5th Street Bar and Grill
1028 Hillside Ave.
People talk about this place a lot, whether it’s about their cheap eats or cool digs, 5th street is an establishment to be reckoned with indeed. My friend that I serve with suggested we try 5th street last night as it is close to her place. She knows the menu thoroughly, and always speaks highly of it. I went by this restaurant on the #4 bus, back when I lived near Bay St., almost every day on my way to UVIC.
First impressions: It’s HUGE. This place is massive, nice warm colours and decorative touches. The general feeling was that of happiness, pints clinking and grinning over mouthfuls of pub grub. We settled down at the outside patio, underneath a heater, not too far from the fireplace. The bricks reminded me of Il Terazzo’s patio, and Savoury Coast Mediterranean Cucina(in Vancouver). A little breeze wafted in over-top the brick-laden walls. It had almost an alleyway nook kind of feeling.
Our primary purpose of our rendezvous was to share some wine and catch up on the goings-on of our lives. The wine list is small, and a little over-priced if you ask me. The wines weren’t adventurous( some Jackson Triggs, Red Rooster, Blasted Church, Mission Hill to name a few), but we chose to start with a 1/2 litre of white. The menu at 5th Street is interesting, offering selections at different price points( $5, $10, $15, $20). I already ate something for dinner, but alas, I mustered an appetite out of thin air. We ordered some warm pita with hummus($5), and some portobello risotto cheese balls($5). We nibbled on these whilst sipping our wine, and the pizza arrived in good time for the next round. It had some peculiar toppings which intrigued me to experiment, and they actually worked. I’ve seen fruit on pizzas more often than I’d like, but this time I’m happy they were. We ordered the ‘Cinco formmaggio’, with poached pears slices and smoked grapes, walnuts and a garlic cream sauce. The toppings were sparse, and the pizza crust was thin and spongy, but it tasted good. We had baby champagne( more for novelty reasons than anything else) with some cheesecake of the day( Marble Chocolate Swirl).
Mushroom risotto croquettes: Good flavour, the aged balsamic on the plate was delicious, the tomatoes could have used a bit of dressing. They were crispy panko-crumbed, gooey cheesiness in the middle, I didn’t get the portobello flavour as it was a bit muddled. But overall a deal for 5 bucks, very satisfying.
Pita with hummous: nice lemony hummus, coarsely whizzed in a processor so it maintained a nice texture
Pizza: great hits of flavour, pear was nice touch, I would have liked to taste/see each of the five cheeses rather than a blend of them all.
Dessert: Good home-style baked cheesecake, rich and velvety texture, but my Gran makes a better one haha…
The server was cute, a little forgetful but she had a lot on the go. Overall it was a good experience for my first time at 5th street.