The Acorn (3995 Main Street)
Within a month, I’ve been to The Acorn three times because I like it THAT much. Beginning with the environment. The Acorn offers a cozy and contemporary environment. The entire restaurant is quite woodsy, with architecture and design inspired by forest. But not in a shabby way. In fact, the restaurant is quite contemporary, in a re-furbished way, with unique geometric lights and mirrors and plants.
The first thing people will tell you about The Acorn is that it is a vegetarian restaurant on Main Street. But meat-eaters have no need to beware. The way the dishes were designed, you don’t feel like your meal is missing meat.
I didn’t notice any meat substitute ingredients like tofu, or an abundance of raw veggies like alfalfa or bean sprouts. In fact, I didn’t think I was eating “vegetarian food” at The Acorn, I was simply having a meal that didn’t have meat in it. The first two times I went (in late summer), I ordered an absolutely delicious seasonal appetizer – roasted nectarine on toast and creamy cheese. (See, it’s not necessary for meat to be in this dish). I love any sort of roasted fruits dish so this one was a no-brainer for me to order. Unfortunately, this was a seasonal offering, so they no longer have it for Fall 2013.
An alternative fruit-based appetizer available in the Fall 2013 season would be “The Apple” (Apple, Celeriac Crepe Roulade, Aged Canadian Cheddar, Black Garlic). The presentation of the dish reminded me of the smoked salmon and cream cheese tortilla “pinwheels” you often see as finger food at parties.
In the “Salad” section of The Acorn’s menu, you can choose between two sizes (the appie size or the main course size). Although I like cooked kale, at first, I didn’t think raw kale would be that good. But I was wrong – the generous amount of creamy and slightly tart dressing on the salad balanced out the bitterness of the kale. I also discovered Tempeh in this dish, which is a soy product with a nutty flavour and the texture of cheese. In fact, I thought it was cheese the first time I had this dish. I liked the tempeh so much I’ve bought it from Whole Foods and started cooking with it (but that’s another story). Lastly, the paprika smoked croutons added a crunch to the salad.
A main course I’ve tried at The Acorn includes The Halloumi which is a beer-battered (aka deep fried) Halloumi cheese (which has the texture of mozzarella or bocconcini) on a zucchini pancake with mashed peas. Hearty and delicious – I suppose deep fried dishes usually are! I could only finish 2 out of 3 Halloumi cheese balls. The dab of yogurt on the side of the dish balances out the heaviness of the fried cheese.
Be sure to save room for dessert. Although I was sad I missed the Lavendar and Honey Creme Brulee on their summer menu, the Raw Chocolate Ganache Tart with a walnut crust, lemon goji berry preserve, raspberry coulis and frozen grapes was very delicious. Just because it’s “raw”, doesn’t mean it’s some bland hippy dippy dessert. The chocolate was thick and sweet, and the “raw” walnut crust just tasted like a cheesecake crust but more nutty. I didn’t know why the grapes were in the dish (they didn’t seem to fit) but they still tasted fine.
The Acorn is definitely worth checking out. Once you visit and try their beautifully presented and delicious food, you’ll realize that it is entirely possible to have a meal which contains no meat without sacrificing taste or style.
The Acorn currently doesn’t take reservations so be sure to get there early or expect to wait (unless you have a larger group, then you can reserve their family dining table). But even if you are waiting, you can order one of their unique cocktails at the bar. Enjoy!