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La Brasserie – December 2010 Visit

22 Dec

1091 Davie Street
Vancouver, BC
V6E 1M5

T: 604 568 6499

www.labrasserievancouver.com

Brief Description: A teeny, tiny Davie Street hot-spot that serves hearty plates of Franco-German cuisine. Be prepared to wait for a table but take comfort knowing that it will be worth it.

Wow – 2010 has absolutely flown by! Whilst starting this post, I realized that it had been almost a year since my first, and only, visit to La Brasserie. My only reason for not having made a return trip earlier is that there are just too many restaurants to try in Vancouver!

Not much has changed at La Brassiere since my last visit; the restaurant remains small, busy and heaving with happy diners. They still do not take reservations and even the menu remains mostly unchanged. But these are not complaints; simply observations. Even if you do find yourself waiting for a table, don’t be too disappointed. You can still enjoy a beer from the hefty European beer menu whilst you pass the time. :)

As previously mentioned, the menu hasn’t changed too much so you can still expect to find all the Franco-German fare that I wrote about before, such as home bratwurst, mussels and frites, and skirt steak with truffle morel butter (doesn’t that sound heavenly?).

Although not traditionally Franco-German, we started our meal with oysters, which practically sold themselves at a buck a shuck after 9pm, and truffled poutine. We enjoyed the oysters with a splash of raspberry vinaigrette and then we turned our attention towards devouring the bowl of truffled poutine.

With its robust gravy, intermittent chewy cheese curds, and a splash of earthy truffle oil, the poutine is a must have. The lamb cheeks, that left such a great impression from our last visit, were the daily special and I couldn’t miss the opportunity to have it again. It was lamb cheeks for me and my sister, and B settled on the suckling pig, complete with sauerkraut and schupfnudel.

Unfortunately, this means that we ordered exactly what we ordered last time which leaves me with no new insights into the menu but I can reaffirm that these meals were delicious. The lamb fell slightly short of its grandeur from our last visit, however, it was still delicate and delicious, just lacking a little in a flavour. B couldn’t rave enough about the pork.

Final Thoughts: Although I’ve had only limited visits to La Brassiere, I still think it is one of the better offerings from Davie Street. The food is definitely intended for those who enjoy meat, so think twice about taking someone who is vegetarian or if you prefer seafood. And be prepared to wait for a seat. Price point remains middle of the road (around the $20 mark for a reasonable sized entrée).

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La Brasserie

6 Jan

1091 Davie Street
Vancouver, BC
V6E 1M5

T: 604 568 6499
www.labrasserievancouver.com

Brief Description: A teeny, tiny Davie Street hot-spot that serves hearty plates of Franco-German cuisine. Be prepared to wait for a table but take comfort knowing that it will be worth it.

Happy New Year everyone! Sorry for the long pause between posts. With so much time off of work during the break I was able to visit a few of my wish-list restaurants and one of them was the highly acclaimed La Brasserie. I have previously grumbled about the lack of enticing restaurants on Davie Street and so I am very happy to hear that the standard is slowly rising.

La Brasserie does not take reservations and so whenever I have walked past before the line-up was always snaked out the door. It was no different when I visited. My sister and I offered to sit at the bar and the wait was only about 20 minutes, which really isn’t too bad. The restaurant is small (it only seats 35) so expect that you will be crammed in the doorway like sardines and when you do make it to a table, you will be elbow-to-elbow with other diners. With that said my experience there last week proved that it is worth all of the inconvenience. Service was quick (despite the wait to get a table) and attentive. During the wait for a table, the host kept checking back in with us giving us regular updates about the wait times and we were asked if we’d like to order some drinks whilst we waited. We both chose a beer from the extensive and impressive beer menu and sipped on them until our seats became available. The décor is fairly standard: warm colours, a simple layout and a dimly lit room gave off a feeling of comfort. There is an ever-so-popular open-concept kitchen so that you can peer into the fishbowl to watch the chefs hard at work.

The menu contained all sorts of alluring, belly-filling dishes from Germany and France. German food always conjures up images in my head of hearty pork dishes, delicious sauces and sides of dumplings and sauerkraut. The chefs must have been inside my head as that was one of the first dishes on the menu – Suckling Pig with sauerkraut and schupfnudel. I knew immediately what I would be getting! The rest of the menu is pretty meaty…spicy house-made bratwurst, braised lamb cheeks, steak onglet and frites, rotisserie style chicken and a burger option. Mussels with frites and an Arctic char dish were the only seafood representatives on the menu and there is a vegetarian pot pie for those who didn’t come for the meat (crazy people!). Appies are well represented with an equal number of hot and cold options. This is where the French influence became more visible – steak tartare, onion tart, onion soup, poutine and a duck confit can all be found on the appetizer menu.

For our meals, I ordered the house-speciality of Suckling Pig and it left me with no reason to question why it is the speciality. Crunchy, salty crackling surrounded the juicy pork that had been stuffed with a mustard and bread filling. Honestly, pork is not really my favourite meat but this was done really well and I was surprised at how tender the pork remained. The sauerkraut tasted as though it had been flavoured with bacon (a definite thumbs up in my books) and the schupfnudel (basically two big, doughy dumplings) were a real highlight. They were perfectly seasoned and tasted as though they had been lightly fried – delicious!

Unfortunately, the Suckling Pig was no match for the Lamb Cheeks which were served with a rosemary jus, celery root puree and a medley of caramelized vegetables. This dish was a “WOW” dish. My sister ordered it and I sat their ogling it until she had finished. Thankfully, she is kind and let me nibble at it. The lamb melted in the mouth and was paired extremely well with the rosemary jus. Even the vegetables were incredible. Never have I had a brussel sprout that tasted that good! We were extremely impressed with the meals and they both came in at around the $20 mark each.

Dessert wasn’t as exciting as the main course but that would have been quite hard to surpass. I ordered the chocolate flour-less tart, which was very rich and dense and I could taste the quality of the chocolate with every bite. There were small pieces of hard toffee (or something similar) sprinkled throughout and that added a bit of interest with each bite. Unfortunately it was way too rich for me to finish on my own and so I had to take the rest home with me.

My sister chose the crème brulée, which although was good, it was not a stand-out.

Final Thoughts: Overall, I was really impressed with La Brasserie. Finally Davie Street has another good restaurant to boast about. I will definitely make a return trip to La Brasserie with B in tow as I know that the food is definitely “man food” i.e. hearty, filling and meaty.

La Brasserie on Urbanspoon

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