is good, so zero stars simply means it didn't meet that standard, which would be consistent with the review.

                    We had dinner at Modus back in 2008. It was OK, nothing special. For the prices they were charging, it was below our expectations. We have not been back since.

                    1. re: syoung

                      Yes. A lot of media just won't review places they won't give a star to (Toronto Life) so you don't see this often but it's totally possible

                      1. re: julesrules

                        Toronto Life actually won't give stars unless it's $30 pp just for food.

                        1. re: LexiFirefly

                          ?????
                          A lot of the new Japanese Ramen places were awarded stars, even though the bill can be way below $30 pp just for food!! This also applies to almost every Chinese restaurants and Pizzarias mentioned in the publication!!

                          1. re: Charles Yu

                            They must have changed it then. I remember in the food issues they just had cheap eat signals. Granted I have let my subscription lapse. Sorry!

                2. re: prima

                  Amy Pataki loved it!

                  1. re: prima

                    Hi prima!

                    The only reason I say this is because his review reminded me very much of our experience at Modus. We had a very similar experience in many ways.

                    But hey, that's just me. I would love for him to be wrong and the place a success but again, based on what we were served at Modus, I just can't see it and not willing to chance another $350 waste. But if you go, I'll be waiting with baited breathe for your comments and I hope it'll wow you!!!!

                    Cheers

                    1. re: millygirl

                      I hear what you're saying, but I guess I'm willing to give a new restaurant a try regardless of what CNS has written. That being said, I don't drink much, and rarely order dessert these days, so I'm rarely out more than $80-$100, so it's not as much of a gamble as if I was spending $350 on several courses with wine, etc. I'll take my <$100 plunge in a couple months, and let you know what I think.

                3. I was there just after it opened, in May..

                  Appetizer – yellowfin tuna tartare with apple puree and baby fennel ..first class all the way
                  Fish – wild digby scallops with parsnip puree and corned beef cheek, a sort of surf and turf , excellent scallops
                  Meat – roasted muscovy duck
                  breast crispy confit and dried cherries, Not at all chewy...
                  Artisanal Local Cheeses (not identified, which was a fault).

                  1. lunch was a tad too expensive but my pickerel was very good, so was the chicken cordon bleu and the venison carpaccio. I have not read the review, but zero stars is utterly rubbish as far as I am concerned. based on my single visit of course.

                    5 Replies
                    1. re: shekamoo

                      Hmm. Consensus among people who've been to Woods is that it is great, and the Globe has NOT posted the review on the website. Teacherfoodie, I say GO FOR IT and let us know what YOU thought. And yes, order the pickerel, scallops, duck, and green salad.....

                      I agree with shekamoo, no matter what the content of the Globe review was, no WAY it's a "zero" stars on ANY scale. Does anyone know if there is a grudge there? Pataki was charmingly honest about how she trashed him last time out, and much kinder about his new endeavour.

                      1. re: KAYLO

                        It is added to my list to try but not for this week. My brother-in-law also ate here and liked it a lot. He said the scallops were amazing.

                        1. re: TeacherFoodie

                          I hope you have a good meal. Woods is on my wishlist.

                          http://woodsrestaurant.ca/the-menu/

                        2. re: KAYLO

                          There's clearly not a consensus here as you claim! Review has been posted as I linked above.

                          We'll probably try Woods someday out of curiosity, but if the Woods experience is anything like our Modus experience, the first visit will probably also be our last.

                          1. re: syoung

                            Sorry, I meant that the consensus was among Chowhounds who had actually eaten at WOODS, not at other restaurants. The harshest I've seen so far is that it is notadventurous or imaginative. Just great ingredients and solid cooking.

                      2. I was there for dinner last week. I would agree with CNS that the menu is very pedestrian. It's like they looked at what was trendy and then went down the checklist to make sure they had a couple of regular staples to fill in the gaps. Regarding execution, everything was spot on except for a miscue with overcooked tuna (I like it very rare, but anyone would have called this overdone).

                        The venison carpaccio was huge and a highlight. The tuna tartare was too small but well put together. Perhaps a little heavy on the corn flavour which masked the tuna. The fish special (turbot) was incredible and the flatiron was spot on.

                        Overall it was a good meal, but definitely not adventurous. The room was very nicely done with the "wood" theme without being over the top.

                        I would have no trouble going back if someone suggested it, but there are so many interesting places opening up these days, I'm not in a rush to go again.

                        1. Has anyone tried the ceasar here? I thought I read somewhere that it comes with a deep fried dill pickle but it doesn't say that on the menu.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: TeacherFoodie

                            I have tried it and it came with a deep fried pickle, which was great. Also had the rye alexandria which came with some lovely cinnamon garnish. Very thin strips of brittle cinnamon wafer. It was great!

                            1. re: jra3434

                              Thank you jra3434!

                          2. My questions to Chris Nuttall-Smith are these:
                            -If the duck béarnaise tasted like water and corn starch, what is the reason for it? If it was watery and/or grainy, where did the technique go wrong?
                            -I'm not clear on what memories of aluminum can and tutti frutti means. If the scallops taste like they are out of a can, was it because it tasted tinny or was it something else?
                            -Venison carpaccio seems like a fairly straight forward dish of essentially raw meat. If the dish didn't taste of what it is, what technique was not done or how did the chef overwhelm the meat?
                            If I was shown more evidence for the conclusions drawn, I would find the writing more compelling.

                            1. http://www.torontolife.com/guides/res...

                              1. Saw an interesting post today by Anthony Davis chef at Woods... basically looking to hire someone to replace him and it seems like his whole kitchen staff..

                                "Anthony Davis: Looking for all levels of BOH staff for woods restaurant. There is an excellent opportunity to step into a chef de cuisine role in a modern, centrally located restaurant. Sous, pastry, and line jobs are also available."

                                "Anthony Davis: To clarify my post, it is my position, which is chef de cuisine, which is available, as I am pursuing another opportunity."

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: pourboi

                                  I saw that... I wonder what he's doing next. It hasn't even been a year yet...

                                  1. re: JennaBean

                                    In the past, critics have commented that Bruce Woods should spend more time in the kitchen. Maybe that will change now.

                                2. Been there twice for lunch.

                                  1st visit - Steak frites (flat iron). Steak was very good, the accompanying mushrooms and spinach were excellent. I did not like the frites - I don't like potato wedges, but their house made ketchup and mayo was good. Also their take on pavlova was amazing.

                                  2nd visit - Scallop appetizers were good as was the tuna main. Nothing outstanding but definitely very competent food worthy of a rotation if one frequents financial district (or just outside) restaurants.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: Apprentice

                                    very interesting indeed! and his wife did the pastries. I wonder where they are off to? or maybe they are just throwing in the (kitchen) towel?