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Bodega Henriette has this more central location in addition to their original Upper Beaches spot.
The concept here is the same, all-day service from coffee to cocktails with weekend brunch, a small bodega area off to the side providing pantry staples and quality local products.
The space was previously home to Pacific Junction Hotel, stark black stripped from the walls and floors, wallpaper and a minty teal colour bringing the feel of the Gerrard place to this restaurant.
A former mini radio station area is stocked with Barocco coffee ($15) and Que Pasa chips ($4.50).
A list of $5 bar snacks includes hulking oyster and king mushrooms with a very light and crunchy tempura coating, as well as Nashville hot chicken gizzards and smoked celery "ants on a log."
A vegan "filet mignon" ($20) is actually a roasted rutabaga steak wrapped in zucchini that's been smoked and dehydrated to mimic bacon. It's paired with vine cherry tomatoes that are also smoked, blistered green beans, parsnip puree, a red wine reduction, and sage and cumin oil.
The veggies are all hit with multiple techniques and processes to infuse the most flavour into this dish, and while it'll never be a real steak, it's not trying to be, a light and healthy-feeling but flavourful and substantial dish.
A duck dish ($29) consists of an ancient grain "congee" and sliced five-spice duck breast. The congee is really what stars, and the dish can be altered to a veggie version with sesame toasted cauliflower ($20).
It's really more of a risotto than a congee; farro, wheatberry, barley and rice more chewy and intact than cooked down to porridge. Watermelon radish provides some texture and quail eggs poached in lapsang tea bring a big hit of flavour and smokiness, the smoky reduced poaching liquid drizzled around the plate.
Pork tenderloin ($23) is wrapped in caul fat with dates poached in Earl Grey tea, plated with an apple and parsnip puree, dandelion greens and parsnip chips.
For brunch, there are molasses Dutch pancakes ($12), incredibly dense but lifted by tart fresh berries and a blood orange creme fraiche.
A Steel Magnolia ($13) goes beyond your typical mimosa, a cocktail of Cava, Lillet Blanc, a house apricot and cardamom cordial, lemon and simple syrup that's bright, fresh, dry and just a little complex.
Save The Rainforest ($15) is made with pisco steeped with yerba mate tea for twelve hours, Dolin dry vermouth, St. Germaine, benedictine, cane sugar syrup and lemon bitters, frothy and grassy.
An moodier upper area seats 45, and a paved courtyard outside holds about 35.