The Curly Willow in Downtown Collingwood

On our way to have lunch at The Curly Willow in Collingwood we saw a rainbow in an arc above this town's main street. One end of the rainbow appeared to be touching down about a block to the west of the main street in the area of The Curly Willow.

Truly, when it comes to dining, we were to discover our pot of gold when it comes to culinary expertise. Addition good news, it did not cost a pot of gold to eat at The Curly Willow which is located on Pine Street, between Second and Third street intersections.

Don't let the exterior appearance of The Curly Willow fool you. It's not a fancy building front and it belies the excellence that lies within.

We speak from experience as Collingwood residents who have long ago stopped patronizing restaurants which do not provide good, if not excellent, food and excellent service. We have been here for decades, long enough to know a bit about the track record and history of local dining establishments.

The Curly Willow, we are pleased to say, is a success story that grew.

Full disclosure: we are not related to the owners in any way, but we have watched Linda and Michael Sloat take a 16-seat restaurant and develop into slightly larger premises. The latter is why they are located in a flat-faced building on Pine Street with nothing gaudy to scream their presence. Their reputation is likely the best measure of their excellence. It's a reputation which regularly fills all the seating in their premises; where the dining area is small, but not too small and it is clean and bright!

Well, clean until I came along, but that's for later in this story.

When friends from Hamilton came to visit and asked about having lunch locally, we took them to the Curly Willow where Linda is the chef and Mike looks after the dining room.

Mike is a character, so be prepared for some good-natured banter.

Menu items are freshly-prepared and we opted for quiche with a caesar salad. Menu items range between $13.00 and $19.00 for a main course and $6.00 to $8.00 for a dessert.

I have no idea how they manage to get their quiches so tall on the plate. Perhaps a quiche on steroids, but I know that's not it. Certainly, Linda whips up her magic in the kitchen. Our food was delicious!

But don't take my word for it. Her magic, coupled with Mike's friendly service, is what keeps us going back to The Curly Willow. Their magic, by the way, is lunches and sometimes dinners.

But they might not want me back!

They have large mugs for coffee and I was starting to enjoy my cuppa when in a split-second I tipped my almost-full mug of coffee over on the table. Seems the bottoms of these mugs are smallish in their round way and don't properly serve to hold the cup up properly. Those mugs are tippy! At least that's my story and I'm sticking to it. The pond that I created across The Curly Willow's dining room floor was promptly mopped up and my apologies accepted with a “no, don't worry”.

Now, you know about a “secret” little dining spot just slightly off the main street where, perhaps, the end of the rainbow touches down.

For more information about The Curly Willow, visit

25 Nov 2019

By George Czerny