OMAW Restaurant on Ossington in Toronto

Nicola and I peddled along Queen Street West in an attempt to enjoy one last bike ride in Toronto before that cool Fall breeze swept itself across the city. This past summer I made a point of exploring Ossington Ave’s fresh crop of restaurants and on that particular eve was thrilled to finally roll up my sleeves at Matt Blondin’s Carolina-inspired OMAW.

Chef Blondin first made his mark on the city when he set up shop on College Street, offering food fans in Little Italy a memorable meal at Acadia. At Blondin’s new eatery OMAW, the celebrated chef has brought new life to the former nightlife party place LeVack Block through a whimsical menu which celebrates Southern-style cooking.

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Start your evening by hopping up at this Ossington restaurant bar and sip through a slew of craft cocktails prepared right in front of your eyes from a pretty perch perfect for people watching. Then saunter over to a table and invest time to allow your tastebuds to linger over each dish. Chef Blondin continues to impress with his signature style where contrasted flavours and textures pair with perfection.

Carolina culinary newbies be sure to flip to the back of the restaurants menu and read through the handy glossary if you’re unfamiliar with regional staples such as burgoo, chow chow or bayou blast.

Highlights from the kitchen’s savoury selection include Beef Shortib served with variations of corn, a hot bowl of Turkey and Dumplings topped with crispy onions, perfectly crunchy Fried Chicken and a skillet of cornbread slathered with sweet maple butter. If you’re dinning with a sweet tooth be sure to spoon through the Keylime Pie which appears on the plate looking like an avant garde fashion show decorated with shards of melt-in-your-mouth meringue.

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And Another Thing! | black pepper infused gin, fino sherry, green chartreuse, cucumber, lime, salt

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Beef Shortrib | variations of corn, horseradish

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Turkey and Dumplings | onion likker, potato, black truffle

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Fried Chicken | cucumber, urfa biber, milk gravy

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Keylime | graham crust, caramelized coconut, meringue

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