La Brasserie is one of those places you walk past on Davie St and always see a crowd inside. There’s a reason for that, and it starts with the food. The menu is Franco-German inspired, with an emphasis on the Franco. The ingredients are locally sourced with a focus on organic and quality. This is the part where I warn you I might be raving about this meal a little more than you like. If you’re okay with that, read on.
The Brunch Blog Boss and I have been talking about this visit for a while. We finally found room in both our schedules for a visit. It gave us a great opportunity to eat, review, catch up and plan. The service was attentive, amiable, and easy going which allowed us to linger and get everything done that we needed to. We never felt rushed and never felt like we were forgotten. The service was impeccable.
The Boss chose to go with the Benny Special; two perfectly poached eggs on an English muffin smeared with cream cheese, avocado and smoked salmon drizzled with hollandaise sauce. This is not a restaurant where more is better. La Brasserie uses restraint, creating a balance to the layering of the ingredients. However, in the case of the avocado, there was just a touch too much restraint. The only suggestion we had was that perhaps sliced avocado would have worked better; just a touch more to give it that silky smooth avocado texture and taste.
The star of the meal was a super nova of a star; the truffle salted potatoes. Not only did they render the Boss near speechless, but I couldn’t keep my fork off her plate. That would be annoying to most people, but we both tend to do that to each other so all was forgiven.
I decided to go with a classic French dish since that’s the focus of the restaurant, and I was not disappointed. The Croque Madame is a layered sandwich of Black Forest Ham, Gruyére Cheese, Buttermilk Brioche and Mornay Sauce with an egg on top. When I cut into the egg and the yolk gently flowed over the edge of the sandwich I knew I was in for something special, and it was. The tendency to over-sauce dishes can be quite high in some restaurants but not at La Brasserie. That delicate balance I mentioned earlier? The dish practically sang. I could taste all the components in one bite. There’s a small salad that comes with the Croque Madame, and is it ever needed. The acidity and freshness of the simple salad cuts the richness of the sandwich perfectly.
I asked if they made the ham in house because it was obviously proper ham and not some deli cut facsimile and the answer was no. They bring it in from a high end organic supplier. It was delicious and not overly salty as some hams can be.
We washed the meal down with several excellent cups of coffee. La Brasserie uses Pedro’s Organic Equator Blend. It’s nutty without being bitter and it’s delicious. They keep the refills coming until you say stop; just as I like it.
The other dishes we saw served around us made me want to come back the next day. Whether it’s the impressive Brasserie Burger, Lardon Salad, or Chicken Mornay Crepes, everything looked exceptional. From the look of the happy faces around us, it was.
If you’re looking for the kind of brunch where you don’t feel rushed and the vibe is casual, yet refined then La Brasserie is the place for you. Give yourself time to enjoy your meal and the company you keep. After all, isn’t that what brunch is all about?
Movie Recommendation: The Hundred Foot Journey (2014) is about food, France, and how the fusion of family and culture enriches all our lives. Plus it has Helen Mirren and who doesn’t love a Dame?
1091 Davie St
Brunch hours: 9:30 am to 2:30 pm, Saturday & Sunday