L Abattoir: Picasso Plating, Bacon Brioche and Incredible Duck Breast
217 Carrall Street, Vancouver
Gastown has become the new hip hub for great restaurants. I’ve been hearing endless raves about L’Abattoir and finally tried it last week. I was not disappointed. I love the cozy, intimate but cosmopolitan ambiance of L’Abattoir. I really like the metal menus too!
First off, I was already impressed by their bread basket. They served bacon brioche! The key to my heart is bacon.
It wasn’t just bacon bits sprinkled on top of this fluffy little bun either. The bacon was distributed throughout the bread, I got a little bit in each bite. Delish!
The other bread basket goodies included cheese sticks and a flat bread. The salty cheese sticks were my second favourite. I’m pretty neutral on crunchy flat bread in general.
For drinks, I decided to order a light, fruity and refreshing French white: Monmousseau (2010) from Turonien Vouvray, Loire, France.
We also ordered two cocktails: the Gastown Swizzle: Plymouth gin, Aperol, passion fruit, fresh lime twists and Fernet Float. The gorgeous drink was a brilliant orange and tasted fruity and sweet with a splash of citrus from the lime. We were actually more intrigued by the metal spoon/straw sticking out of the drink (I was dining with a mechanical engineer). We didn’t discover that the hollow metal rod was also a spoon until we got to the bottom of the drink. How practical!
We ordered the Aviation because on the menu it was compared to a Cosmo but it was far from it. It wasn’t exactly sweet and the gin really dominated the drink.
One of the memorable things about L’Abattoir was the striking plating. It literally was like every plate was a canvas and the food and swirl of sauce on each plate created such a visual masterpiece that I felt guilty messing everything up with my fork.
I ordered the roasted duck breast of course. It was served with a fried confit leg, beets and a foie gras sauce. For a second, I thought the duck breast was bleeding on the plate but turns out those streaks of red were just from the bright red beets.
The duck breast was amazing, succulent, juicy, with just the right amount of fat topped off with crispy skin.
And the rich, creamy foie gras sauce really tied the dish together, complimenting the robust duck flavours and adding a rich butter flavour to the vegetables. I actually polished off all the leafy greens from my plate. That never happens. Ask anyone.
The Steak Diane (not sure who this is named after) was plated in an equally gorgeous way, like a work of art with steaks of sauce artistically drawn across the black plate.
Each piece of steak was perfectly cooked, tender and juicy. The peppercorns sprinkled over the top were a little heavy but really enhanced the natural sweetness of the meat.
The crispy little knob of potato fondant was so delicious! Crispy on the outside and chewy and salty on the inside.
I can’t say enough about the roasted scallops and potato gnocchi. First of all, I love both these items to death anyway, and L’Abattoir only made me love them more. I like how they didn’t get stingy with the scallops, the plate was piled high with four big ones with a big handful of tender little gnocchi. Admittedly, this was my friend’s dish but I ate most of it! It was so delicious!
Needless to say that like the other two plates, the plate of scallops were presented in an impeccably breath-taking manner, with the flat leaf parsley and mushrooms sprinkled over the scallops, making me think of a wild, majestic, woodland fairytale filled princesses, fairy godmothers and white knights.
The scallops were roasted perfectly, amazingly tender in the middle with a light char on the outside.
The chewy little gnocchi were rich and melt-in-your-mouth good, soaking up the rich sauce and flavours from the dish.
The thick twirl of celeriac was also scrumptious, a little bit crunchy and drenched in flavour.
We saved room for dessert and ordered two items: the pineapple upside down cake and the chocolate caramel bar.
The chocolate caramel bar was beautiful, like it was wearing a stylish fascinator. I loved the dense and heavy chocolate bar on the bottom of this dessert square. The chocolate yogurt custard was the perfect, light and fluffy texture to compliment the heavier chocolate in this dessert. My friend and I loved the crunchy puffed rice in this dish too, the little kernels added great dimension to the dessert.
The banana ice cream was also delicious, sweet and fruity, the best combo of a banana split in one decadent scoop.
The pineapple upside down cake was dense and crumbly, topped with the stickiest, gooiest, sweetest cooked pineapple. This dessert totally hit the spot.
We also loved the little, bouncy cubes of passion fruit jelly, tasting sweet and tropical. The fluffy mascarpone cream was delicious, adding the element of creaminess to this dessert. I couldn’t get enough of it.
I had such a great time at L’Abattoir. The service was impeccable. I can’t wait to go back!