The Green Wood King West
Toronto, ON M5V 1K4
East enders already know the Green Wood as a bright, inviting destination for thoughtfully-made breakfast and brunch fare; but with its second location the Green Wood expands its reach as well as its food offerings, adding dinner to its menu line-up.
The Green Wood strikes a balance between hearty and wholesome, offering menus focused on local, sustainably-sourced fare that’s flavourful and satisfying but doesn’t leave you feeling like you need a nap after your meal.
Led by executive chef Ariel Coplan, the restaurant’s commitment to sustainability extends beyond the way ingredients are sourced to the work environment as a whole. Coplan is a co-founder of a non-profit community organization called ‘Not 9 to 5,’ which promotes mental health in the restaurant industry. The restaurant’s dedication to sustainable work practices (in addition to sustainably-sourced fare) adds a feel-good reason to visit.
The Green Wood is open for breakfast, lunch, dinner and weekend brunch, and although the menus change throughout the day, homestyle fare with big flavours and seasonal ingredients is a theme throughout. Much of what you’ll eat here, including the breads and sauces, is made in-house. Most of the dishes are designed to be shared family-style, but the dinner menu includes a “classics” section for those who prefer to tuck into their own plates.
“I think a good way of putting it is: it’s food we want to eat,” says executive chef Ariel Coplan. While there are meat options on the menus, Coplan says he wanted to create a lighter, vegetable-forward menu that veered away from heavy, meat-focused fare.
All of the Green Wood’s seafood is Ocean Wise certified, the meat comes from Bespoke Butchers (some of it is cured in-house), and Coplan says they’re working with local farmers to source produce.
True to the Green Wood’s focus on veggie-led fare, the produce is no afterthought.
The grilled broccolini gets a sweet kick from a scattering of dates, providing a nice contrast to the sharp cheddar and crunchy flavour-packed almonds.
The colourful chopped beets also have a comforting, sweetness thanks to warm honey and creamy whipped goat cheese.
Mediterranean flavours are also a common theme throughout the menu. “I think there's something to be said about the Mediterranean lifestyle and the grazing idea,” says Coplan, adding that the Green Wood’s small plates and all-day hours lend themselves to the concept of grazing on food throughout the day.
The Souk fries are topped with addictively crispy halloumi, pickled cucumbers, roasted eggplant, and a fried egg (with a yolk that blends nicely with the tahini-lemon sauce).
The Green Wood’s signature meat dish is the paprika-braised short ribs, which are fall-off-the-bone tender.
For dessert, sweet potato beignets with maple dipping sauce are a light and lovely finish.
The Green Wood brings the same sustainable approach to its cocktail program as it does to its food, producing ingredients like syrups and infusions seasonally and in-house.
A leaner menu of light, easy-drinking cocktails, like the colourful Carrontini made with carrot juice, lemon, ginger, and aquafaba, is available during the day.
In the evening, the Green Wood expands its cocktail offerings to include more spirit-forward spins on classics. The beer and wine lists are approachable and crowd-pleasing, offering mainly Old World wines and local brews (along with a handful of international beers). For non-alcoholic bevies, there’s coffee, tea, and fresh-pressed juice.
Designed by Emil Teleki, owner of local firm I-V (OVO Studio, Campari Office & SPIN Toronto), the Green Wood is bright, lofty, and minimalist with plants adding pops of green to contrast against the white and light wood decor.
A shelving unit near the back of the restaurant is stocked with grocery items to take home (all of which are used on the Green Wood’s menu, naturally), including granola, pickles, sauces, and honey.
There’s also a grab-and-go counter where customers can pick up ready-made meals and fresh-baked pastries, along with a small cafe-style dining area for those who want to linger over a coffee without taking up a full table in the main restaurant area.
By Jessica Huras Posted on: Feb. 4