I’ve heard a lot about the Canadian restaurant, Antler Kitchen & Bar, situated on Dundas Street West.
On a Saturday early evening, some foodie friends and I dined here for dinner. Thanks to Anh of Hangry Foodies for making the reservation for us almost a month in advance!
I was the first to arrive at the restaurant, having been dropped off extra early to make the commute downtown. I walked into the restaurant at 5:30 p.m., 15 minutes before our booked reservation of 5:45 p.m.
Anh had specifically included the special request for a table near the window so that us foodies could benefit from the natural sunlight still beaming in at that hour (for more gorgeous photos).
The four of us shared a couple of dishes that night to try out the menu.
The Wild Boar Gyoza actually wasn’t too outstanding. Antler prides itself on hunter and game meats, hence the name of the restaurant. It was a classic gyoza that was pan fried and tasted good.
The Jamaican Venison Patty arrived in a paper bag with a stamp of the restaurant logo on a plate with a side of spicy dipping sauce. It reminded me of the common Jamaican patties that you can get at subway stations for less than $2. (Those are delicious, by the way).
This Jamaican Venison Patty was flaky and full of rich and moist venison meat. It was good but the overall patty itself wasn’t very mind-blowing. The ‘spicy dipping sauce’ was indeed quite spicy!
Next, we ordered two mains to share and to try out more of the rest of their menu. So far, I hadn’t been too impressed yet since both their gyoza and patty starters tasted great but nothing worth writing home about — they both looked great in presentation points though.
Mmm, this next dish was where I was definitely impressed — the Ricotta Cavatelli with Wild Boar Ragu was surprisingly so delicious and tasted amazing!!! The pasta was handmade and there was tomato braised wild boar, Parmesan, and basil. The Parmesan cheese was the key ingredient that absolutely made the dish and tied everything together. I am a huge cheese lover and this was the epitome of perfect cheesy goodness with delicious handmade pasta and bits of tomato infused wild boar! ❤
We also tried the Spice Ash Crusted Rack of Deer. It was a generous portion of braised shoulder with parsnip purée, and swiss chard.
I liked the parnsip purée and cauliflower purée as well. The dish was delicately assembled together and the braised deer shoulder was tender and tasted gamey enough for me to recognize it was a game meat.
The service that we received that night was great — probably due in part to me revealing that we were all food bloggers dining together and thus that’s why we wanted maximum light exposure at our table (not that I was expecting anything when I said that but in my opinion there is nothing wrong to reveal about being a blogger.. much like you would casually reveal that you are of a ___ profession. If the restaurant wanted to up their ante that night upon discovering that there were “food bloggers” in the house, then that was their decision). One of the servers who was not serving our table did come up to us to ask us how things were going; however, so it’s hard to say if their regular service was that great on a regular basis.
Nevertheless, I enjoyed my visit at Antler but think there were still more dishes I wanted to tackle on their menu, such as the Wild Mushroom Tarte Tatin or the recommended Pappardelle dish, the only other handmade pasta on the dish at the time.
Have you been to Antler Kitchen & Bar before? What was your experience like? 🙂