If you're looking for the bar area inside of Canopy you won't find it. Instead, aim to the left and make your way next door. There you will find a room full of tables and chairs in soothing, earthy colors and a long bar in the back. The place is called Woodbar (3939 Montrose), and it's chef Claire Smith's classy solution to a few issues.
One was how to make Canopy's crusty loaves of bread and top notch pastries easily available for purchase. Another was how to make a larger bar area and expand seating inside the restaurant. (A new dining area is atop the raised platform where the bar used to reside.)
"We gave the bar its own home and we also do coffee and pastry service in the morning. We make really great pastries and never really had a good interface with the customer base," explained Smith. When figuring out the design of Woodbar, Smith and designers from Whitford Studios drew inspiration from Scandinavian barns and farmhouses.
So now, between Woodbar and Canopy, there's all-day service. Woodbar opens at 6:30 a.m., which makes it an early morning breakfast stop. At 11 a.m., Woodbar switches over to the bar menu. Customers can decide if they want to have small plates for lunch or if they want to head next door to Canopy for more of a sit-down meal.
In the evening, Woodbar is a casual setting for pre-dinner appetizers and cocktails before patrons make their way next door to Canopy for dinner.
Woodbar joins other new concepts like Tout Suite and the forthcoming Weights + Measures that are open from early morning into the evening and change the offerings to meet customers' daily schedules.
Executive chef of Canopy, Elizabeth Brooks, has created a bar menu that makes perfect sense when considered as an extension of Canopy. There are opportunities to be naughty, and there are opportunities to be nice. Stay on the side of the angels with a vegetable color palette of broccoli, cauliflower and baby carrots or dive into the adventurous flavor combination of grilled asparagus with mushroom confit and grilled curry butter.
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Feeling indulgent? The crispy-shelled pulled pork tacos, served as a trio, stand smartly upright in a custom stand. Pick one up and take a bite, and you'll find the pork is flavorful, juicy and drippy. Mind your clothes, but it's quite a treat and worth the risk. Also on the decadent side are Woodbar's version of "green eggs and ham," with a creamy yolk mixture tinted with kale juice, and mini chicken fried steaks atop cheddar chive biscuits with shoestring potatoes scattered about.
The cocktails, created by Deidre Goodhue (formerly of Pass & Provisions, Valentino and Vin Bar) include some tongue-in-cheek riffs on the classics that are quite good. The Phoni Negroni looks like a negroni, but in place of gin it uses mescal that's both amplified and sweetened with a little cinnamon syrup.
Folks who want to find a little virtue in their tipple will love the Kale Collins. It capitalizes on the cucumber notes in Hendrick's Gin and adds more cucumber in its fresh form, kale juice, soda and a tincture made from lovage, an herb with an unsubtle, celery-like flavor.
Whether for breakfast, lunch or dinner, everyone should be able to find something they love at Woodbar.