L'Abbatoir: Where Brunch Dreams Come True
If you Google "best brunch in Vancouver", L'Abbatoir is bound to pop up in the search and last weekend, I finally found out why. I've been here before for dinner and have already been whisked away by the beauty of the interior of this place. Ask for a seat in the glass-encased atrium which is beautifully lit with natural lighting and covered with a beautiful mosaic of tiles (which make for great flatlays). Brunch is featured on weekends from 10 AM - 2 PM.
Now with the food...
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A basket of baked goods came around to all the tables and I couldn't say no to this. I mean can you just LOOK AT THIS CURRANT SCONE?! It's dense on the inside, crumbly and quite dry on top - and it's wonderful. We asked to have our scone slightly warmed (which is best) and it was served sandwiching a sweet house-made jam and a thick clotted cream. My god, this is the dream. This scone single handedly sold this entire meal for me.
EARL GREY LAVENDER FIZZ
If anyone says brunch is too early for a drink, maybe you should reconsider the friendship (I'm kidding, not really). That aside, you can't come to L'Abbatoir without ordering an inventive cocktail and I easily chose this one since I'm a sucker for all things Earl Grey. This fizz features a mix of gin, Sons of Vancouver amaretto, earl grey, lavender, lemon, egg white, cream, and soda. This makes for a very light blend which is not heavy on the alcohol (I could barely taste it) and suitable for the meal though I would've liked to taste the lavender more.
BUTTERMILK AND RICOTTA PANCAKES
This is such a head-turning dish, a tall stack of thick buttermilk pancakes surrounded by a moat of smoke maple syrup. Considering I took a while to take pictures, I was worried that the pancakes would be soggy - but to my surprise, everything was still very in tact and tasty. The pancakes are more dense and doughy than light and fluffy. The maple syrup was surprisingly not too sweet (which was great!) and the other toppings such as berry jam, quince butter, and mascarpone, didn't overpower the dish. However, with everything together, this dish is quite heavy and very food coma inducing especially when eaten at the start of a day. Nevertheless, this is such a L'Abbatoir brunch staple as almost every table orders a stack of pancakes - be it for the gram or for the pancakes themselves.
SMOKED SPRING SALMON TARTINE
A lighter option for brunch comes in the form of (almost) everyone's favourite avo-toast, though this one with an addition of smoked salmon. The toast is also layered with gribiche (I had to Google this one), which is a mayo-style cold egg sauce, and topped with dill. With a side of salad greens, this dish is for those looking for just something simple and light.
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The experience and ambiance of L'Abbatoir make it a gem in Gastown and a local favourite. The presentation, ambiance, and service truly shines here though the prices are rather high and portions quite average - common for similar upscale restaurants in the downtown area. I loved our brunch I'd recommend a visit if you've never been before. Oh and since it's prime tourist season in Vancouver, why not bring your out-of-town friends here?
R E V I E W.
+ food quality: 9/10
+ price/affordability: 7/10
+ atmosphere: 9.5/10
+ overall: 9/10