I had always heard good things about The Roxton but had never been. Found along that final stretch of Harbord, closer to Ossington, the restaurant was easy enough to miss. However upon walking up, you’re met with a beautiful bike installation and the shimmer of wonderful & welcoming candlelight.
All photos by Siobhan Ozege
The Roxton is a cute and cozy little space, with a generous patio (which will be great for summer nights with a side of sangria) and small but cute interior. As we settled into our booth, the place was hopping for a Tuesday evening.
Junior, the owner, took us on a tour of the vegetarian menu for the evening and he was fantastic, knowledgable and funny. Junior told us how many people didn’t associate the type of bistro-styled restaurants to create thoughtful vegetarian options. We were proved wrong.
The food was fantastic, simply put. We started off with the Rocket Flatbread (olive oil, caramelized onions, poached pears, arugula, walnuts & blue cheese for $11) and the Beet Salad (with arugula and goat cheese for $8). The flatbread was something heaven-sent with melt in your mouth flavours while the salad was a bit bland. Needed more beets. What can I say, I love my beets.
Next up, we were brought out one of the creamiest and most delicious mushroom soups I have had. Huge chunks of mushroom in a beautiful cream, I could literally not get every single bite into my mouth quick enough. Junior told us the Mushroom soup is not a regular menu item, but something made specifically that day. The Daily Soup ($6 for a small / $8 for a large) they usually try to keep on the vegetarian and vegan side, if possible.
As we moved into our main courses, we were brought out a delicious Mushroom Risotto in a Red Wine sauce ($12). What is unique to the Roxton is they have a build your own risotto which includes several different menu options, however the risotto served happened to be the special that evening. From first bite, you wouldn’t be able to tell it was vegetarian at all. It was hearty, substantial and great flavours. I think I could have ate bowls of that, to be honest.
But instead, we were brought out the housemade gnocchi ($9 for a small / $16 for a large), which was tossed in a jalapeno cream sauce. Subtle kicks of flavor with beautifully well made pasta, it was all around delicious.
As if we had not tried enough food, Junior snuck in one more plate with a deconstructed ‘sushi’ dish. Made up primarily of just the vegetables and grains within the sushi roll, this big platter was exactly how you would think you would taste. I mean: who doesn’t like sushi?
As we finished off our meals with some desserts (doughnuts and s’mores, because: childlike snacks always win), we spoke to Junior in-depth about The Roxton being a hidden gem amongst locals and the other menu offerings. Hopefully now with their flare for veggie cooking and offerings on the menu, The Roxton will expand its clientele base to those outside of Harbord Street.