For my second stop during Dine Out Vancouver 2019, we went to L’Abattoir in Gastown.
L’Abottoir is located on Carral Street, just steps from the statue of Gassy Jack.
I arrived a little early for our 5:30 reservation, and the restaurant wasn’t open yet. I wanted to get a later seating, but the restaurant is busy under normal circumstances, and during Dine Out, reservations are basically limited to very early, or very late seatings.
We started with a daily bread (this was not part of the prix fix menu, but offered on top of it).
The basket included some crisp sesame seed crackers, a brioche roll and some cheesy twists. The brioche roll and cheese twists were fresh and warm. I loved the cheese twists, they had a tender delicate pastry crumb on the inside, but a lightly crisp exterior, much like a fresh croissant.
My dinner companion started with the Roast Cauliflower and Crispy Veal Sweetbread Salad
it was dressed with grapes, capers, and lemon juice. I had a small taste and the roasted cauliflower was crisp and lightly charred on the edges. The sweetbreads were dredged in a bread crumb batter and fried to a light crunch.
While I started with Warm Terrine of Smoked Pork Jowl
It was dressed with vegetable pickles, apricot, and rye crisps. I liked this dish, but it struck me as misnamed. A Terrine is typically a pate style dish, formed into a mold, sliced and served cold. This was more like a beautifully seared piece of warm pork jowl served with pickles and crisps.
My dinner companion’s entree was the Pan Roasted Arctic Char
It was served atop parisienne gnocchi, sunchokes, and a buttermilk cream sauce. I had a small taste. The artic char was nicely cooked to a medium-medium rare with a splendidly crispy skin.
My entree was the Lamb Sirloin and Braised Cheek
It was served pan seared turnips, swiss chard, and a date jam. This was an excellent lamb dish. The lamb sirloin was a beautiful tender medium with a light char on the edges. The lamb cheek was tender and rich and meaty. The swiss chard and the turnips provided some earthy contrast to the luscious lamb.
For dessert, my companion ordered the Chocolate and Passionfruit Ganache
banana sorbet, caramel, cilantro
My dessert was the Salted Caramel Verrine
It was studded with slices of granny smith apple, a shortbread crumble. The caramel is actually two caramels, one light and creamy, the second, sweet and thick, with a salty tinge.
L’Abbotoir’s dining room is split between the bar area on the lower floor, and the main dining space on the upper floor. It’s a rustic minimalist setting, with alot of wood tones, exposed brick, and vintage industrial lamps for lighting. There’s also a private dining room for parties in the adjacent Gaoler Mews.
The service was quite exemplary; the servers were prompt, pleasant and attentive.