The steak tartare looks like a work of art, with the bright red beets mixed with the pink raw steak, complemented by a yellow egg yolk in the centre. Pommes gaufrettes are waffle-shaped chips piled next to the dish. When dipped in the meat mixture, the vinegar on the beets melds with the freshness of the beef.
Even on a Tuesday night, Woodwork, across from the Westin, is packed, and bustling with activity. Andrew Borley mixes drinks at the long bar, serving libations from an extensive menu, while conversations at neighbouring tables are animated. The lively atmosphere is reflected in the menu.
We’re in the mood for adventure, and Woodwork is the ideal place to test our limits. So, next it’s marrow served right from two large beef bones. They’re placed in the middle of roasted carrots and parsnips in a beef reduction. Scoop the soft marrow from the bones and it’s a sweet, mild, gelatin that’s best mixed with the savoury sauce on the plate.
The menu, which changes every few months, offers comfort food as well, with the chowder St. Jacques as a perfect example. It’s a creamy soup that comes with a seared scallop and a cheddar biscuit; thick and rich, it makes for a good appetizer.
It’s just enough to get your appetite going for the main course – the hanger steak is a good option for those seeking comfort. The savoury meat is made sweet when mixed with a smoked version of a French beurre Bercy. And for a truly satisfying meal, the pork ribs with Nomad baked beans (a nod to the owners’ past gig, running Nomad food truck) and slaw are the right choice. The ribs are hearty while the baked beans are smoky and full of flavour. (10132 100 St., 780-757-4100, woodworkyeg.com)