I’ve been trying to get to Farmhouse Tavern since they opened their doors, and finally, the chance presented itself for me to go for brunch. And, this review is called the “brunch edition”, because I can tell you with certainty, that there will be a dinner edition to follow. Remember, I only write good reviews, so you should guess that I really enjoyed my brunch.
Firstly, it’s really exciting that they take reservations. Too many restaurants don’t, and when time is limited, and you are hungry, it’s way better to be able to have a reservation instead of waiting for hours! We walked in the door and were seated immediately. I was surprised how big the restaurant was, because from the outside, it looks like a really small space. There are two rooms, plus a private dining room that seats 8-10 people (I’d like to have a celebration there!) and an open kitchen, that operates like a well oiled machine. I had multiple chances to watch them work and observe the preparation of the insane amount of amazing food they created, while I waited for my lunch to come.
We had water to drink which they poured in very colourful and varied designs of glasses. Their plates and glasses don’t match at all, and it makes for very cool table settings. I wish they used cloth napkins for less waste, but I bet they compost the light paper ones they use.
The menu is up on a blackboard, but our waitress, Hannah could answer every question about every dish and described them really well. In fact, she described them so well, that I ordered two main courses. A table near me couldn’t see the blackboard, so their waitress was clever and took a picture on the patron’s iphone so they could read it at their table – very resourceful, and makes me want my own iphone even more!
I waited patiently for my Breakfast Sandwich and Hangover Poutine. Please note, I did not have a hangover. I went up to the kitchen a few times, and saw Alex, the head chef there, always smiling with high energy. One time, he even let me try a piece of Duck Prosciutto – it was really tender and had a perfect, rich flavour to it.
Then my lunch arrived. Wow. It was not only beautifully plated on wooden boards, it was absolutely delicious. I couldn’t wait to take a bite, but I restrained myself just long enough to take a couple pictures (see below). My mother ordered a salad – they had one on the menu that sounded great with fish and sheep’s milk dressing, but she got it done à la vegan, which, for a restaurant that specializes in meat, was gorgeous and she was so happy with the assorted colours and pickled and raw veggies. We both really liked the chickweed (my Breakfast Sandwich included a small side of it tossed in a vinaigrette). The first bites I took of the Breakfast Sandwich gave me an amazing first impression of the dish – they were pretty big. It was my first time trying a duck egg, and even though I didn’t taste much of a difference between it and a chicken egg, it was perfectly cooked and delicious. The fried eggs were layered over top of bacon and lettuce on a hearty and long slice of bread spread with mustard on it. I detected the noticeable taste of Kozlik’s mustard, and when I asked, I learned that it was in fact, Kozlik’s, however they mix it with their own concoction. The Hangover Poutine didn’t look very big in size, but it was massive in quantity! Think french fries, topped with pulled bison, and cheese curds all floating in rich gravy – then top it all off with a sunny side up duck egg! I didn’t think I was ever going to be hungry again after this meal, but I did eat dinner!
I don’t remember ever being to a restaurant where I actually wanted to order EVERY SINGLE ITEM on the menu, but Farmhouse Tavern is that place for me. The only thing that I saw that was disappointing was a can of Pam spray in their kitchen. That definitely doesn’t go with the type of food they serve and promote – I am certain that Pam is not a farm-to-table approved product.
I could not finish my food at lunch (I did finish it at dinner at home!), but the pancakes served at the next table looked so good, and when I asked what was in between the pancakes, Hannah told me that they were smoked apples, and I asked if I could try those. She brought me a little trial bowl full (so nice!!) and I noticed as soon as they hit my tongue that it had a distinctive canoe trippy taste – in the best way possible. I asked Chef Alex how he does it, and he said that he takes half of the apple, and puts it in their outdoor smoker (which is right on their outdoor patio), while the other half gets sautéed in maple syrup, for a sweet and smoky flavour balance. Now, only if I can get them to make those pancakes in a healthy, organic and gluten-free way, then my sister (and so many others) would be lining up to try them!!!
I do have to mention, that after all of the meat I ate, I felt it necessary to pop over to Bunners to get a vegan, gluten-free dessert – the complete opposite of my main course. I think the Gypsy Cookie and Easter “Cream” Egg balanced the lunch out perfectly!
I can’t wait to go back for dinner – and listen to some more of their rock and roll playing, while eating great food in the company of great people!