Date Visited: January 20 2015
Type of Restaurant: French, Pacific Northwest, Cocktails
Price Range: $$$$
Ambiance (out of five)/Setting/Design/service: 4/5 – loud and lively atmosphere, chic yet rustic design, the clearing of tables was quick but entrees took a while to arrive
Recommended: Desserts
Overall: 7.75/10
(1-4: will never come back, 5: pass (I’m okay with a tinier morsel), 6: acceptable, 7: okay, 8: good, 9: Wow! Please enlarge my morsel. 10: Perfection. I could eat a morsel of this every day!)
Will come back? Maybe
What I ate:
Second Dine out Vancouver of 2015 – $38 (picture credits to “S”)
Cured Albacore Tuna – fried polenta, corn and jalapeno dressing
  • 7/10
  • The albacore tuna had a nice fresh texture to it but was slightly over seasoned for my tastes
  • The fried polenta added a nice crisp and at the same time creaminess
  • The jalapeno’s spiceness contrasted the flavour of the tuna nicely
  • The corn added a nice sweetness to the overall dish (I admit I’m a sucker when it comes to corn)
  • I think overall this was a well thought-out and well balanced dish it just needed a less salt and more fried polenta
Duck ravioli – mushrooms, squash
  • 8/10
  • The duck ravioli was luckily not too dry on the inside and presentation was on point
  • There were a good amount of mushrooms inside but it needed some herbs to really enhance the overall flavour
  • The dough of the ravioli was just the right texture
Carrots roasted in butter and spices – toasted oats and homemade yogurt
  • 6/10
  • The carrots were nicely roasted – not too mushy, inside has a slight bite to it
  • The homemade yogurt did not add much to the dish texture wise and flavour wise
  • The carrots were also properly seasoned to let the sweetness shine through
  • But overall this dish was not a favourite because there was nothing special about it. If there was some creative component to it I would have enjoyed it more.
Milk Braised lamb shoulder – fried brussels, red cabbage
  • 7/10
  • The lamb shoulder was dry, could have been juicier
  • The fried Brussel sprouts were great – nice smokiness to it and not over or under cooked. Only flaw with the Brussel sprouts was that some of them were severely burnt
Smoked filet of Pacific ling cod – Cauliflower, risotto
  • 7.75/10
  • The smoked ling cod was cooked perfectly in the center but on the side with the skin it was slightly overcooked àcooked unevenly
  • The smoked flavour of the ling cod really came through
  • The risotto was a bit too creamy and a tad overcooked but it did add a nice texture and savoury flavour to the entire dish
  • It would have been better if some vegetables accompanied the dish (like some asparagus) just something to add some freshness and to cut through the richness of the risotto
Coq au Vin – red wine braised chicken, lardons and spaetzli
  • 6.25/10
  • The red wine braised chicken was overcooked and dry which was really disappointing
  • The sauce that covered the entire dish was also over salted and was very one dimensional
  • The lardons were way over salted and could have been slightly softer so that I would melt in the mouth
Yogurt and vanilla pannacotta – Honey and thyme granola, butterscotch, apple
  • 8.5/10
  • The pannacotta consistency was on point – not too soft, creamy
  • The honey and thyme granola added an interesting flavour and was a nice crunchy contrast to the creamy pannacotta
  • The apple was not over cooked and added a different texture to the overall dish, firm yet soft and slightly crunchy
Ricotta Cheesecake – passionfruit, lime mousse
  • 8/10
  • The passionfruit coolie on top was not too sour and just the right amount to contrast the richness of the ricotta cheesecake
  • The ricotta cheesecake is not like other dense New York Cheesecakes – it was lighter in consistency but the base was overly dense and soft. I prefer crisper and harder bases
  • The lime mousse on the side was amazing – a terrific balance of sour to soft to velvety
Sticky toffee pudding – whipped crème fraiche
  • 8.5/10
  • The pudding was perfectly made – the texture was on point and was not overly sweet, it was soft and cushiony yet heavy enough to hold the sticky toffee
  • The whipped crème fraiche was again light and was much needed to balance the sweetness of the sticky toffee
  • For me the sticky toffee was slightly too sweet but the smoothness and thickness of it was great
  • Overall the dish was well balanced and would have been perfect if there was a touch more whipped crème fraiche and the toffee pudding was slightly less sweet
Things to Improve on: The cooking of the proteins
Summary: There were hits and misses with the dishes. The appetizers were okay, nothing impressive yet nothing was horribly amiss. There were some good components of each entrees and there were some severe flaws (like the cooking of the proteins). The desserts were great and flavours were well developed. Luckily the night ended on a high note with the desserts. The service was sometimes fast and slow at others. Would I recommend this restaurant? I’m not quite sure considering it was dine out time when I went and it might not be an accurate representation of their food and service but then again knowing that it is dine out shouldn’t restaurant pay special attention to their customers? Many people use dine out as a time to try out different restaurants for a cheaper price that they might not usually try, so they should try to make the best impression possible right? L'Abattoir on Urbanspoon

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