Location: 791 Dundas Street West, Toronto, ON M6J 1V1
Price Range: $$
I have to say, Dundas Street West must be the new IT spot for food now! I used to frequent the usual Queen Street West for food and coffee shops, but for the past months there have been a lot more “hip” and trendy new restaurants popping up on the west side of Dundas street! Initially Tien (acornerkitchen) and I wanted to go to Saving Grace for brunch, but the restaurant was closed that day and Old School wasn’t even an option.. (review here) so we decided on L’Ouvrie!
The restaurant itself was bright and sunny on a Sunday afternoon. The decor was minimalistic and is complemented by mismatched china cups, a few local artwork with hot pink accents here and there. The restaurant was spacious with tables spread out nicely and there were even a big square bar at the back!
The menu isn’t your typical standard eggs benny that you would find in other restaurants, however there was nothing on the menu that made me say “Ohh I can’t wait to try that!”. I was in a serious dilemma at L’Ouvrier because I had a hard time deciding what would be worth trying.
The scones lean toward the sweeter side with a hint of lemon citrus, and I thought it would have been nice if they were still warm, nonetheless the scone was still moist inside. Instead of preserves or jam, I got maple (?) syrup instead which was a bit strange. However the butter was unsalted and melted quickly on the tongue and I found it had a slight cheese-like, almost sour aroma that dissipated into a fairly standard cream flavor.
Tien ordered the tuna tartare and I thought the tuna portion was quite small for $14. With that said, the lightly salted nori chips were the perfect vessel for the fresh tuna, except that they were easy to break. The pickled ginger and spicy aioli were not too overwhelming and overall it is a must order dish.
I panicked for a bit when I saw the plate as I couldn’t find the potato and trout under this humongous arugula salad. Seriously though, this dish should have been renamed as Arugula Salad garnished with potato and trout. I felt like a rabbit that day and was still quite hungry after the brunch.
The potato pancake was crispy on the bottom and soft within, lightly salted which complimented the soft trout perfectly. Whole capers tend to be salty so I appreciated that they crushed the capers instead, which didn’t make the dish overly-salted. The sour cream was a nice touch to balance out the dish, but the arugula salad was drenched in balsamic vinegar dressing so toward the end, I felt the whole dish was a bit too.. vinegar-ish.
The service was great at the beginning but toward the rush brunch hour our server was nowhere to be seen. While the decor of L’Ouvier was perfect for a date and the food was good, I think either the price or portion will need an improvement. I supposed the restaurant was aiming toward a fresh and modern Canadian cuisine, but they really need to change up their brunch menu with something more exciting as well.