Food menu is evolving at White Rabbit, which features an impressive back bar, writes Andrew Coppolino
When you think of surf and turf, images of a classic steak house come to mind: formal dining rooms with linens and heavily upholstered furniture, vested waiters and kitschy tiny tabletop lamps illuminating a lobster tail and a rib eye seared at 1500 F — plus a $10 side of steamed broccoli.
It's the territory of a Ruth's Chris, Peter Luger Brooklyn, Mancy's Toledo, Barberian's Toronto and those original foundational decades of finer dining at the historic Charcoal Steak House in Kitchener.
But, perhaps unexpectedly, it's a dish that you can also find at Waterloo's White Rabbit.
The uptown Waterloo venue with an impressive back bar has a cocktail lounge-vibe and inventive beverages featuring the apothecary-creation Peychaud's bitters, hickory-smoked orange rinds, clove infusions and mysterious absinthe tinctures.
White Rabbit's food menu, though, is evolving.
"The cocktails have layers of flavours and can have elaborate garnishes and infusions, so we're moving away from the pub and toward a more gastropub dining experience," according to White Rabbit chef Andrew Beckford.
Describing himself as having "a love" for creative and playful food at times, Beckford's interpretation of surf and turf has serious flavour: deeply smoked beef short rib in a rich porcini sauce, garlic prawns with an herb pesto and crispy crab cake.