SixThirtyNine in Woodstock has been operating independently for almost 18 years and it’s no wonder why. Supporting their local agriculture, artists and community AND delivering farm fresh flavours on the plate has made them a favourite among locals and visitors alike.
Discover SixThirtyNine: Where is it?
For those who don’t know, Woodstock is about halfway between London and Toronto, right where Hwy 401 + 403 meet. Part of Oxford County, Canada’s Dairy Capital, Woodstock, is known for their rich cheesemaking history, fruitful agriculture and large suite of tourism experiences. You can find SixThirtyNine about a 2-minute walk from downtown.
The Culinary Journey Begins: A look inside SixThirtyNine’s dining philosophy
When Chef Eric Boyar and his business/life partner, Jen, opened SixThirtyNine eighteen(!) years ago with Eric’s mother, Pauline, it was a big leap of faith.
After working at several notable dining establishments in Toronto including Mistura, Splendido and Crush Wine Bar among others, Eric and Jen were coming home. Little did the three of them know, this was the start of something truly magical!
They started simply with 30 seats and an absolute dedication to sourcing local wherever possible. Opening up in what was once the Boyar’s family home, they were off to the races.
To say locals were excited was an understatement. One of the first fine dining establishments to grace Oxford County, SixThirtyNine offered the perfect mix of casual while still feeling like a great spot to celebrate a special occasion.
So how has that translated to today? Well in terms of the size and commitment to local, nothing has changed. SixThirtyNine was actually one of our very first Feast On® partners and continues to be champions for Oxford’s rich local food scene to this day.
A Farm to Table Menu: A fresh approach to Oxford’s ingredients
SixThirtyNine’s philosophy around food is simple: source as locally as possible all year round. They grow their own ingredients in gardens and on their home farm, source from local cheese makers, meat producers and farmers and change their menu up at least 4 times a year.
This commitment also extends to their drink menu which is comprised of everything from Ontario craft beers, locally-roasted coffee, cocktails featuring Ontario spirits and more.
So what does this look like in practice?
Well in the summer you can watch the chef team snipping fresh mint and other herbs from the garden, see farmers coming to the back door for delivery and even catch Eric and his team at the various farmers’ markets.
In the winter, it means using loads of preserves and pickled items, root veggies and a whole bunch of creativity to keep things fresh!
Of course, where it shows most though is on their menu. Past dishes have included everything from house-made sausage with local Berkshire pork, Ontario-roasted lamb saddle with buttermilk fried sweetbread and their oh-so-famous arancini made with a rotating selection of local cheesemakers.
Of course, it also means an audit with yours truly to get Feast On® certified over and over again!
Beyond the Food: SixThirtyNine’s Commitment to an Incredible Dining Experience
The cool thing about SixThirtyNine is that their strong commitment to excellence extends well beyond the menu.
With Jen at the front of house, each table is looked after well and all servers are well-versed in what’s on the menu so they can help tell an incredible food story.
Local art hangs on the wall and it isn’t uncommon to catch some of the farmers on the menu enjoying a meal in-house (trust us, we’ve seen it more than once).
Last, their staff is just as in love with the spot as they are! With some members, including Chef Sam Vandenberg, on staff for over 10 years (a pretty unheard-of trend in the service industry) they’ve found a staff just as committed to their vision as they are. Neat, huh?
Book Your Spot!
Thinking you might like to check it out? You definitely should! You can book your table on their website and for those looking for an extra-special dining experience, you can book the Chef’s Table and get a front-row seat to your dishes coming together.