Weslodge (Toronto)


While restaurants like Cactus Club Café are known for their pretty approachable waitresses, at Weslodge, the scales tip in favour for the ladies where dapper young men sling the food instead. Dressed in tailored jean shirts, some even complete with leather suspenders, I’m guessing they’re supposed to resemble cowboys … very clean and tailored cowboys.

Despite the upscale saloon environment, their menu is more adventurous than steak and potatoes. There’s items from the sea and non-American risottos; of course, there’s still beef, but it’s braised and served with jus.  

During Winterlicious ($38), I’m happy to see their special price fixe menu includes renditions of their normally available dishes, such as the smoked trout and crisp potato cake starter. It’s a superb dish, the fish cooked through but still having the smoked flavour and aroma, which is balanced out with thinly sliced cucumbers and tangy crème fraiche. The potato base is not the shredded pancake or latkes version, rather a square of non-creamy potato gratin that flakes apart just like the fish.

The braised beef cheek was prepared to my liking: fork tender yet still has a meaty texture and just enough fat for moisture. Generally I’m skeptical about fruit sauces, but Weslodge’s huckleberry version had an appropriate level of fruitiness to cut against beef’s richness without reminding me of a fruit salad. Yet, the most surprising part of the dish was the sunchokes - cut into wedges and roasted so well they were creamy and encapsulated in a lovely crispy caramelized crust.


The meal was delicious to the end. The apple tarte tatin incorporated a thick layer of thinly sliced apples, nice and soft with crunchy butter graham clusters for contrast. With the light Ontario cider sorbet on the side, the dessert was positively refreshing. If only the tarte was warmer, it would have been perfect.


Looking back at the evening, it was a great experience: the friendly banter, attentive service, and delectable food. It wasn’t always like this. My last visit to Weslodge, when it first opened, was a stark contrast – our group of six was crammed into a table for four, it took forever to get a cocktail (even longer for food), and the burger was just a step above Jack Astors (no offense Jack Astors). Oh, how the tumbleweeds turn for I’ll be back … and it’s not because of the hot cowboys.

Overall mark - 8 out of 10
Is Winterlicious worth it (based on my meal selection)?
Winterlicious - $38
Regular menu - $58 - trout ($18), beef ($30) and dessert ($10)
Savings - $20 or 34%
How To Find Them
 Location: Toronto, Canada
 Address: 480 King Street West

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Gastro World's Grading System

  • Anything under 5 - I really disliked and will never go back
  • 6 - decent restaurant but I likely won't return
  • 7 - decent restaurant and I will likely return
  • 8 - great restaurant that I'd be happy to recommend
  • 9 - fantastic restaurant that I would love to visit regularly and highly recommend
  • 10 - absolute perfection!


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