Friday, July 6, 2018

Wolfes of Wortley: Justin & Gregg's Great Adventure

The Wolfe brothers have made quite a name for themselves in London in the past few years. So far, they own three restaurants: Los Lobos, The Early Bird and Wolfe of Wortley. While the restaurants are wildly different from the other, they all tap into a common impulse: the urge to pull out your phone and document a one-of-a-kind dining experience. “The fun part for us is coming up with something new each time and being able to bring something new to the table in the city that we call home,” Gregg says. Chef Kyle Rose and sous-chef Josh Ward quickly gained a reputation for a constantly changing menu of shareable small plates with offerings such as charcuterie, oysters and summer asparagus with dill aioli and chèvre, as well as more exotic fare such as trout tartare, octopus carpaccio, blackened smelts and braised pork belly with purslane and hot honey. The Wolfe as it’s affectionately called, was even listed among the country's best 30 new restaurants of 2017 by Air Canada, and has been on our culinary radar since our friends Cory and Richard insisted we go the next time we visited them in London. And so we did. 

Sitting at the cozy bar where Marty prepared fabulous cocktails and served us a sensational symphony of shareable plates, we started with the Wolfe's signature cocktail, a potent smoked Manhattan made with Bulleit Bourbon, Antica Formula red vermouth, Angostura bitters and cherry vanilla bitters served in a cinnamon smoke-filled glass. With an inspired menu of oysters, vegetables, meat, fish, and charcuterie, we then indulged in almost half the menu, revelling in the fabulous flavours and creative combinations of the Wolfe's outstanding menu. Chef du cuisine Kyle Rose excels at the craft of salting, smoking and curing primarily pork products to make salumi, known as charcuterie. The downstairs kitchen at the Wolfe has a small temperature and humidity-controlled meat chamber for the house-made salumi. There it develops the rounded savoury taste that comes from slow curing and ripening, with a chamber that features a “meat window” to showcase a diversity of hanging salumi. Justin gives Rose and sous chef Josh Ward lots of credit for embracing and delivering the restaurant concept that the Wolfe brothers developed, and we're all entirely happy to follow them on their most excellent culinary adventure. Thank you C & R for lighting the path.

The Wolfe's wicked Cocktail menu

Marty is the majordōmo of magic elixirs at the Wolfe bar,
as he sets a cinnamon stick afire for his signature Smoked Manhattan

Marty presenting the Smoked Manhattans 

He upturns the glasses and slowly allows the aromatic smoke to escape

The final step — pouring the Manhattans and garnishing them with 
prized Italian Luxardo Maraschino Cherries 

et voila!

Great smile, big heart and inspired mixologist - the lovely Marty

The Westie with Irish Whiskey, Drambuie, Galliano, lemon and bitters 

The 'Bee's Knees' with Gin, honey, thyme and Chambord

Goombay Smash with spiced rum, coconut rum, apricot brandy, lime, pineapple and orange

Octopus Carpaccio with kimchi variations

Warm grilled bread

Trout Tartare with lemon and pink peppercorns

The Wolfe's Charcuterie Plate with in-house cured meats, salumi, pickles and grain mustard

2017 Chateau Pesquie Terrasses Rose Ventoux

Beau Soleil Oysters from Miramichi Bay in New Brunswick

Trio of oyster condiments: creamed horseradish, mignonette sauce and spicy chipotle

Grilled Asparagus with dill aioli and chèvre 

Parmesan Risotto with "really good olive oil"

Grilled Bread with Pork Butter and pickled green beans

Triple cooked potatoes with chives and truffle aioli

Pork Belly with beans, purslane and hot honey

Blackened Smelts with radish slaw and horseradish cream

Lamb Sausage wrapped in Savoy Cabbage with beer mustard

Chocolate Pot au Creme

Josh's Rhubarb Cheesecake Pot

Lemon Meringue


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