Antler is a game-focused kitchen and bar, specializing in local wild & foraged ingredients, and it all comes together into a seasonal menu. We were recently invited to Antler to try out a selection of their new late night menu items.
The first item we tried on the menu was the Charcuterie & Cheese board – a selection of meats and cheese curated and made in-house by Antler. We were greatly surprised at the quality of both the meats and cheese, and the fact that it came in such large abundance was a surprise due to the fantastic price point as well! We definitely felt that this was a ‘killer’ item on the late night menu.
The second item on the menu for the night was the Duck Liver Pate. This was the overall winner of the night, as the duck liver pate stood out with its very savoury flavour but it was extremely well balanced by the wild blueberry compote. All in all, this dish hit all the right notes and is sure to be a very popular item on the menu!
Next, we had the Venison Heart Poppers. We felt that the dish was very creative in nature, with jalapenos stuffed with house smoked deer heart, cheddar and cream cheese and deep fried. Unfortunately, we couldn’t taste much of the deer heart as we felt that the spiciness of the jalapenos really overpowered much of the rest of the flavors, so we tasted more of the spicy flavour than being able to discern the deer heart. The cheddar & cream cheese made the dish very soft on the inside, while the deep fried exterior gave it a crunchy bite.
The Yakitori consisted of grilled duck hearts marinated with a sweet soy glaze. The duck hearts were chewy and the soy glaze provided a nice sweet aftertaste to the duck hearts. However, we felt that the duck hearts could have been grilled longer, to have a bolder charcoal flavor and so it could also be crispier.
For the Takoyaki, the Japanese pancake balls were stuffed with very large pieces of BC octopus alongside pickled ginger & green onion. The dish was topped with their house-made mayo in addition to nori and bonito flakes. We found the takoyaki to be very generous in its serving of octopus inside, but the takoyaki itself was very mushy and did not have the consistency that we’ve come to expect from takoyakis at typical Japanese restaurants.
Last, but not least, was the Wild Boar Corndog, consisting of a house made wild boar corndog that was battered and fried on a stick. It was definitely a fresh new take on the corndog, but we felt that the gamey flavours of the wild boar sausage were muted by the thick deep-fried external
We felt that when Antler played to their strengths (e.g. the Charcuterie & Cheese board, or the Duck Liver Pate), the execution was done very well. However, for certain dishes where they attempted to stretch or go beyond their familiarities, it was easy to tell where there were opportunities for improvement, such as the Takoyaki or the Yakitori. Overall, we were very satisfied by the new late night menu additions at Antler, and we can’t wait to come back to try the other ones on the menu! Thanks again to Antler for inviting and welcoming us to the event.
Our meal at Antler was complimentary but opinions are our own.