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The Hungry Nomad: L'Abattoir (Vancouver, Canada)

May 22, 2011

L'Abattoir (Vancouver, Canada)

Friday night some friends, the Count and I headed to l'Abattoir. I had read some mixed reviews about the place but figured I'd have to check it out for myself. Located on Carrall street in the heart of Gastown, l'Abattoir is just another new 'hip' restaurant to pop up in the area. 

I'll start with the good and make my way to the bad: the decoration and ambiance were great. The restaurant is set in a refurbished brick and beam building and combines classic french tiles with industrial  fixtures, natural woods, and glass and steel finishes. It was definitely very aesthetically pleasing with detail in everything. The service was great. Our server was very professional and explained a lot of the dishes and drinks to us in impressive detail. 

Claiming to have a mixture of west coast and french food... the entire experience was less than satisfying. The selection was very limited and hugely overpriced for the amount and quality of the food they served(See menu). I had read somewhere that they had amazing cocktails and so I tried two of their more popular ones and didn't find it any more special than cocktails served in other trendy restaurants around town. But then again I am not a mixologist so what do I know about the intricacies of mixing alcohol with non-alcoholic flavors.  

The food was not bad however for the quantity, quality and price it could have been a lot better. We paid $200 for the four of us which would not have been so bad had we had many drinks or any appetizers but for three entrees and one smaller dish it was too expensive. And it would have been justifiable had it been an amazing culinary experience but it wasn't.  The best thing about the food was the bread basket served in the beginning. It was clearly homemade and fresh and truly delicious but when we asked for more bread little did we know they would charge us an extra $2 for it.

I opted for the 'handmade gnocchi and lobster'. I have to say in my opinion there was nothing handmade about the gnocchi. I had just had amazing handmade gnocchi the week before at Mangia E Bevi Restorante in West vancouver and this dish failed in comparison. The Count had the lamb loin and sausage... and as the Count put it was 'just okay'. And definitely not worth the price.
If you are looking for a night out for an amazing culinary experience I would not recommend l'Abattoir as your destination. However, if you are looking to hang out in a trendy , hipster-type crowd and have some overpriced cocktails then definitely check it out. 

L'Abattoir on Urbanspoon

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