After reading good reviews in the Vancouver Magazine, we were eager to try this relatively new place in Gastown. At 7pm on a Thursday night, it was hopping & busy, but not packed- when you enter the restaurant, it's very cozy & warm and there are a few people greeting you so that was a nice welcoming feeling. We were promptly seated upstairs and while initially it feels small in the space, the tables extended further back than we thought. There's even a nice row of tables on the first floor in the back of the restaurant past the kitchen, which was also nice & cozy, but quiet. Only downside to those tables were they were located near the same corridor as the washrooms.
I thought our waitress, Yani was super friendly and very efficient. She explained the menu quite well and even though we only had the option of the dine out menu, there were still some add ons we could do for around $3-5 more. So both my husband and I started with the Poached egg, quinoa and swiss chard, homemade ricotta cheese, tomato sauce dish and it was quite delicious. Egg was cooked nicely and the combination of the tastes and textures of the other items in the dish were really good. It was a nice filling appetizer. While the appetizer came quite fast, it was nearly 20 minutes until our entrees arrived, which I thought took longer than expected. Yani came over to tell us that it was bit backed up in the kitchen and we were only one more ticket away from getting our food.
While we continued waiting, we found it hard to chat with the semi loud music in the background. As the restaurant got more full, we had to yell to each other over the noise of chatter & music. It didn't make for the most pleasant ambiance.
When our entrees did arrive, I was pretty hungry, so I said, "Finally." to the guy that brought our food, in which he replied, "Well, it's dine out y'know." Then after saying, "Enjoy, your meal" he just scurried away. I was a little bit taken back by his pseudo attitude, but let it go, because in reality they were pretty busy, serving
around 40 people in the upstairs area alone and probably another 15 downstairs, and yes it was dine out, but it made us wonder what it was like there during a regular night, would they be able to handle so many orders?
Anyways, we were drooling over our entrees and couldn't wait to try them. We were pleasantly surprised at the portion, it wasn’t very large, but also wasn’t very small; just right. My husband ordered their slow roasted loin of pork w/ cassoulet, brussel sprouts, and mushrooms; it was nicely cooked and had some delicious flavors. He really liked it. I opted for the Lamb Loin with sausage, celeriac, endive a la plancha. Very unique taste and combining it with the sauce and celeriac made a delicious first bite. Both entrees were done nicely, delicious, good portions and presentation, but I wasn't sure the extra $5 for the lamb loin was well warranted. We both thought that if it were just an a la carte option, each dish may have been better priced around $5 less, based on the portion size and what came with the dish.
We ended the meal with a Fizzy Lemonade and the Caramelized Bananas. The banana dessert was nice and not overly sweet. I loved the Fizzy Lemonade dessert made with blood orange sorbet, tapioca pearls and early grey granite. It was nice and sweet & sour, and cool & refreshing all at the same time. Definitely a yummy dessert.
Overall, L'Abattoir delivered a few good notes - the food quality and the portions were excellent, and our waitress Yani was great, but the poor attitude from the one server and the loud noise factor didn't quite make it a 100% great dining experience.