Home > Dining Out > Restaurant Review: The Other Brothers (Guelph)

Restaurant Review: The Other Brothers (Guelph)

This past weekend my girlfriend and I had the pleasure of dining at The Other Brothers, a great discovery located in Guelph, Ontario. I had heard excellent reviews about this restaurant, so its safe to say I had pretty high expectations going in to the meal, and I was not disappointed. Everything from the decor, to the service, and of course the food was excellent! The restaurant is located on a quiet side-street in downtown Guelph and features a patio (unfortunately it wasn’t really patio weather when we went). The outside of the restaurant has a very “classic” and comfortable look to it.

Upon entering the restaurant I was immediately struck by its decor and layout. While it is by no means a huge place (although there is a nice private dining room for large groups) the restaurant somehow feels extremely open and relaxed. Nowhere are tables crowded together and you get a very intimate and private feeling when you sit down. The tables are set very nicely and the server immediately came to our table to light some candles. Overall I was very impressed with how they pulled off an atmosphere that was both classy, comfortable, and intimate.

The service at the restaurant was superb throughout the entire meal. The staff was polite and attentive, and were extremely knowledgeable about their menu. We never had to wait for our server to top up our water or wine, and every course arrived exactly when you would want it to.

Now on to the food! The restaurant has a pretty diverse menu with many different dining options to choose from. The a la carte menu features many interesting appetizers (priced around $8 – 12), as well as a diverse range of entres (priced around $22). There was an ample dessert selection as well (around $8). I believe that the menu does change somewhat over time, but not on a daily basis. In addition to the a la carte option, you can choose to a 3 course prix fixe meal for $36 which includes an appetizer, entre, and dessert. Given the quality of the food this is a superb deal and I highly recommend it (once you see the menu options you will definitely want an app, main, and dessert!).

In addition to their standard menu, the restaurant offers two other interesting dining experiences. On weekend nights (and by request on others) they offer a $55 6- course “surprise” menu. This dining option is typically based around a feature ingredient (fresh local asparagus last weekend) and is a true surprise, with no details being offered other than the theme ingredient until the plate is put in front of you. While I initially balked at this concept, in retrospect I think it would make for a fantastic experience where you can sit back and try new things without the fear of “making the wrong choice” holding you back. In addition to the surprise menu, The Other Brothers features a 3 course fondue menu; the appetizer is a cheese fondue, main course is done hot-pot style, and dessert features a chocolate fondue.

Given that there was only two of us and we weren’t terribly hungry, we decided to order one 3 course prix fixe dinner and add an extra entre to it. I thought it was very nice of the restaurant to allow us to do this, some places would not allow you to just add one extra dish; this once again just speaks to the quality of service and dining experience at this restaurant. To start we ordered some nice red wine (the name eludes me right now). The wine selection, while not exhaustive, is certainly large enough for your average diner with a reasonable selection of by the glass and half bottles as well.

The Starter

This was possibly the hardest course to choose of all because so many of these starters sounded absolutely incredible! I might have to go back and just make a meal out of starters! In the end I settled on something that I have been wanting to try for a long time now: Foie Gras! For those who are not familiar with this delicacy, it is basically a pate of goose liver. Often I have seen it prepared by cutting a “slab” of it and crisping the outside. This appetizer however was far more delicate. The foie gras was dolloped on top of delicious brandy-soaked prunes (not typically a fan but these were outstanding) and served with a nice arugula salad topped by a wonderful dressing. I am not exactly sure if its identity, but it tasted faintly of nuts. I loved every part of the dish. The foie gras was wonderfully smooth and had an almost delicate flavour to it, not at all what I thought it would be. The somewhat sweet nature of the prunes complemented it perfectly. My first experience with foie gras was a success and I can’t wait to try it again!

Foie Gras on Brandy Soaked Prunes

In addition to the foie gras, we ordered a portion of the garlic bread having been told that it was simply amazing. Having seen and tasted this I must agree 100 %, this was quite possibly the most incredible garlic bread I have ever had in my life. The bread was perfectly toasted, with a nice crunch while still remaining light and airy. The dish was dripping with garlic and there was evidently quite a bit of butter on the plate, yet it somehow did not feel overpoweringly heavy in your stomach. It is hard to describe how incredible this bread was, you simply will have to try it yourself to see!

Garlic Bread

The Main

For my main course, I chose to go with the braised leg of lamb. Over the past few years I have developed a real taste for lamb and am slowly learning to cook it well myself. However I always jump at the chance to try some top-notch lamb in a good restaurant. I have never had lamb leg before so I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. When the dish arrived the first thing that struck me was how BIG the piece of meat was! Anyone who knows me is aware that I am a big eater and yet after this amazing starter even I didn’t think I would be able to finish this (in the end this prediction was true). The lamb was served on a bed of mashed sweet potatoes which was incredible in its own right. The flavours of the dish complemented each other perfectly with the sweetness and creaminess of the potatoes pairing wonderfully with the slight spice of cumin in the lamb. The lamb leg was cooked perfectly, the meat was nicely browned on the outside and succulent and tender on the inside, quite literally falling off the bone. This dish fully lived up to my expectations and I thoroughly enjoyed this new way of cooking lamb.

Leg of Lamb and Sweet Potato

For her main, my girlfriend chose to have the beef dish which featured a nice piece of tenderloin on a bed of garlic mashed potatoes. The meat was good but the best part of the dish was clearly the sauce used which gave everything an amazingly succulent flavour.

The Dessert

Given that both of us had enjoyed fairly heavy main courses we wanted to go with a “lighter” (a relative term of course) dessert option. While the creme brulee and flowerless chocolate tort both sounded fantastic, we opted to go with a nice lemon pastry Napoleon made with Chantilly Cream. The dessert fully filled our expectations with vibrant lemon flavours, light crispy pastry, and superb Chantilly Cream. It was the perfect way to end the meal with a nice fresh tasting dish.

Lemon Napoleon with Chantilly Cream

Overall my experience at The Other Brothers was an incredibly positive one, and I can definitely see myself coming back here in the future.

-JR

P.S. I apologize for the somewhat poor picture quality, they were taken on my iPhone 3Gs (no flash) in a fairly dark restaurant, hopefully you can still get the idea!

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