Bywoods Restaurant, Another St Clair West Gem




linguine with shrimp, spiced light cream sauce
 St Clair West is really in the midst of a restaurant boom lately and I suddenly find myself venturing out there to eat more and more. Before this last year, the only thing that could get me to make the trek to St Clair West was The Stockyards but that's all changing and the list of places that I have been to and loved and that are on my to do list grows at a steady pace.



The latest spot that I have had the pleasure of checking out is Bywoods, a new Mediterranean restaurant from Boom's Tony Cappellano. The two rooms are nice and cosy, with seating for about 65 people split between them. Soft lighting, music played at a decibel level that allows dinner conversation and a nice wall of window at the front all work together to give this place a nice, casual atmostphere that would be great for a big group.





We were there to taste their Fall menu so we wasted no time diggin into a duo of pizzas as soon as we sat down. Of the two I prefered the vegetarian over the Prosciutto with fig, gorgonzola and arugula. Both sported a super thin, crispy crust but the goat cheese, leek, peppers, artichoke, black olive and tomato version was the one that caught my eye and at $15 and $14 respectively , they easily feed a few people as an appetizer. Or, if you are feeling like hogging it all for yourself, it's big enough for an entree as well.


After the pizza, we all shared the Linguine with Shrimp in a spiced cream sauce with spinach ($21), the Mediterranean Salad which was kind of like a Greek Salad but with a yogurty sauce ($13) and, my favourite of the two salads, a Beet Salad ($12). Even people who said they don't normally like beets were taking seconds of the salad, scraping up the goat cheese and charred red onion from the bottom of the plate. How someone doesn't like beets is beyond me.






Pan Roasted Lamb Sirloin with apricot that came with a potato puree with smoked paprika and let me tell you, there was some heavy arm wrestling going on over the potatoes. We spent ten minutes trying to figure out what was in them. Was it squash? Sweet potato? Surely there was something like that making them orange and then there was a smokey thing going on. Chef Craig Dehne came out to answer our questions and told us that we were all wrong and that it was simply a puree of potato with smoked paprika. Well, there was nothing simple about these potatoes and I think I ate more potatoes than anything else and couldn't stop until they were all gone. The lamb was perfectly cooked and sat on top of a Moroccan spiced jus with a side of sauteed spinach ($26).




Grilled flank steak didn't work as well for me but I did love the salsa verde that came with it - it was really fresh and herbaceous and with another cut of steak, I would be all over it ($21).

We were also treated to their signature cocktail, the Bywoods which was a nice gin based drink, infused with rosemary and a hint of sweetness. I am a gin girl and was happy about the choice of drink.

The Bywoods - gin cocktail infused with rosemary

All in all, a really nice restaurant serving good food, generously portioned and full of flavour in a cosy, place with a nice, relaxed vibe. Bywoods is one more restaurant that I wish we had in the east end of the city. Sigh.

So, let's get to know Chef Craig a little better, shall we?


Hey Chef with Craig Denhe
1 Is there something you hated as a kid that you now love to eat?
   Rapini
2 If you weren’t a chef, what would you be doing?
  Writer
3 If you had to get rid of one thing on your menu, what would it be?
   Penne Puttanesca 
4 If you could only use one animal from now on in your cooking, which animal would it be?
   Lamb
5 Chinatown or India town?
   Chinatown
6 pasta or ramen?
   Ramen
7 dim sum or eggs benny?
   Dim Sum
8 Name a city that you have not been to that you would like to visit and eat in?
   Bangkok
9 Least favourite food trend in the last ten years?
   Poutine
10 What food/dish/technique that is no longer in fashion that you would love to resurrect?
    Sole de bercy
11 What do you eat for breakfast?
    Tea
12 What non food thing inspires your cooking?
     The weather
13 What four ingredients will always be in your kitchen?
      Marjoram, garlic, shallots and butter
14 What is your death row meal? 
     Spicy pad thai
15 In a fire you are allowed to rescue one thing from your home kitchen. What would it be?
    Kettle
16 What did you have for dinner last night?
     A Sandwich on German bread
17 Where am I most likely to find you eating on your day off?
     Home
18 If you couldn’t head your own kitchen, who would you want to work for?
     A good friend of mine, Crispin Chetwynd
19 Where would I most likely find you food shopping - Kensington Market or Whole Foods?
     Kensington Market

20 If you were offered a million dollar contract to design and promote a McMugget dipping sauce for McDonalds, would you do it?
     No!!
pasta, mediterranean salad and beet salad


Bywoods on Urbanspoon

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