With class wrapping up a bit early I couldn’t think of a better opportunity for my first real restaurant review – comment excitant!!
It’s good to know people; know people who know people who open restaurants like L’Ouvrier. This place is calm, cool and creative. As one of my dining companions reiterated “I am soooo not this creative. Look at this place, I am not this creative!” The interior design elements were cooked up by graphic designer and friend of the owners (Angus Bennett & Justine Fowler) Courtney Wotherspoon – illustrator, designer and all-around creative creature. The space is open and honest. Stark white walls, polished concrete floors and plenty of bright pink accents – one lone table, the aprons, the neon lights etc… The space reflects its beginnings and the thought process that went into it. From floor-plans framed in the washrooms, to a wall displaying all of the items used in creating said space including a ziplock filled with pink paint, all of the inspiration is there!
It’s all about the hard-working cook – Angus is head chef and can always be found in the kitchen. His lovely partner Justine Fowler is making the rounds, chatting with new friends & old and welcoming patrons as they enter the restaurant. Here’s their philosophy;
“L’ouvrier offers an eclectic menu of contemporary Canadian food paired with unpretentious yet impeccable service. A comfortable environment with modern design elements provides the perfect surrounding. Harmony between functionality and style shape the dining room. Borrowing from the Japanese and Finnish tradition of refined form juxtaposed against natural/organic materials, it strives to create a new Canadian tradition of craftsmanship and style. Allowing ‘fine’ dining to become accessible to l’ouvrier (the working man).”
Ok so the space is great but what about the food. It’s great too! And the drinks… oh very good! I wish they had the cocktail menu online because I am trying my darndest to remember what was in that drink – there was champagne and grapefruit and something else that escapes me… but I highly recommend it!
To start I went with the half dozen oysters (probably east coast Canadian but it wasn’t marked) that came with a delicious cider rye mignonette among the other accoutrements. This was followed by the roasted salmon with lemongrass, coconut milk, thai basil, coriander, lime leaf, ginger, bird’s eye chili, greens – the taste combination was outrageously good. Other items that floated around the table were hot and sour soup w chicken dumplings, a roasted beet & chevre salad, duck confit pan-fried gnocchi and the much talked about butternut squash ravioli “love letters”.
If you are passing along Dundas just west of Bathurst and you see that little pink glowing sign in the window I suggest you stop in. Whether it’s for a drink (or two), some apps, or dinner, you won’t be disappointed.
nighty night xx
[ images 1 & 2 ]