L’Ouvrier Kitchen Bar for Brunch

Posted on April 22, 2014

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I wanted to go out for brunch for some time now.  The past few weeks flew like blur and this past weekend, I finally slowed down to enjoy some overdue free time.  At Valerie’s request, she asked for a brunch that had salad options.  Now I always been that shameless carnivore and I usually go for Eggs Benedict preferably with bacon sitting prettily underneath a perfectly poached egg.  So all my go-to brunch places I shelved and I searched for a restaurant with the healthier-yet-tastier options.  The moment I saw images of the food they serve at L’Ouvrier for brunch, I knew I had to go there.  Their salad plates were too photogenic for me to resist.  For the first time, I actually ate a salad for brunch!

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Meeting Valerie Saturday morning, we walked in the restaurant close to noon.  I was pleasantly surprised that there were available tables.  Just like the images I saw on several reviews, the restaurant has an airy feel, white and light just like the spring morning that I waited so long for.  With a big window on the street side and high ceilings, minimalist curated decor adorned the walls, just being in the space lifted my spirits.  I loved that the space was amply big to have good distance between tables.  The noise level I appreciated as I didn’t have to exert too much effort to hear or be heard.  It was a place that could really sustain a relaxed conversation.

As we took to our seats, I waited for Valerie to choose one of the four salads that were in the menu.  I had my eye on the Kale Salad that was tossed with dried cranberries, radish, parmesan, pecans, crispy shallots and cider vinaigrette or the beets & arugula salad mixed with candied pistachios and dollops of whipped chevre and balsamic reduction.  In my mind each salad would be a feast for the eyes.

Telling me that she often adds beets to her salad, Valerie opted for the Kale salad offering of L’Ouvrier.  I happily went for the beets & arugula and asked for house-cured bacon on the side.  Ah well, I really just cannot do without bacon for brunch.  Especially when I read countless times how good their bacon was.  We also both asked for coffee and L’Ouvrier served it on a french press to be poured in dainty mismatched cup and saucers.  From the level of detail and whimsy I have seen,  I could almost taste how that meal was going to be.

The wait was not long and I finally saw the salads daintily plated in front of me.  I was happy with my choice and it was as photogenic as a food photographer would want it to be.  It was almost heartbreaking that I don’t have my studio equipment.   As I finished taking pictures I finally tried the salad and its flavours was as amazing as how it looks.  The beets have a tart and mellow earthy taste which was in perfect harmony with the bitter tones of the arugula and the saltiness of the whipped chevre.  I love the bursts of texture coming from the candied pistachios as I took in the perfect bite, having all components of the salad on my fork.  I ate everything on the entire plate, of course with bites of the bacon that I had on the side.  And I do agree with everyone’s praises about L’Ouvrier’s bacon.  It was crisp with the perfect savory taste as what every bacon should be.

If you ever want to go out of the norm and want lighter options for brunch, swing by L’Ouvrier.  That meal was definitely memorable.  That coming from a lover of greasy spoons is really saying a lot.   They do have conventional brunch options if you cannot do without eggs and french toasts. But I say think outside the box and try their salads :)
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