I had to collect the Rogue beers I had ordered at the Beer tasting dinner and that seemed like a good excuse to revisit Deepwood. This was in fact their idea not mine, having lured me with a $10 voucher for use the same evening and Gallery Hop seemed like good timing. I hoped that their duck confit spring rolls would help to satisfy my current crispy duck craving and enticed a couple of friends to join me.
High street was mobbed with pedestrians and more street performers than I recall; ‘sheer pong’ outside one of the salons, mercy for animals and all the usual petitioners and gallery overflow. One of our plans involved drinks and appetizers at Deepwood followed by pizza at Bono and while one of our group actually made it into a gallery, my fellow Brit accompanied me to see how late they were staying open. Bono was really crowded, getting the advantage of a beautiful evening, a live band next-door and their in-sight of but out of the fray location. I am glad to see them doing so well. By the time we had completed our Russell street recce and regrouped we had picked up two more friends both in search of dinner but deterred by the long wait time at Bono
Our enlarged party wended our way down to DW, which luckily for us seemed to be the only restaurant that we would have found a table for 5 without a long wait. Good for us, but not for the owners. I don’t know how much it is the location, just south of the main drag or that they are still so new, because I think the food is far better than a number of the much busier places we passed. It is a big space and the atmosphere would have benefitted for a little more bustle.
It was now after nine and the menu so tempting that we ended up eating mostly main courses. Our cheery and complaisant server said we could pick and choose from the main dining menu as well as the tavern menu but I have to admit that the pile (and fold out design) of the two food menus, plus a separate drinks menu and wine list became a little overwhelming. In the end I think we all ordered from the tavern menu, which is excellent value.
Highlights of the meal included – the bread basket with three types of house-made bread, my favorite being a raisin nut bread (that I happily ate an extra slice of for desert), the silver bulleit (a cocktail made with bulleit bourbon, ginger syrup, ginger ale and garnished with a slice of crystalized ginger), the grilled polenta (that accompanied the short ribs) and the steak au poivre which my compatriot pronounced superior to one he had eaten earlier in the week at Lindey’s.
Despite a full sampling of the bread basket, I was so hungry that I forgot to take a photo of the spring rolls. I thought they were fantastic, moist, flavorful and the minimum wrapping to hold them together. I loved the touch of ginger. The poached plums they were served with were also very good and I would happily have eaten them for desert too, but I thought they were too substantial a sauce for the spring rolls.
My main course, fettucine with mussels was also extremely good – it comprised housemade pasta, with spicy sausage, roasted tomatoes and manhattan clam sauce. Apart from the visual effect the mussels did not stand out but the sausage was exceptionally tasty and the pasta and sauce superb.
We resisted dessert but I may have to return soon to try the Chimay spice cake with plum ice cream and I also want to try the tuna and beet tartars from the main menu. There are also some tempting cocktails, although sadly no happy hour.
Everyone enjoyed their food, the bill was reasonable, the service excellent and we were sent off with a taste of sous-chef Colin Vent’s splendid home-brew, kindly presented by the owner. She explained that this gesture was because beer was what had brought us to Deepwood in the first place. Colin said that his approach to beer making and cooking is to throw things at the wall and see what sticks. If my samplings so far are anything to go by, I think he would make a talented darts player. I could eat there often and although I don’t want to have to have to wait for a table, I very much hope they are busier when I return.