#LunchKingston: Cool Patio + Pizza Punch

By Cynthia Peters

With patio season still with us, what better place to have lunch than Kingston’s hopping waterfront scene? With so many great spots to choose from, it was difficult to narrow it down to one to review. Wooden Heads, located on the main waterfront dining strip, (Ontario street), offered one of the quintessential summertime patio delights – wood oven fired pizzas. Throw in comfortable chairs and excellent service, and this creates a winning combination as a top casual dining destination.
 
Besides pizza, they offer an eclectic offering of Caribbean, South East Asian and Italian dishes. Usually one’s a little suspicious of mixing too many cuisines in one kitchen. This restaurant seems to make it work because the flavour combinations are bold, complimentary and contemporary.
 
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First came the Calamari Mumbai. This can be a tricky dish to execute as squid can become very rubbery if overcooked. This kitchen executed it perfectly with a well-seasoned and balanced tomato sauce spiked with Indian spices and lobster butter (yes lobster butter), providing a great backdrop for scooping up with the warm pita triangles. Definitely a great first choice to awaken the taste buds.
 
Other notable appetizers on my list for the next time – Satay Kai, grilled chicken skewers served with a coconut cashew lime and Thai cucumber sauces. Plus, the Lumpia Diavolo which are spring rolls stuffed with blackened chicken, feta and red cabbage, served with cambazola cream sauce and papaya habanero salsa.
 
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The main star of this lunch was the pizza.
 
It’s a decent size for sharing or on its own for the hearty appetite. The pizza menu is split between tomato based foundations or other bases, described as “White, Green or in between”. The latter is what makes this pizza offering unique.
 
With over 25 plus combinations, it took a while to decide – but I ultimately selected the Nonna Mela with apple butter, roasted garlic, cheddar, onions and blackened chicken; a flavourful combination made even better with my addition of a few drops of Srircha hot chili sauce. The sweet and hot, combined with the charred crispy crust and chicken was a winning combo. Some other interesting toppings on the menu were sweet potato, mushroom veloute, chipotle salsa, smoked chicken and curried lobster veloute.
 
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If pizza is not your fancy, they also offer a number of Italian influenced mains and salads.
 
Wooden Heads’ salad menu was refreshing with a few tasty combos. I went for the bold mixed Mushroom Salad featuring grilled smoked oyster mushrooms – the portions are a good size though for sharing. Attentive service gets a top rating, as do the comfy patio chairs and large umbrellas for shade. The patio is small, so get there early or enjoy a later lunch: it’s a busy spot.
 
And if you’re indecisive, take a look at their website before you go and cruise their extensive menu.
 
Cheers to casual waterfront dining al fresco this summer. #lunchKingston