Small plates to cure your munchies, Three Boar Eatery’s sister Wishbone settles in with the downtown crowd.
No lie, it’s taken me awhile to warm up to Wishbone. Not only was I mourning the loss of one of my favourite lunch spots (MRKT) but an initial soft opening tasting menu left me confused as to where the new eatery was heading. With time though, I’ve found Chef Brayden Kozak’s menu to evolve, cater right to my tastebuds, and is now a space where I’m more than happy to recommend.
The interior itself already had great bones: walls curving up to the ceiling, stunning wood panels, and skylights to brighten the back space. Green banquet seating, smooth wood features, and touches of gold create a warm space. It would feel Scandinavian if it wasn’t for hiphop or mid-90s tunes. (No complaints here.)
It’s hard to categorize Wishbone’s food. Originally a surf and turf concept, the menu now focuses on a mishmash of dishes. Some are tweaks on classics, whilst others are more globally-inspired. Think lunch spot by day and snack bar by night.
Lunch is one of my favourite times to visit Wishbone, the Fried Chicken Sandwich (stilton gribiche, hot sauce, iceberg, brioche bun) is one of the best in the city. All main menu items come with a choice of daily soup, napa cabbage salad, or “Old Bae” Kennebec fries. Get the fries. Wishbone does something magical with traditional Old Bay seasoning that makes these the most addicting fries I’ve ever had. (Under the condition that they use enough of it. I’ve heard sometimes the fries can be bland. Ask for more seasoning.)
It’s hard not to order the fried chicken, but an updated menu change brought the Lobster Roll (slaw, hickory sticks, brioche bun), which I found to be quite tasty.
If you’re heading for dinner, aim for happy hour (5-6pm) to take advantage drink specials and $2 charcoal-grilled skewers or oysters. You’ll find me ordering the “Old Bae” Kennebec Fries (kewpie mayo) to start on most occasions and the Fried Anchovy Stuffed Olives are bite-sized flavour bombs. Both are nibbling at it’s finest.
As with Three Boars Eatery, the menu is best ordered to share. Most memorable thus far: the Wishbone Caesar, made with romaine, black garlic, pecorino, and the best foccacia ever from the Italian Centre. That black garlic does wonders and good use of lemon makes this dish stellar. I know, I just described a Caesar salad as stellar. But it is. Wishbone has a tendency to make the most mundane dishes a hit. For instance, the Fish Stix would appeal to any inner child in us, but smoked fish, béchamel, and a chilli prawn mayo is enough to make you hooked.
Photographs: Chicken Wings chilli honey, cilantro, togarashi, lime / Charcoal Grilled Skewers beef, pork or chicken / Mom’s Fried Bread salted butter / Mushroom Toast crimini, cured egg yolk / Satay Potato peanut, nori, broccoli / Pork Croquette mustard cream, saskatoon, chicharron, frisee / Mussels chorizo, tomato, sherry, herbs, focaccia / / Buttermilk Beignet dulce de leche.
With every menu tweak, I find myself enjoying Wishbone more and more. Bonus: they’re open on Mondays. Thank the lord for downtown dining options on a Monday! Welcome to the neighbourhood Wishbone. Quickly becoming a staple on my nights out!