The grey skies and spitting rain didn’t deter us from going to brunch at Weslodge a couple weekends ago. There was good reason not to miss out too: we heard there would be food and booze.
Kyle, the mixologist of Weslodge, came over to talk about the Motts Caesar drink he crafted to pair with their eggs benedict dish as part of Toronto Cocktail Week. His aim was to create a refreshing drink as a counterpoint to the rich dish. Kyle felt that many restaurants in the city are taking the classic drink to extremes and doling out over-the-top concoctions. Instead, he opted to go back to the Caesar roots and offer patrons a classic drink – done properly.
Interestingly, this Caesar is what he likes to deem as the ‘antithesis’ of the drinks he typically makes for the restaurant. I’m not certain if he was alluding to the fact that this kind of drink was foreign territory for him, but it did not show nor taste that way when said creation arrived at our table. All the hallmark notes and flavours were present: an ample swig of vodka, the clean finish, the heat, and the tang from the Mott’s Clamato juice. He even used some of the kitchen’s pickle brine to add to the drink. To finish, the rim was coated in celery salt. Traditional. Classic.
Contrasting our Mott’s Caesar, The Eggs Benedict at Weslodge contained a few twists in it. House made lamb bacon was served with an English muffin (also made in the kitchen, from scratch). The crispy strips started out from a saddle cut in a cure for a week that contained maple syrup, Prague salt, and sugar. It was smoked, sliced, and then finished on the grill before serving to impart more flavor. The crunchy, wavy pieces were perfect and acted as the runny egg’s nesting grounds. A goldfinch coloured hollandaise completed the dish; here, it was frothed up. It was a welcome change, and its voluminous body lent the sauce a lighter texture on the tongue.