Delectable offerings at Bywoods, Restaurant and Bar on St. Clair Ave. West

Website: https://www.facebook.com/Bywoods
Address: 760 St. Clair W., Toronto ON
When I visited: Oct.1st, 2014, dinner

Being close to The Stockyards (one of my favourite burger joints), it was not hard to find Bywoods located on the busy and ultra vibrant St. Clair W. Organized by the wonderful Vicky (@momwhoruns), an intimate group of food bloggers and I got to taste the delightful offerings of owner Tony Cappello and Chef Craig Dehne’s Italian/Mediterranean cuisine.

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The decor is simple and modern, yet it provides a warm atmosphere. There is a wall separating the restaurant which allows for more privacy for large parties. We were spoiled that evening and got to sample an arrangement of starters, sides and mains. Here is what I sampled:

To start, I had The Bywoods cocktail with gin, lemon juice, sugar and club soda and organic rosemary. I like my drinks strong and this was a great way to start the meal. The fragrant rosemary provided a nice hint and was not overpowering as I originally thought it would be.

For the meal, we had two kinds of pizza/flatbreads including the proscuitto pizza with fig, gorgonzola and dressed arugula, as well as the vegetarian pizza with goat cheese, red pepper, grilled artichoke, tomato, red onion, black olive and fresh marjoram. I would definitely come back to order these pizzas; the restaurant was generous with the toppings and every ingredient made for a delicious bite.

Bywoods Pizza

Bywoods Pizza

Bywoods Veggie Pizza

Bywoods Veggie Pizza

Next, I had the beet salad with goat cheese, charred red onion and arugula with walnut dressing. I liked that it was a substantial salad with a leafy component, rather than just beets. I love beets and I couldn’t get enough of this salad.

Beet salad

Beet salad

The Mediterranean salad with vine tomatoes, cucumber, red onions, black olives, feta cheese and marjoram dressing and a coriander yogurt sauce. The presentation was more rustic. I thought the salad was less memorable for me but definitely it would be a great side to order with my mains.

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I am a sucker for a good scallop and picky when it comes to the execution. The restaurant nailed it with the nice sear while the centre was tender. Having the smaller cut chorizo at the bottom of the scallop meant that I had to play “jenga” with my food; my scallop had to be toppled over first before I cut into it.

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The linguine with shrimp with spiced light cream sauce and spinach was delicious. It was light, yet well seasoned and the shrimps were big! Compared to similar pastas I have eaten, I enjoyed that this dish was not drenched in olive oil.

Linguine with shrimp

Linguine with shrimp

…wait there’s more!

My favourite dish of the evening went to the pan roasted lamb sirloin done medium rare with a apricot, potato puree with smoked paprika and sautéed spinach, moroccan spiced jus. I love a good lamb and this one was tender.

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I also tasted grilled flank steak with arugula, mushroom, cured tomato salad, salasa verde and jus. My favourite part of the dish was the appetizing salsa verde which brightened up the dish.

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The end the meal, I tried the flourless chocolate cake. I enjoyed that the presentation was cute and simple, and that it was not very sweet.

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Overall:

The prices are reasonable for the quality of food that you get, as the flatbreads range from $13 to $15, and the mains were about $22 to $28 a dish. I would recommend Bywoods for delicious fare where classic dishes are done well. As part of the evening, our parting gift included a loaf of bread, tomato jam and a $50 gift card to the restaurant. The bread and sweet and spicy tomato jam was incredible and as for the gift card, it’s mine (sorry, no give-away)! I am coming back with my family since I enjoyed the meal very much! Thank you Bywoods!

Follow Bywoods for more information www.facebook.com/bywoods, @bywoods760 (Instagram and Twitter)

* The meal was complimentary but as always the opinions in the post are my own.

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