Woodwork was opened in December 2013 by a group largely from Montréal eager to share their love of BBQ and French cuisine. Since landing in Edmonton, they have made a point of working with local artisans and suppliers.
Starting with drinks, I was enticed by the house made sodas, and decided to try the strangest sounding one: Celery Soda. It started fresh on the palate like tonic water, but left a sweet aftertaste reminiscent of chrysanthemum.
For appetizers, we ordered the Warm Corn Bread with whipped brown butter, and the Steak Tartare, made up of raw beef, pickled beet, and egg yolk, with pommes gaufrettes on the side. Both dishes were fresh and flavourful yet measured in its the combination of the ingredients.
I was determined to have steak while in Alberta, so I chose the Steak Frites, which consisted of a flank steak with chimmichurri sauce and hickory frites. I prefer my steak medium rare, but since the server never asked for my preference, I received a well done steak. It was still juicy, and the chimmichurri sauce added a tartness with a hint of liquorice. The fries appeared to have been double fried in naughty animal fat for extra crispiness and an addictive element.
My significant other had the Wood-Grilled Brisket in molasses BBQ sauce, with grits and mornay broccoli. I’m neither a fan of brisket nor sweet sauce on meat, and this dish did nothing to sway me. My significant other was happy with the flavour of the brisket, but would have preferred the meat to be more tender. He disliked the grits’ inconsistent texture, but he loved the smoky flavour of the broccoli.
Our eyes were bigger than our stomachs when we ordered a side of Mac n’ Cheese. The pasta remained firm covered in cheese, and the tomato concasse and bread crumbs on top served as good contrasts in weight and texture.
Overall, the dishes were all well executed, though indistinguishable from any number of restaurants in Toronto and Montréal specializing in BBQ meats.
There appeared to be an insufficient number of servers on the week night that we dined. However, our server was always polite, and when we informed him that he had brought the wrong dish, he corrected the oversight without question. When we received the bill, he had waived the price of our drinks to compensate. Now, that’s service!
★ ★ ★ ★
Woodwork, 10132 100 St NW, Edmonton, Alberta
Dined July 2014 – Junggugeo Kaenada