I was walking around an alley in the dark. There was a gentleman 5 feet away from me pushing a shopping cart, and it doesn’t seem like he wants to engage in small talks about the weather. My shoes were wet, and the orange street lights weren’t helping me find a way back onto main streets. I went from walking slowly to pacing. Suddenly I saw this glass room, and there wasn’t anyone inside. I pressed my hands to the glass, reducing the reflection from the glass so I can get a good look. Inside the room was a row of dinner tables and chairs. I looked up and there appears to be a unique chandelier made out of branches. What is this place? L’Abattoir Gastown is a modern French restaurant.
I ran around the block, finally finding a way out. There in front of me is L’Abattoir, the slaughterhouse. Located on Carrall Street, with the back of the building as part of Blood Alley. I began to read up on this restaurant. The restaurant is a partnership of talent that comes with a wealth of knowledge and experience in the culinary scene. Chef Lee Cooper’s resume started as a sous chef at Pear Tree in Burnaby, then Market for one year. He also had a stint at Unbuntu in Napa Valley, and finally opened shop here in Gastown. Managing Partner Paul Grunberg also brings impressive experience to the table which includes Lumiere, Chambar Belgian Restaurant, The Market, and Bao Bei.
A special restaurant calls for a special occasion, and in this case it’s my birthday. We planned our evening carefully arriving at seven. Upon entering, the bar is located on the ground floor, and dining on the upper floor. I was seated and all I wanted to do is revisit the mysterious glass room. I was corrected by the server as I have inquired about it, as it was called the Atrium. Stand corrected, I was given permission to visit it before I had a chance to start my dining experience. I walked down the stairs through the hallway where they keep their collection of wine. I finally reached my destination and it was as magnificent as I thought it would be. How I would love to dine here alone at night, it would be such a unique experience.
We headed back upstairs, and drinks were on the table. I have previously asked the man with the shaved head to bring me his favorite beer. My lady also asked for a recommended wine. So I got a first sip of the shaved head man’s favorite beer. Mirror Pond Pale Ale based out in Portland. This was a dark and rich beer, which I came to love and eventually bought more of. Thanks Paul! My lady had a French white Vouvray Turonien, this will eventually be added to our home collection as well.
We were served bread as we were waiting for our appetizer. They don’t skip on the minor details. It was delicious.
The appetizer was the perfect way to start our dining experience. Terrine of Duck Foie Gras on toasted brioche with quince and yogurt. Rich foie gras lightened by tangy yogurt. Basically, you take your time to enjoy this delicate treat. Each forkful of foie gras brings a different experience.
Our first main was Pork Shoulder cooked in milk. The pork was ever so tender. Turnip in my opinion is more for a visual impact that brings a subtle taste. The salsa verde brings the majority of flavours in this dish. It has a strong acidic taste. I wish I could have the recipe to make this, because I believe it would go well with a lot of dishes.
The second dish did not disappoint either. We decided to be more adventurous and have rabbit. They picked an interesting name for this dish. Loin Of Rabbit Stuffed With Its Legs. Where to start? I took a knife, and sliced it on a roll. I made sure I had loin, bacon, brussel sprout and then finally sliding it in the plum sauce. The rabbit had a gamey meat taste to it. It was extremely rich with the plum sauce. The bacon and brussel sprout added a crunchy texture. It was the first time I’ve had rabbit outside of Chinese cuisine. I wish UBC captured all the rabbits running around rather killing it because of infestation. Bugs bunny never tasted so good.
For the finale, there must be a cake for the birthday boy. I received Candy Cap Mushroom Custard Tart. I am not a sweet tooth but this was definitely hitting the spot. Mushroom infused in cream for the custard. It has a nutty flavor, which is perfect for the weather.
I don’t know if I found this restaurant or it found me. Whatever the case may be, it’s going to be a continuous relationship. I had a great birthday. Thanks Paul and crew for such a great experience. Time for me to walk back in the alley to discover more great things that people should know of.
Mon 5:30 pm – 12:00 am
Tue 5:30 pm – 12:00 am
Wed 5:30 pm – 12:00 am
Thu 5:30 pm – 12:00 am
Fri 5:30 pm – 12:00 am
Sat 5:30 pm – 12:00 am
Sun 5:30 pm – 12:00 am
217 Carrall St, Vancouver, BC V6B 2J2