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Review: Lunch at Deepwood

 Morgan Kelley Review: Lunch at Deepwood
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Similar to Black Creek Bistro (which I reviewed last week), Deepwood is another gem in the local dining scene that allows for both date night extravagance and affordable lunchtime options. The standard soup, salad, sandwich selections at Deepwood are punctuated with high brow ingredients including duck confit, chilled oysters and pheasant sausage. Still, many of these dishes remain accessible to casual diners looking for a change of pace.

I’d like to add a quick note to say that despite the current exterior building maintenance, Deepwood remains open for business. Please don’t let temporary construction barrels and scaffolding scare you away from enjoying a meal here. The interior is just as beautiful as always, and the view of High Street from inside is surprisingly just barely obstructed.

“The Oak” ($6) is the signature salad at Deepwood, composed of red and green leaf lettuces, candied red onions, currants, mandarian oranges and spiced pecans, and topped with a blue cheese vinaigrette. By itself, The Oak is a deep and complex salad with great layers of both texture and flavor. The blue cheese in the dressing is very subtle, letting the citrus shine through where the sweetness can complement the tart currants and candied onions (which were rendered so sweet that I nearly mistook them for candied beets). The crunch of the pecans with the crisp mixed greens balances the texture of this salad out quite nicely. I decided to add seared scallops to my order (which ups the price to $15), but you also have a grilled salmon option ($15) or grilled chicken ($11). The price is a bit on the high end to approach this as a salad, but the three large scallops were beautifully seared, buttery and provided enough protein to make it worthy of a splurge.

The New England Lobster Salad Roll ($12) is a very traditional version of this northeastern sandwich, which includes lobster, herb mayonnaise and diced cucumbers on a split roll. The claw meat is served in large chunks, which are slathered in mayonnaise and served cold. My sandwich contained a very large portion of cucumber, which I thought was a bit overpowering, though not a deal breaker for this excellent dish.

The Braised Lamb Short Rib Sandwich ($8) is served with melted white cheddar, fresh spinach, and a muffuletta-style olive salad mix on a toasted bun. The lamb itself is rendered tender and juicy, and manages to lose its gamey qualities while retaining some of the fattiness, which ended up tasting very similar to a milder pork short rib. The choice of cheddar provides a sharpness the balances well with the mild bitterness of the spinach and olive tapenade. A great combination of flavors, though one minor complaint was that my bottom toasted bun was slathered so heavily in butter that it was very greasy to the touch and somewhat to the taste as well. I love a good toasted sandwich bun, but it was just a slight bit overboard.

It’s obvious that the talented kitchen at Deepwood — led by Chef Brian Pawlak — put a lot of thought into the conception of their lunch menu, expertly blending flavor profiles and crafting satisfying meals. I had to really examine things closely to find minor details to criticize, which is always a good sign of a true fine dining experience. If you’re only familiar with Deepwood as a dinner destination, I highly recommend giving them a visit during lunch hours for a reawakening as to what this cozy restaurant has to offer.

Deepwood is located at 511 North High Street and is open Tuesday through Friday for lunch from 11am to 3pm. They’re open for Dinner Monday through Saturday, 5pm to “Close” and closed on Sundays. More information can be found online at www.deepwoodrestaurant.com.

Photos by Jennifer René of Jennifer René Photography.


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