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Restaurants & Bars B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

L'abbatoir Vancouver

grayelf | | Apr 5, 2012 12:44 PM

I'm surprised to see that there is not a thread dedicated to this restaurant so I thought I'd start one.

Finally made it here and am now wondering why I didn't go sooner. For once, a place that exceeds the hype! Everything we had was topnotch in terms of ingredients, presentation and flavour; I tried small bites of a couple of other plates to be sure :-). And the prices are reasonable for what you get. I'm so fed up (pardon the pun) with paying $25 for a lame, uninspired entree at a CFD place. Now I can go to L'ab and pay a buck or two more to get something stellar.

I tried a house-invented Plymouth gin based cocktail called the Gastown Swizzle that started out perfect but became too bitter as the crushed iced melted in (shoulda drunk up faster!). We started with a bread basket that had fancy flatbreads, buns and twists -- one with anchovy baked in for a hit of umami -- all served warm which is such a nice touch.

For an appetizer, I had the warm steelhead salad with crispy potatoes ($14). Every bite was a bit different, delivering nuances of texture and flavour that I still can't figure out -- there were these tiny crunchy black seedy things in the sauce that were just awesome, for example. My main was steak Diane ($28), with two perfectly med rare medallions of filet mignon, crunchy black peppercorn sauce, onion gelee (like mayo with a hint of onion), grilled onions and two triangles of potato fondant. This place deserves an award just for their handling of spuds! There was also a cute little mushroom croquette that lived up to our personable server's billing of the perfect mouthful.

The only (small) quibbles I had were non-food related: clunky metal menus, chairs that you can't hang a purse on, and expensive parking considering the grossness of the surrounding streets you have to walk through (this last of course isn't down to the restaurant). I'll be back.

No photos as it was too dark for my point and shoot.