The highly-anticipated Weslodge is set to open its doors tonight on King West to eager patrons looking to experience Toronto's interpretation of a modern saloon in the city's trendiest nightlife district. With two restaurateur and nightlife moguls Hanif Harji and Charles Khabouth, along with Head Chef Stuart Cameron, behind the project, we think a step back to western roots is a no-fail endeavour.
We had an exclusive early look at the space, which is fit to seat 140 diners between its large open-concept saloon room and semi-private upstairs dining area. Outfitted with real wood and marble throughout, and accented by taxidermy and everything else you'd expect to find at a typical western roadhouse, Weslodge keeps it authentic from ambiance to menu.
Diners can expect twists on comfort classics, like their take on fluke ceviche or their black truffle scotch egg. Even better is that all ingredients, from their home-baked bread to house-made ketchup, are created in the kitchen and are used on a one-time only basis. Never frozen, always fresh.
Of course we had to inquire about their dessert menu. In keeping with Weslodge's focus on understated elegance, diners can expect innovative treats with a spin at a great price point. We hear their cherry cheesecake with a black forrest cake element will be a sure-fire favourite.
What's truly notable, though, is their extensive cocktail menu. We'll leave the experimenting up to you, but we can tell you that chef Cameron spoke glowingly about a barrel-aged maple syrup and Maker's Mark bourbon concoction, which will serve as the base for anything from mixed spirits to dressings.
Weslodge opens tonight and will be open seven days a week, serving both lunch and dinner. Oh, did we mention they'll also be hitting the scene with "the most interesting brunch you've seen in this city" this Sunday?