Review: The Westerly

Hubby and I visited The Westerly on Roncesvalles tonight. The restaurant is laid back and the food is fantastic. It feels warm and welcoming and the bar seating is inviting. We got there earlier as we were hungry and lucky we did go early because by the time we left, the place was filling up. As I entered, it wasn’t busy and most of the people were sitting at the bar eating. It seemed like a fun place to be (at the bar) that I even asked hubby if he wanted to take the last 2 seats. We ended up taking a table, for a bit more space.

I decided to try a cocktail – Pimms Cup ($9). The reason I was curious had everything to do with the fact that I’m trying to grow borage, and apparently the flowers from this plant are used in drinks with Pimms. The Westerly’s version combines lemon juice, Pimms #1, cucumber and a ginger syrup, topped off with a little frothy egg white. It was delightful! And since Pimms is 50 proof, this stuff goes down easy. The waiter brought out home-made bread, which was really good. Then came our starter. We decided to be adventurous and try something different – we ordered the Arancini Bolognese, which is made with arborio rice, Woolwich Dairy goats cheese, bolognese and fresh arugula ($9.00). Arancini is a Sicilian stuffed rice ball, fried and coated with breadcrumbs. Everything about it was good. The sauce was home made and fresh, the arancini was crunchy on the outside and the stuffing was melt-in-your-mouth. The peppery arugula was perfect. It was time for me to order a drink with dinner. I started looking at the wine list, and then decided to try another cocktail instead, since the first one was so good. I decided to try the Gimlet ($10) which is made with gin, lime juice, simple syrup, egg white and a splash of Lillet. This too was very nice and light. If I had to choose between the two, I liked the Pimms Cup more.

Hubby ordered the duck confit ($20). It was amazing. The flavour of the duck without all the salt has made it my favourite place for duck confit so far. It was served with black currant jus and fresh veggies on top of du puy lentils.

I ordered the braised short ribs ($24) which was also a wonderful dish. Red wine braised, roasted cippolini onions, horseradish mashed potato, baby carrots and asparagus. Horseradish mash is so good! The ribs were tender, but a little bit dry. Thankfully there was so much delicious jus. I enjoyed both dishes so much that I actually asked hubby if we could switch halfway.

Instead of ordering coffee, we decided to re-visit Aroma Espresso Bar and I had a cup of their Chai latte. I stuck with the small size. It makes me look forward to coming back for another little taste of liquid goodness.

I highly recommend The Westerly for great food and friendly service at affordable prices. I also suggest that you make reservations unless you stop in early, especially on a weekend as I imagine this place gets busy.

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