Brunch in and of itself is always an appealing prospect, but when a portion of the day’s sales are going to a worthy local cause (The Dr Peter AIDS Foundation) the appeal is that much greater. And this is what bought us (that is, James and I) at La Brasserie on Davie Street, and despite a minor snafu around what time the restaurant opens, there is much to recommend.
Once the waiter ushered us in we were quickly seated, and our order was taken with similar promptness. I went for the Croque Madame and settled back in the stylishly understated surroundings, enjoying a pot of Earl Grey and some volume-just-right jazz music. When the Croque arrived, I wasn’t disappointed. Crisply grilled brioche was a base for a firm poached egg topped with Sauce Choron (Hollandaise-like). A salad with a light but spicy mustard dressing filled the rest of the plate. The only thing that could have been improved was the single slice of porchetta hiding between the two slices of brioche – it seems forlorn with a meek flavour that didn’t compliment the rest of the delicious offerings. Tried the “Breakfast Poutine” Theresa ordered – very tasty, too.
The ad for brunch said 10, the menu posted outside said 10, even the bill presented to us at the end of breakfast said 10. So when James and I showed up promptly at 10 ready to greet to the day, we were somewhat disappointed to discover that they weren’t actually going to open until 11. So we cooled our heels with a short walk and coffee.
La Brasserie advertises itself as a Franco-German restaurant. Ever since it opened in the West End, I’ve wanted to try it. But everytime I tried to try, it was jam packed with line-ups outside. We returned promptly at 11, and by 11:10 the restaurant was packed and there was line-up outside. And with good reason. Ignoring the clenching of my arteries, I ordered the Brasserie Breakfast Poutine, which consists of a poached egg, lardons (chunks of thick cut bacon), truffle oil, pork gravy, cheese curds atop French fries.
Now before you chide me for eating what looks reads like a heart attack in a bowl, I have to say it wasn’t greasy or heavy in any way. First of all, the portion isn’t huge. And while poutine can be messy, the chef used a gentle hand in this version. The potatoes were fresh cut and crispy, the lardons were crunchy and flavourful, and there was just the right amount of pork gravy. Even the cheese curds had just the right amount of melt happening. There wasn’t a pool of grease or gravy at the bottom of the bowl either. It was a well-proportioned dish. More importantly, it was an incredibly delicious dish. The bonus was individual pots of good quality loose leaf Earl Grey tea. La Brasserie was well worth the wait for me.
1091 Davie Street
Breakfast for two cost us $32.00
James’ rating: 4 eggs out of 5
Theresa’s rating: 4.5 eggs out of 5