Last night, my DC and I went to dinner at Weezie's. Guess he didn't have to make reservations as we were the only ones there - perhaps it's because they are listed as closed on Tuesday nights in many restaurant resources? Anyway, according to our server, they only recently started opening for Tuesday nights, and the place was "hopping" before we arrived at 9pm-ish. Guess everyone was there for dinner at 5pm?
To start, we shared the escargot. Despite them listing cured ham as an ingredient, it seemed to be missing in our little serving. It also came with a side of dandelion greens and toasted baguette. The greens were less than prime, and the toasts were not toasted enough. Would it also be too picky to want a different bread than the one they bring you to start? There were also pieces of crushed tomato, which didn't add much to the whole dish, though it did make it "sunnier" compared to the heaviness of the butter and garlic only preparation. I think the flavours in the sauce would make a nice (rich) soup, escargot was very tender.
The main reason we went, I think was to have the burger, in light of the recent burger threads floating around CH. I can't say I was overly impressed, for a number of reasons:
-Despite promising that it would be "as rare as possible" (as rare as medium rare can be, anyway...rare wasn't allowed) it came out to a uniform grey-ish brown. I want to see red, or at least pink! It did not look promising. The meat on its own was bland and it had no beefy taste. I think it could've benefited from some (more) seasoning; S&P at minimum?? My DC described it as a meat loaf.
-Neither of us really liked the bun. For me, it was a little dense, though workable.
-The tomatoes were beyond mealy (and I know good tomatoes can be possible! I just recently had a sublime on at Kaji) and really hampered the burger. To be fair, you don't *need* tomatoes to enjoy a burger, but if you're going to serve it...
-A more zippy or interesting mustard could've help add flavour
-I know some people don't want any strong cheeses to distract from the meat, but in this case, because the meat was so bland, I was longing for something less boring than the slice of cheddar. I was desperate for *something* to give this burger some flavour.
-The fries were sadly, sadly undercooked. There is something depressing about white, pasty fries (though I ate them anyway so I'm not sure I'm one to say anything).
In terms of utility/$spent, I would say that a McDonald's double cheese beats it by a landslide (just as a point of reference). Since so many people compare/recommend Weezie's, Harbord Room and Nota Bene for a burger fix, here is my ranking: Nota Bene (9), Harbord Room (7.5), Weezie's (4.5) (numbers used just to show where I rank them relative to each other). I still need to make it to Allen's though.
The trout was also ordered. The side potato salad definitely stole the spotlight- it was absolutely delicious and my favourite item of the night. It had a lot of different textures, and came with peeled and sliced fingerlings, tarragon, finely minced celery and a thin, tangy, yogurt-y mayo sauce, finished with crispy shallots. It was not the usual gloopy, dressed type of potato salad. The trout was slightly overdone in areas (and I think this is partly because the fillet was not of uniform thickness) and I wish the skin was crispy! The fish came topped with capers and a fresh, citrusy dressing. Nothing groundbreaking. I wish I could order the potato salad on its own.
Dessert options and wine list are both short and to the point. We quite enjoyed the merlot they had (I wish I remember the name!) on the list.
Service was efficient enough, though I would expect it to be as we were the only ones there! It was slightly awkward at times when the staff would have a conversation because they were quite loud (fine if the place was full and there was chatter all around) and it made our dinner conversation somewhat hard to hear.
In all, a fine place, though not something I would go out of my way for. I can see why people enjoy it and it's a nice neighbourhood place, but with all the options around, I don't think I'll be returning anytime soon.