We’ve lived in the West End for almost six years and it wasn’t until a few months ago that we discovered the gem that is Wild Garlic. The entrance is sometimes tucked behind those waiting in line for Kintaro Ramen next door (another must-try place), but once you find that door and enter the cozy dining space, your senses get walloped with garlicky aromas.
The name doesn’t lie, if you don’t like garlic you may have a tough time with the menu as everything from appetizers and desserts contain garlic, even the signature Wild Garlic Martini that features asiago and garlic-stuffed olives.
Returning so much since we made our first visit, the table near the front window was designated “our table” by the friendly proprietor the last time we stopped in. Our favourite menu picks (for sharing) are the Slowly Roasted Candied Garlic with Crostini, Grilled Asparagus with Reduced Ginger Balsamic & Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Gnocchi with Garlic, Roasted Walnut & Parmesan Cheese (my absolute favourite), Wok Seared Garlic Butter Black Tiger Prawns, and Sauteed Ginger Beef with Green Beans & Sweet Pepper (John’s favourite). We mix and match each visit.
We have only ever ordered from the tapas menu so I cannot speak to the entrees but we’ve been very happy with the taste, flavours, and the service. Ordering three tapas (that range between $6 and $10) is plenty for us to share. The entire place sits maybe 30 people max so it’s not conducive to big groups, but it’s a great date spot as it offers an intimate setting. The kitchen is partially open so garlic is constantly infusing the air and there are seats at the bar in case you’d just like to come in for a drink. It’s a great local hole-in-the-wall bistro that is devoid of pomp and pretension.
I’ve recommended Wild Garlic to several people and each time I post on Foursquare or Twitter announcing that we’re there (or have been there) I always get positive comments in return. Next time you’re in the West End, be sure to check out this garlic-packed treasure at 792 Denman.
Disclosure: cmp.ly/0 We pay for our meals.