Here’s what’s on the menu at The Wood Owl, a cozy new wine bar on the Danforth

A brand new wine bar has made its way to Toronto’s east end.

The Wood Owl is the latest next-door venture from the same team behind Danforth favourite, The Wren.

The cozy interior of the new spot has a retro feel to it, thanks to the wood-paneled walls reminiscent of the 1970s. There’s also velvet, burgundy patterned wallpaper. A series of tan-coloured leather bar stools are stationed at the bar, which is also done in wood panelling. Colourful glass lamps that are suspended from brass chains cast a warm glow in the evenings, and, true to the restaurant’s name, brass owl lamps have nestled their way into the decor.

The Food

All of the food on The Wood Owl’s compact menu was designed to complement the wine list. It features seasonal light bites and mains, as well as nightly specials. For those looking for a quick bite to eat, the ever-changing cheese and charcuterie boards should do the trick. Or, for something different, try the eggplant frites served with tahini and onion jam.

“We’ll change dishes out depending on the seasonal availability of ingredients and when we need to shake things up to keep it interesting!” reads a post on Instagram.

New on the menu, The Wood Owl’s Salt Spring Island Mussels feature white wine, fennel, garlic, cream, and herbs, and are served with grilled sourdough.
Charred trout, buttermilk marinated cucumber, chive oil, pickled shallots.
Rockfish Crudo with B.C. rockfish, sesame and nori oil, avocado, lime, Anaheim chili, and gochujaru.
Trout croquettes paired with fennel purée, shaved fennel salad, rye croutons, and orange.
Grilled skirt steak, roasted mushrooms, tarragon sauce, pomme allumettes, and horseradish
Crispy lamb and shishitos, with braised and crisped lamb shoulder, Shepard pepper sauce, yogurt, charred shishitos and onion petals, hazelnut dukkah, mint.

The Drinks

The Wood Owl has an impressive wine list that includes international white and red wines from Italy, France, Spain, Austria, and Germany. Orange wine, sparkling wines, and rose wines by the glass and bottle are also available, as are three signature cocktails: The Girona Spritz ($16, grapefruit, sweet vermouth, simple syrup, and cava); the Negroni Bianco ($14, gin, lilliet, Veccio Amara del Capo); and the Adonis ($14, Oloroso sherry, sweet vermouth, orange bitters).

The Wood Owl stocks an impressive selection of international wines, including up-and-coming variations of orange wine.

There’s also a rotating selection of draught beer from Ontario breweries that can be found posted on the mirror board.

“These lists will also constantly be in flux. But here’s where we’re starting. Darryl’s made a solid list that’s a nice reflection of his philosophy as a sommelier and wine lover,” The Wood Owl writes in an Instagram post. “They’re bottles from producers just off the beaten path, from slightly lesser-known regions, because he’s confident he can find the same quality wines you’d find in more famous regions, but for better value.”

The Wood Owl is located at 1380 Danforth Ave. and is currently open at 5 p.m. from Tuesday to Thursday. No reservations, walk-in only.

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