I was looking fwd to this dinner after reading the positive review in the Globe and Mail (due to the writer referring to veg options being available) but was underwhelmed with regards to the food which i found to be ok. I would like to point out that this experience may be coloured by my being a veg and a meat eater may love it (although the friend/meat eater I dined with said it was ok/good).
I will start with the positive first though. The bar and bartenders are the most amazing part of this place. Loved the "Donald Draper" and a dessert drink I had after dinner (can't recall the name) which was quite boozy for a dessert but I quite enjoyed it-flavors of pineapple even though there was none in it? It was refreshing, strong, and delicious. There was a good vibe about the place. We don't really have that many restaurants with a separate bar like this place has. The bar is down a couple of steps while the main dining area is upstairs. There are some seats behind the kitchen (downstairs by the bar) though. On to the food....
I had the beet soup with dumplings which was interesting. I would give it an ok to good-this might be because I am not partial to beets:). But it was the only thing I could order on the starter menu. I am a vegetarian who eats seafood/eggs and is anaphylactic to lentils, chickpeas, and beans. Well, every menu item had either meat or allergens in it that night and when I asked the server if any of the veg dishes that came with my allergy foods, i.e crab/chickpea dip item on the menu, could be prepared without the chickpeas or beans in the case of another dish on the menu, she said no. She explained that the chef doesn't like to compromise the way the food is prepared so it comes exactly as shown on the menu-"no changes or substitutions." I did not try to ask if any of the meat dishes could be prepared without as I would never do that because it would compromise the dish so the one dish on offer without meat or pulses was the beet soup.
For the main, the fish was sold out, so I had the only thing left: the mushroom turnover. This was a mishmash of barely cooked egg whites, pieces of squash and mushroom with pastry. I would have been ok with it had the egg whites been cooked more but they were so wet they wouldn't hold together-kind of like a foam. I was not a fan of this entree and thought it was an afterthought thrown in as a veg alternative so there would be one on the menu.
In summary, I wouldn't eat here again but would def go for drinks. The bar has a great atmosphere and the drinks are delicious. The service was nice and professional. I especially liked who I think was the Manager. However, for a veg like me, it didn't make sense to go to L'abattoir-never really did but thought I'd take a chance on it. Lesson learned for this diner-always call ahead if you have any allergies:).
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