Sherman's Food Adventures: Oak & Thorne

Oak & Thorne

Let's be honest here.  As much as Oak & Thorne allows kids in the dining room before 8:00pm, it really is a pub/bar for adults.  You can see that in the clientele and the vibe once you enter the place.  However, that didn't stop us from doing so regardless!  Let's just say there were some things on the menu that the kiddies were very interested in eating.  Although the packed house was predominantly adults, there was a smattering of children  here and there.  I did remarked to my kids that this would be the place they can go hang out with their friends when they grow up...  LOL...

Ah yes, the Mac & Cheese Bites with aged cheddar and American cheese, panko crust and San Marzano tomato sauce  This was one of the dishes they had their eye on and it didnt disappoint.  Beyond the crispy and not overly greasy crust, the tender noodles inside were not too soft.  There was definitely enough cheesiness to go around where it bordered on being salty.  However, the side of tomato sauce helped offset that with a mild tanginess.  We also got a couple of the Scotch Eggs with sage pork sausage, ale infused soft boiled egg, panko breadcrumbs and sweet and sour tomato relish.  Although the egg itself was nicely runny (maybe a bit too runny), the sausage was curiously bland.  It was tender and moist while being a fairly thick layer.  We really didn't like the relish underneath as it was one note and wasn't really appealing.

For myself, I had to get the Deep Fried Pickles with sea salted fries, horseradish aioli and chipotle mayo.  I thought these were on point since the breading on the outside was crunchy, not greasy and the right thickness.  It didn't overwhelm the pickle while at the same time was robust enough to stand up to it too.  I wasn't expecting fries to come with it, but they were good being crispy and thin.  Of the 2 dips, I thought the chipotle mayo was the better match with a creamy spiciness.  My daughter wasn't particularly hungry so she settled for the Cream of Mushroom Soup.  This consisted of Roasted forest mushrooms, vegetable broth, filone croutons, olive oil, scallion and fresh thyme.  It was definitely woodsy and full of mushroom flavour.  However, the soup itself was a bit thin.  If it had been thicker and creamier, we agreed it would've been spot on.

For myself, I went for the Loaded Burger sporting Hand pressed patty, American cheddar cheese, smoked bacon, sautéed mushrooms, an over easy egg, secret burger sauce, iceberg lettuce, tomato, red onion, ketchup and pickles on a potato bun.  I really enjoyed this burger as the components were all quite good.  Bacon was crispy, patty was charred and fairly moist while the egg was messily runny.  The whole thing didn't really stay together and I needed like 6 napkins.  Viv went for something lighter in the Fish Tacos featuring beer battered Canadian cod, cabbage, pickled red onions, jalapeños, cilantro, chipotle mayo, fire roasted salsa, guacamole and house made tortilla chips.  Loved the fish as they were large in size and the batter was crunchy.  It was thick in spots though.  We didn't like the salsa as it was thin and one note.

My son had the Spaghetti and Meatballs with slow cooked house made meatballs, San Marzano tomato sauce, herbed ricotta, Grana Padano and fresh basil.  We found the pasta to be al dente which was a positive.  However, that ended there as there was not enough sauce to properly lubricate the spaghetti as it got clumpy.  Moreover, there wasn't enough inherent flavour from the sauce to create any discernible flavours.  Lastly, the meatballs were dry and hard.  So the food was pretty hit and miss at Oak & Thorne, but as a whole, decent considering it is a bar/club.  If you pick the right dishes, the experience could be a good one.

The Good:
- Nice vibe, is a club after hours
- Some good dishes

The Bad:
- Somewhat hit and miss
- Upstairs is unnecessarily dark


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