Brunch @ Brasserie Kensington
Cross-posted from Calgary is Awesome.
I’d heard fantastic things about Brasserie Kensington, and its sister restaurants, Winebar Kensington (the “original”, located just below Brasserie Kensington), AKA Winebar (which serves up a decent, classy brunch) and Muse. My perennial brunchmate Tiffany had gone a few times before for supper and drinks, so we decided to check out what their brunch menu was like.
We made reservations for when they opened at 10 AM, which was completely unnecessary as we were the only ones there for the entire time, save for a young couple who came in a few minutes after we did. It was nice having the restaurant (almost) to ourselves – the service was friendly, attentive and efficient and the space itself is classy but cozy, with a lot of dark wood accents and nice, big windows overlooking Kensington Road.
Of course, we have to start with coffee – there is no brewed coffee here; Americanos are your closest bet and they are $3 each. I decided to splurge on a cappuccino for $4, which had a nice, thick layer of steamed, foamy milk. Yum. For those who prefer booze in the morning, there is a short list of classic cocktails for $10, and of course, you can order from their extensive beer and wine lists too.
On the food side, Brasserie Kensington’s brunch menu is heavy on the eggs, in the form of classics like Eggs Benedict (always love it when the smoked salmon costs as much as the classic ham!) and Steak and Eggs, sweet dishes like crepes and French toast, and the Brasserie’s own creations, like the Vegetarian plate with eggs, grilled tomato, mushroom, fried potato and toast. The restaurant also seems to have a flare for richness, as evidenced by their Duck Fat Omelet, Breakfast Poutine and the option to order Foie Gras as a side ($10 per oz). They also use 100% duck fat in their fryers. Aside from the breakfast options, Brasserie Kensington’s brunch menu also offers salads, soups and sandwiches. (Tiffany likes the “Hog Wild”, a wild boar burger topped with gruyère, arugula aioli and grainy mustard.)
I went for the Brasserie Confusion ($14), which was essentially an omelette folded over layers of mushroom and green onion, topped with slices of crisp pancetta and creamy Hollandaise sauce.
This dish was so good – there was something about the way all the ingredients were layered together that made everything very rich and umami; I could’ve sworn there was cheese in there somewhere! Despite the richness it wasn’t too heavy, and I managed to finish it all. I also loved the potato – simply cut into thick slices before being fried. Much less fussy and “real” compared to the usual hash browns. The plate was rounded out with some slices of brown (rye?) toast and the bit of fresh fruit was nice light way to end the heavier meal.
Tiffany went for the big guns – Breakfast Poutine ($12).
The fries would probably be considered too thin by “authentic Quebec poutine” standards, but so good for people like me who like their fries thin and crisp, with a soft, fluffy centre. It did look like it could’ve used more cheese curds, but it was probably for the better as I’m sure when you swirled the egg yolk around the poutine it would’ve made it quite heavy anyway. I had a bite and was blown away by the duck fat gravy – a very nice touch of booze, and not too salty. As a testament to how good it was, Tiffany ate it all – even before I finished my plate!
If you’re looking for a greasy, hangover-curing diner breakfast, Brasserie Kensington is not the place to go. Although the price point at Brasserie Kensington is a little higher than most places, they make a solid, classy brunch.
1131 Kensington Rd NW
Calgary AB T2N 3P4
Open Tues-Wed 11 AM-10 PM; Thu 11 AM-11 PM; Fri 11AM-midnight; Sat 10 AM-midnight; Sun 10 AM-10 PM. Brunch available Sat-Sun 10 AM-2 PM. Closed Mondays. Online reservations available.