A few weeks ago, we were invited to preview the spring menu at Elmdale Oyster House & Tavern. It was our first time there, but we’d certainly heard great things about it. The tavern itself has a long history and has been a fixture on Wellington for almost 80 years; it was taken over by the team behind Whalesbone at the end of 2012.
The evening was very relaxed with no assigned seating. Rather than a sit down dinner, guests we were free to mingle and to sit wherever they liked. Food was brought out in stages and served buffet style on the bar. Owner Joshua Bishop started off the evening by thanking everyone for coming and inviting us to share feedback about what we were about to experience.
It’s no surprise that the menu was seafood focused given the restaurant’s connection with Whalesbone. And, of course, the evening wouldn’t have been complete without some oysters! The raw oysters were plentiful and featured in a special spot at the end of the bar with a great selection of add-ons to experiment with.
Here’s a look of some of the items that we tried that night:
I think that everyone who was there that evening would agree that the bread and butter were totally addictive. Perhaps it was the freshness of the sour dough bread or maybe it’s the in-house burnt butter whipped cream? Whatever it was, I could not stop eating it. I really enjoyed the chicken mousse with spiced rum, shallot jam, served with grilled bread. If you like chicken liver, this dish is for you. Other tastes we enjoyed were the fish and chips and the jerked Cornish hen. The smoked oysters with horseradish crème fraiche and crumbs is a great alternative if you’re not a raw oyster fan. The fried brussel sprouts with crispy garlic was also very good, and helped balance out the richness of the other dishes we sampled. We definitely recommend the Elmdale Oyster House and Tavern to anyone looking for a night out where they can share some tasty items from a unique menu while enjoying a pint or two. Or head over on Sunday’s at 3:30pm and catch some live entertainment featuring local talent. Weather permitting, they will also open up the garage door window at the front of the restaurant, a great spot for some eats and perhaps some people watching. This is a great venue to bring people together for a celebration like a birthday or anniversary. Steeped in history, you can still feel the spirit of the Elmdale Tavern, while appreciating all that Joshua Bishop and his team have done to make it new. On this visit, we didn’t get a chance to sample desserts but the maple pudding sounded really good. We’ll just have to go back and find out. Thanks to Joshua Bishop for the invite, we had a great time!
MORE ABOUT THE RESTAURANT
Name: Elmdale Oyster House & Tavern
Address: 1084 Wellington Street West
Hours: Monday-Thursday: Dinner hours 5pm-11pm Friday, Saturday: 11:30am-2am; kitchen closes at midnight, drinks & oysters until 2am Sunday: 11:30am-11pm
Reservations: Yes (Call or Online)
Parking: Street parking