My SO and I decided to try JKWB last night. After reading positive review after positive review on chowhound, I had a good feel for what to expect and what dishes were must tries. We decided to go early (6pm) to avoid the waits and were lucky with seating. There were no tables available and the couple in front of us opted for the restaurant instead of bar seating. That left 2 prime corner spots available at the Bar with an excellent view of the cooking action. Now on to the food...
After we placed our order for the first few dishes, they gave us a complimentary amuse of mushroom tart. I believe it was wrapped in phylo. Tasty.
We started off with the Seared Foie Gras ($15), which was a special for the night and not on the menu. It came accompanied with some type of compote (kumquat?) with cooked pieces of pears? and flat bread. This would be the first time that either of us have had foie gras and let me tell you it was one of the best things either of us had ever tasted. It just melted in your mouth and had amazing flavour with the compote matching perfectly.
Next came one of the must try items, the Lamb Poutine ($9). The lamb was like a mini grilled lamb burger over crispy fries covered with grated pecorino. Excellent!! The portion at first seemed small, but that was likely due to us being starving by that point.
We then had the Organic Salad with Savory Dressing ($6). This was another dish that hounds keep mentioning. It was simply greens with thin slices of radish, a light dressing, and sprinkle of salt (Im assuming it was fleur de sel or kosher salt). Dressing was fantastic and getting the odd piece of salt would spike your taste buds at the right time. This was my SO number 2 favorite dish of the night.
Portuguese Sardines with Marinated Potatoes ($11) were next. Two sardines were grilled with just a bit of oil. This was another great dish, simple preparation and excellent quality ingredients.
Now comes my second favorite dish of the night Veal Sweetbreads with Noodles in a Sherry Sauce ($12). Sweetbreads are another thing were having for the first time. The sweetbreads were melt in your mouth (reminded me a bit of the foie gras) and covered in a very rich veal sauce. It was just the most amazingly flavourful thing. I will definitely order this again.
The only miss of the night was the Hot Chicken Sandwich with Goats Cheese ($9). The chicken was shredded and cooked in a sauce, leaving the it kinda dry. I wouldnt order this again.
Next was the Cheese Plate ($12), a bit of a last minute decision. My SO has been talking about trying more cheeses lately, but Im not that big a fan of the specialty type cheeses (i.e. old smelly ones). The cheeses were all organic, unpastuerized, and Canadian. There were 5 cheeses; a 5 year old cheddar, a cows milk, a goats milk, a sheeps milk, and a blue cheese. The chef recommended pairing the blue cheese with the dates which was a great combination. I was actually surprised and really enjoyed all the cheeses. The other accompaniments were grapes, apples, walnuts and flat bread.
We decided to order Creme Brule ($6) and a Mascarpone and Peach Shortcake ($6) for dessert. The creme brule was good but nothing special. My SO really enjoyed the shortcake.
The total 6 dishes, 1 cheese course, 2 desserts, 6 and ½ glasses of wine, 1 beer, and tax & tip came out to $180. We splurged a bit and were stuffed by the time we were done. Next time well probably order 2 less mains, only 1 dessert and much less liquor. You could easily have a great meal there for half that amount with a bit of restraint. :)
Service through out the night was excellent. I really enjoyed sitting at the bar and being able to ask the chef questions about the food. Well definitely be going back. Jamie Kennedy made an appearance just as we were leaving. He mustve been cooking for the restaurant half.