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
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
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!
Dan Clapson is a business manager and food
blogger based out of Calgary. He is always creating new recipes and
striving to expand his culinary limits.