Yes, it’s yet another trendy gastropub. I would say that I’m tired of this trend, but as long as the food is this good, keep it coming!
I have to admit I was incredulous when I first arrived. It was packed to the gills with a decibel level to match and the front of the restaurant looks more like a sports bar with the 4 large flat screens. But luckily, Charles, Alice, Amy and I were seated at a booth towards the back of the restaurant where we only had to slightly yell to have dinner conversation.
For appetizers, we had a flatbread with mushrooms, garlic and tallegio, poutine (Canada’s famed cheese fries covered in gravy dish), and a pork belly confit. All were winners. The flatbread was quite large, and had a thin crust that straddled the fine line between crispy and chewy. The pork belly was good, as all pork belly is and the arugula salad had some interesting pickled grapes. I enjoyed the poutine; fries were excellent and the gravy was nice and peppery. I wish there was just a little more cheese.
Amy and I shared the spaetzle and it was excellent, even better than the spaetzle I had at Chez Henri the previous evening. The noodles were tender and I loved the combination of smokiness of the ham with the nuttiness of the toasted hazelnuts tossed with chanterelles, porcinis and Comte.
I tried Charles’s baked stuffed haddock and Alice’s ribeye; I thought both were perfectly acceptable, but hardly blog worthy. Charles thought his was ok, and wished that he had ordered the chicken. Alice enjoyed her steak and especially liked the sauce.
We should have stopped there because the desserts were a disaster. I think this pastry chef should be marched out and shot for the abominations she served. We had the pineapple upside down cake, which was dry and/or old and stale. I think “hockey puck like” is the most appropriate description. The blood orange tart was no better. The pastry was so thick and hard we had to hold our spoons in a fist and attack it in a stabling motion to break the tart apart. The filling was too sweet and the meringue on top was unpleasantly gooey. Yuck.
Service was slow, but understandable given the crowd. The bread basket was excellent; a cheese focaccia and a Francese, served warm, as all bread baskets should be.
I think I would definitely return, if only for the flatbread and spaetzle, but never again will I order dessert there.
Food: B+ (lots of minus points for dessert)