It has been a long time coming since I was finally able to make it to Taylor’s Genuine. December and January broke the bank so I had to wait out for this one. My girlfriend and I were debating between Town and Genuine – our decision was purely based on rock/paper/scissors. So we made our way to the end of the Glebe and parked around the corner from the restaurant. If you recall from Ron Eade’s article a few months ago I was aware that John’s new place would be filled with beautiful wood, and warm as a result
This was true! If you remember going in when the building was still Starbucks, you’ll see the original skeleton still there but with a new skin of hand crafted food by John himself. Upon entering you will see tables lined against banquettes on each side of the room – as narrow as it is, this design works well. The kitchen and bar are lined up perfectly where the coffee bar and desserts used to lie in Starbucks, with I believe, a new addition towards the back of the restaurant for more cooking room.
Anyways, when we got there it was evident John has already gained a reputation for this new restaurant. The room was almost full, but we were able to sneak a deuce right near all the action. We were presented with a plate of charcuterie which was generous in size, and abundant in flavor. On this dish were meats and cheeses from around the area, in-house pickled vegetables, and two offerings of pate. One was a a duck live mousse, and the other a duck and foie rillette. Lastly there was a generous portion of smoked maple soy glazed sablefish. The sablefish was not my favourite but I think it requires an acquired taste. However, the duck liver mousse and duck foie rillette were absolutely divine in their own right. Both made in house makes a makes a challenging competition to the charcuterie served at Murray Street. John Taylor you impress me yet again.
The menu is slim, as it should be when the majority of items are made in house or brought in from local farms. A wide selection of appetizers and mains made it a very difficult decision what to order… so we decided to start with an order of the squash coconut milk soup and the lobster bisque. The soup was as suspected – they generally taste like squash and coconut milk, but the lobster bisque was layered with flavours; almost a coffee/chocolate taste hit the tongue first, followed by a heavy lobster cream taste – very well done.
For mains I ordered the flank steak and she the beet salad (we were quite full by the charcuterie). The first thing I noticed on my dish was the perfectly cooked steak placed on one end of the plate with a savoury sauce to match. On the other side was a lengthy piece of potato pave (imagine scallop potatoes layered like a cake) but seared on the outside to resemble the texture of a well made french fry. I love the entire combination of flavours. The beet salad looked familiar to that you would find elesewhere but with the simple twist: riopelle instead of goat cheese. The riopelle was a great change but there could have been more of it.
By the time we were done there was simply no room for dessert but it allowed us to take in the atmosphere. It is a great place for a first date, a night out with the girls, or a casual dinner. John has taken his skills to a new level to bring high end food in a more casual form. That particular night there was a lot of women there having dinner with their girlfriends, but I think the place probably does well for all types of people, all ages. The price for good food these days are quite expensive but John’s menu is very reasonably priced.
For those of you who are wood fanatics like me, you will enjoy this youtube video of John explaining the wood featured in Genuine.