Gastown—(July 4, 2015) Over the weekend, I was invited to dine on L'Abattoir's newish weekend brunch menu (launched late last year) at their Blood Alley (m)eatery. Their hearty and "slaughterhouse" themed breakfast offerings are paired with some pleasingly curated cocktails.
L'Abattoir's stunning, contemporary meets 19th century rustic style is a treat in itself. The atrium's glass walls and ceilings let all the natural sunlight into the restaurant's rear as you peer out to the historic Gastown neighbourhood harkening to the meatpacking district and butchery past of the area.
For starters, I was not expecting the fresh pastries to be as good as they were, particularly the delightfully sweet currant scone (filled with strawberry jam and clotted cream). Warmed up and fruity, it was bursting with flavour and texture and a fine way to start off brunch. Their cinnamon bun was also a nice treat, if more or less standard in taste.
We sipped on couple of L'Abattoir's brunch drinks (a tad less strong for midday imbibing): the Elderflower Collins (with gin, lemon, elderflower, and soda) and Berry Cobbler (with sherry, fresh berries, and orange) cocktails. The latter was easy drinking and refreshing with its mild, citrus flavours while the former was fruity and punchy yet still rather smooth. Their French press coffee was also on point.
To chow down, I recommend the carnivorous and substantial full breakfast (with eggs, duck sausage, pork and beans, boudin noir, rösti, and toast) for its splendid variety of meats and the superb rösti (think Swiss hash brown cake). Everything both complemented and somehow contrasted each others' flavours nicely for a smörgåsbord mix of breakfast meats.
I forgot how quaint yet colourfully ornate the restaurant is with the eye-catching bar (and its diagonal shelves), elevated primary dining area, and sun-soaked atrium in the back (where we sat).
Much simpler and basic, the staple poached eggs and smoked pork belly (with cheddar sabayon on a homemade English muffin) was a suitably satisfying take on your eggs Benedict. The pork was well-cooked and crisp and worked well with the dual egg flavours and the overall, creamy consistency of the dish.
L'Abattoir continues to offer a fairly appealing, French-inspired, upscale/fine dining experience in a narrow but welcoming and impeccably decorated environment that's full of character.
Their full brunch service is a solid extension of all this, especially on a sunny day or a special occasion. Seriously though, get that scone.
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