Last night Brent and I went out in the rain to have dinner at Woodlot, best new restaurant 2010, we had been meaning to go there for a while now. To say that the restaurant is bare-bones and minimalist is an understatement to say the least. It is insanely low-key and unassuming. There is no fancy decor or loud music or pompompery. Just tables and a second floor with more tables. There is a giant table beside the kitchen that we guessed was for walk-ins without reservations, they had to suffer through sharing a table with strangers. We periodically would laugh at the people down below (we were on the second floor overlooking the first). The kitchen is not hidden somewhere in the back, a magical place behind swinging doors that you only get a glimpse of. It is right there near the doors. We could watch them put food into the giant, and I really do meant giant, (wood-fired?) oven.
We knew beforehand what we were going to order. We figured we would be in and out of there in no time. We were wrong. Apparently our order was put in just after the orders of a fairly large group. People kept showing up to apologize/tell us our food was on its way. We had ordered the pork chops and the steak and when we placed the order she said due to the nature of the food it would take a little bit longer. It took a lot longer than a little bit. At least we had a nice view to keep us occupied. We got to watch them make stuff in the kitchen as well as check in on a weird couple at the common table. They were there when we got there, they were there when we left. It was weird, they were leaning in so close to each other, must have been intense conversation. Or they are just weirdos. I say the latter. Lucky for us they ordered the treat platter for two, which did not look all that astounding and therefore not worth the wait.
The food was really good, that is except for the brussel sprouts that Brent had ordered on the side. Turns out I am not allowed to say that I do not like them if I have never tried them. So I did. I had a bite, made a face and downed a lot of water. They are awful. No amount of grilling or topping with bacon could ever save them. They taste too much… like vegetables. The steak was better than the pork-chops but only because the first bite I had of pork chop was just fat. Which was mildly jarring to say the least. There were two pieces of steak left so I had one… only it was a piece of mushroom, whihc was really unexpected and yet again, jarring.
What we realized when we left is that we are fast eaters. Not to say that we inhale our food without savouring it. Just as soon as the food arrives, any socializing ceases and we eat! Every once in a while we will give a thumbs up or make a face, but as per talking, not a heck of a whole lot. We almost always look up the menus online beforehand so when we get there we know what we want to order, lest what is on special changes that, which I don’t think it ever has. It would appear we don’t really care much about atmosphere. What matters is the food. That being said, the atmosphere at Woodlot is relaxed, but also kind of dark. Not exactly the best lighting hence the less-than-perfect (to say the least) photographs. Or maybe I was too busy eating.