Whippoorwill is a small restaurant located on Bloor West near the Lansdowne subway station. This small and narrow restaurant is a mishmash of pub, diner and fine-dining elements. Although I can’t confidently assert the vibe they are going for, I have never been disappointed with the food at Whippoorwill. Though I must admit, I have ordered the same thing at every visit – Potato Gnocchi with Braised Beef Cheek. The first time I visited Whippoorwill, I had the “side” portion of the gnocchi, and regretted not getting a bigger portion. The gnocchi was perfect – crispy on the outside and soft and pillowy on the inside. The braised beef cheek was tender, juicy and well-spiced. It was heavenly! So on my second visit; I knew that I had to get the larger size. Several people at my table decided to get it as a side since almost everyone wanted to order their famous burger for their main. So there I sat, excited about my “large” portion! That excitement plummeted quickly when I saw that my “large” sized portion contained maybe 2 extra pieces of gnocchi, and one tablespoon more of the braised beef cheek than the “side” portion. WTH! Sure it came in a larger plate, but that was about the only thing that was bigger when compared to the side portion. How heartbreaking!
Don’t get me wrong, the food at Whippoorwill can be exceptional, but if you like a good-sized meal, you are better off going with the burger, since the sides really are small, and the upgrade to a regular size will not get you much more food. Since I have not tried the burger, and looking back, it really is crazy that I have yet to taste this famous burger (I love burgers!), I must return to Whippoorwill so I can finally check this burger off my “10-Burgers-I-Must-Try-In-Toronto List.” I am also very curious about their brunch menu (I posted a photo of the brunch menu below).
Overall all my guests loved their meal, and the burger was a huge hit. Someone gave me a potato wedge to try, and it was perfect – like the gnocchi, it was crispy on the outside and pillowy in the inside, and perfectly seasoned. I also shared a dessert, and it was delicious – no point in telling you about it in detail since the desserts we had at our dinner are no longer on the menu. Boo
Do note that they do not take reservations for brunch, but do for dinner. Also, the space is small, so it can get very loud.
Addendum – Bad News:
It looks like Whippoorwill regularly updates their menu (I have posted a photo of the new menu below), and they no longer have the gnocchi with the braised beef cheek on the menu. In fact, the only item they still have is the burger! They do however still offer a potato gnocchi dish, but this one comes with confit squash, and hazelnut and crispy kale. Still sounds interesting, so I am going to give it a try.
Stay tuned for my new Whippoorwill brunch and dinner review.