With all the rave reviews for Farmhouse Tavern (@FARMHOUSEtavern), I knew this was a place I had to check out. Located in the Junction Triangle, they serve dinner from Thursday to Sunday and brunch on weekends.
Upon entering the restaurant, you can’t help but feel like you’ve entered…well, a farmhouse tavern! The décor is very rustic with its kitschy furniture and artwork on the walls.
You’ll find their menu on a blackboard hanging on the wall. It’s a small menu which makes it easy for indecisive folks like myself. The four of us came for a late dinner around 9pm and some of the menu items (like pork belly) were already sold out which made narrowing down our choices even easier.
As you can see, some of their menu names aren’t exactly descriptive. But our server was more than happy to explain each of them for us. Oh, and here’s a tip for all you Yelp users – if you check in, you get a free (alcoholic) drink!
Based on a recommendation from our server, be started off with the Plougman’s Platter ($24) which came with pork belly, a duck rillette, trout gravlax, beef bacon, a foie gras torchon and two types of cheese (camembert and a hard cheese I didn’t catch the name of). This platter is perfect for sharing – if you’re here with a few other people, I highly recommend ordering this.
Every component of the platter was delicious except for some pickled spruce that garnished the plate. It was interesting on paper…but it tasted like Christmas tree. The fatty pork belly and thick slab of beef bacon were probably my favourite components. The foie gras torchon was wonderfully smooth and the duck rillette was seasoned perfectly – a small bite of each of these really packed a flavour punch. I just wish there was a bit more bread to pair the components with.
Our other starter was the Heart & Soul ($12). I’m a sucker for heart so I had my eye on this dish. It consisted of small pieces of beef heart that had been sautéed with bone marrow. The beef heart was mixed with some cucumbers and served on a crostini with some greens on the side. If you’re a fan of beef heart, I’m sure you’ll enjoy this dish as much as I did.
My friend Vanessa and I both went with their famous Barnyard Burger ($20). It did not disappoint! They grind their meat in house and their patty, which was loosely packed, was cooked to a perfect medium rare. The burger was piled high with goat cheese, lettuce, a fried egg and beef bacon.
The boys laughed at us as we attempted to eat the huge burger. After one sad attempt, my face was covered in burger…but the messier, the better right? The fried egg had an oozing yolk, the beef bacon gave it a bit of saltiness and the creamy goat cheese wasn’t overpowering. A damn good burger!
It came with a side of addictive fries too. I didn’t eat too many of them since the burger was quite filling but the boys gladly helped out.
Mike ordered the Fish Dish – trout with kale, onions, eggplant and edible flowers ($21). The trout was cooked to perfection – moist with a nice, crispy skin. I liked the playful presentation with the onion “bowls” holding some of the sauce.
The addition of the eggplant worked surprisingly well with the fish but I wasn’t a fan of all the edible flowers that garnished the plate. I’m just not that into eating flowers, that’s all.
Josh ordered the Veggie Gnocchi ($19) which wasn’t his first choice. As I mentioned, Farmhouse Tavern has a small menu with only a handful of entrees. The pork belly was already sold out and he just had steak the previous night so by process of elimination, he went with the gnocchi. I didn’t try any of it but he commented that it didn’t really have the texture of gnocchi. And while he didn’t say it was a bad dish, I just don’t think it was anything too memorable.
Overall, I had a great experience at Farmhouse Tavern – their praise well deserved! Having heard great things about their brunch as well, you can bet you’ll see me back here for breakfast.
At a glance:
• A small menu focused around local ingredients
• Highlights: the Ploughman’s platter, Barnyard Burger
• Dinner is served from Thursday to Sunday; brunch on weekends
• Reservations taken via text
• Located in the Junction
• The interior feels like a barn/farmouse; very casual
• If you check in with Yelp, you get a free (alcoholic) drink
Ratings (out of 5):
• Food: 4 stars
• Service: 4 stars
• Atmosphere: 3 stars