Hawthorne Food & Drink

Monday, December 12, 2016

Tis the season of giving and that is certainly what is happening at Hawthorne Food & Drink in Toronto.

The concept of Hawthrone Food & Drink is all about giving back to the community.  The restaurant is a social enterprise of Hospitality Workers Training Centre (HWTC), a non-profit organization based on a sectoral workforce development approach. People who are unemployed can access free training and career development at Hawthrone to help them gain a job in Toronto’s hospitality industry. In 2015, HWTC trained 300 participants at Hawthorne and other partner facilities and about 80% of these trainees were successfully placed in hospitality jobs around Toronto within the same year.

Not only does Hawthorne provide training and career development to those in need of the appropriate skills, but Executive Chef Ricky Casipe believes in a ‘Farm-to-Fork City Food’ approach and uses only local, seasonal and sustainable ingredients to create the delicious dishes at Hawthorne.

I finally had a chance to check out Hawthorne Food & Drink and was seriously impressed with every aspect of this restaurant.  First and foremost I love supporting restaurant's that give back, so it was a real pleasure to dine here and taste some of the locally sourced meals from Hawthorne’s innovative menu.

The atmosphere of the restaurant was quite cozy and beautifully decorated for the holiday season. The wait staff were very attentive and friendly and we didn’t have to wait long for anything. Everyone was warm and welcoming which really made my experience at Hawthrone one to remember.

The menu includes small shareable plates and main dishes.  For drinks, there is a selection of wine, beer, cocktails and non-alcoholic beverages. We had quite the varied tasting menu which left us feeling very full but completely satisfied!

Croquettes - Poutine Sauce, Cheese, Pickled Stuff - $11

Cauliflower - Fried, Raw, Puree, Black Tahini, Winter Radish, Sumac - $12

Cornbread - Local Cornmeal, Fermented Jalapeno - $5

Brussels Sprouts - Bone Marrow Canoe, Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Panko Gremolata, Bacon - $13

Carbonara - Schmaltz, Linguini, Smoked Chicken, Free Range Yolk, Crispy Chicken Skins - $18

Fish - Pan Seared Trout, Chamomile Tea Broth, Masala Milk, Roasted Soybean, Fennel - $20

Burger - 6oz Grass Fed Patty, Kewpie Style Mayo, Miso, Mushrooms with Fries - $18

All of the dishes were beautifully plated and contained many ingredients from different cultures which Chef Ricky likes to use as an inspiration to create his dishes.  My favourite shared plate was the Cauliflower. Although it's meant to be shared, I could easily eat the entire thing by myself.  I really enjoyed the different variations of cauliflower as well as the sumac and black tahini to compliment it all.  My favourite main dish was the Trout.  It was cooked perfectly and paired nicely with the light tea broth and fennel.  I also must mention that the french fries here are UNREAL.  They are dusted with a delicious sweet and spicy seasoning and cooked to perfection.

I had a great experience at Hawthrone and I hope you all get a chance to stop by this holiday season. Not only will you be supporting a wonderful establishment that does good for others and the community, but you'll also feel good knowing that everything you're eating is locally sourced, seasonal and sustainable.

Disclaimer: The food provided in this post was complimentary. However, all of the opinions expressed in this review are of my own.

Hawthorne Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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