I count myself incredibly lucky to live right in Downtown Vancouver. I love being in the middle of the action. Here, there are a plethora of dining choices just steps from my front door.
A few weekends back, my dear friend Vicki and her husband were in town for a conference and staying at a nearby hotel. They wanted to get together, and I wanted to show off my neighborhood, so brunch seemed like the perfect activity.
I picked them up at their hotel, and we walked up the hill to Melville St together.
The Loden (and Tableau) are tucked away, off the beaten path, on a quiet side street. This particular Sunday morning was not super busy, so we were able to get a table and settle in right away. Tableau does also have a beautiful patio, though we chose not to sit there this morning.
The decor is elegant. French. Lots of dark wood paneling, a marble bar, and copper bar-rails. The floor is black-and-white checkerboard, and giant photos of Marilyn Monroe dominate the walls. It gives you, overall, the feeling of being in Paris.
The menu is correspondingly French. There are classic French-inspired breakfasts, like Omelets, Bennys and the Grand-Mère of all French brunches, the Croque-monsieur, which comes with frites. Although I didn’t have this dish, I have had their frites before (with mussels), and they are amazing.
They also have chicken and waffles, and normally that would be my automatic choice, but this morning, we were all in the mood for lighter fare. It’s worth mentioning that Tableau has a basic brunch menu, but they also offer seasonal specials, and the seasonal menu was the one we all ended up ordering from.
Ian ordered the fritatta. Redolent with plump cherry tomatoes and dotted with chevre, the fritatta was fluffy and delicious.
Vicki ordered the Farmer’s Sausage breakfast. Crisp roasted new baby potatoes and a house-made sausage accompanied a rich gravy. It was the richest of our three dishes, but the flavourful layers of the sausage were absolutely wonderful.
Finally, I had the Buttermilk Salad. One thing I love about brunch is that you can basically take any dish and #PutAnEggOnIt and voia! Brunch! This salad had lots of peppery arugula, crisp radishes, and salty fried prosciutto. The whole thing was bound together with a creamy, slightly tart, buttermilk dressing, and topped with a lightly-poached egg, whose yolk helped to make the whole dish just a little richer.
Tableau has a variety of brunch bevvies; you can have mimosas or one of their famous bacon Caesars. We opted for coffee this morning, which was fresh and hot.
I feel like I need another trip to Tableau for brunch. We were all very happy with the food and the service, but I also feel like we ordered a different kind of meal that maybe we should have. Given that it specializes in French food, we maybe should have given the French more of a chance? Next time, I’ll come with a hungrier belly and order a Croque-monsieur and Chicken and Waffles.
Either way, Tableau offers an elegant spot for a weekend brunch. It feels like a little slice of Paris, tucked away right here in downtown Vancouver.
1181 Melville St (inside the Loden Hotel)
Brunch served: Saturday & Sunday 10:30am – 2:30pm