PicNic Wine Bar is located in Leslieville and it’s exactly what it sounds like – a wine bar with a selection of charcuterie and cheeses and a very small but revamped menu. Long gone is the duck confit macaroni and cheese (though the miniscule portion sizes remain). While I loved the flavor of the mac and cheese and my waistline probably thanks them for the portions; the barely there scant shreds of it were forgettable. But now that they’ve taken even that flavorful dish off the menu – there isn’t much left.
Especially when on a Friday night at 9PM, many of the cheeses/cured meats were crossed off the chalkboard (read, sold out). Admittedly, I’d probably be infinitely more dissatisfied if I were there for the full pop (our bill came to $90 for 2 x 5oz glasses of red wine, one charcuterie/cheese platter consisting of 2 cheese, 2 meats and 3 accompaniments – of which the grape jelly is a definite winner – that’s no surprise seeing as PicNic at Home, their now shuttered off-shoot bakery peddled preserves and jellies as well. But I digress. We also ordered 1 main of butternut squash agnolotti and an appetizer of pork belly (since they had, surprise – sold out of the boeuf bourgignon that I had every intention of ordering) and a flourless chocolate cake. Don’t bother asking for a dessert menu – there isn’t one.
On a busy Friday night there is 1 server (2 if you count the girl behind the counter mixing drinks who also picks up slack), which is obviously not enough to “hold down the fort.” They are definitely not attentive as we are left standing at the entrance unattended for several minutes before a body emerges; and the inattentiveness continues into our evening between trying to flag someone down to take our order to having to ask for cutlery to eat our dessert as we weren’t too keen with the idea of eating with our fingers like cave women.
I suppose the name PicNic really is apt since you leave feeling like you’re ready for a real meal.
Take-home message? Come (early) to grab a glass of wine and some nibbles, as their cheese/charcuterie platter is actually quite well put together – but then grab dinner elsewhere.