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The Big Taste of Brasserie Kensington, Calgary


Posted by : Dan Clapson, Fri, Apr 22 2011

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Brasserie Kensington is located in (you guessed it!) the Kensington business district of Calgary, and the fourth restaurant from a duo of successful local business partners: Cam Dobranski, and Chris Hurlburt. I headed down for brunch on the first day of The Big Taste -- a dine-out festival that features great restaurants all over the city. Select lunch and dinner options are offered at a reasonable price to encourage people to expand their culinary horizons.

This restaurant was pretty much brand new at the time, having soft opened the week prior, but I had heard good rumblings, and liked their sister establishments, Muse, Winebar: Kensington and AKA Winebar, so, I was eager to try it out.

To put it in perspective: Winebar: Kensington would be a place I would go on a first date or with friends. Muse would be my, 'OK, we've dated a few months' (anniversary) location. Brasserie Kensington is a good in-between-er, like a good suit jacket, you could dress it up or down.

We were seated right by the huge north-facing windows that looked down onto Kensington Road (For those of you unfamiliar with this area, it's an awesome people watching street). From the brunch menu, my date and I went for their Breakfast Poutine  (to share), Crab Cake Cobb Salad (her), and the Veggie Burger with bacon, obviously, and a side house salad (me). The only thing breakfast about the poutine was the fried egg on top (with the yolk still runny). It added to the richness of the duck fat gravy. We both found the fry to gravy ratio perfect, and the fries themselves were well-seasoned and crisp.

I've got to give this place props for having the little details down pat. The lettuce in both the Cobb and my side salad was perfectly tossed with vinaigrette. There's nothing worse than a overly dressed limp greens. My heart also melted when I realized that the generous tomato slices on each of our salads were individually seasoned. Nothing quite brings out the awesomeness of a tomato like a little sprinkle of salt and pepper.

The Cobb Salad  was on the 'deconstructed' side of the fence, with large pieces of tomatoes, egg, bacon, avocado, spring greens and two home-made crab cakes resting on top. I'm a sucker for crab cakes, but so was my date, so all I got was a bite. Better than no bite though.

The veggie burger patty had a nice mix of spices, a good blend of wild rice, mushrooms, lentils, and a great char. Lastly, it offered a filling, dare I say beefy, mouthful. I like a veggie burger that is deceiving meaty, not a pale-coloured, corn filled burger 'wanna-be'. Thank god this was not one of those. The bacon also added a nice 'carnivorous' flare. The burger had fairly standard fixings on a ciabatta bun -- it all worked nicely.

All and all, a great lunch. I'll definitely be back for dinner to take advantage of their great wine and beer selections!

Posted: Fri, Apr 22 2011 by Dan Clapson

Get to know:Dan Clapson

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