A large open space with white walls, concrete floors and tables with various shapes and sizes (and also colour....you can see the lone red table in the cocktail picture below), the decor at L'ouvrier (Facebook: L'ouvrier Kitchenbar, Twitter: @louvrier) is all about minimalism.
"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).
This simplistic & honest approach extends to the menu as well. Local artisanal ingredients, traditional techniques and classic pairings are contradicted by playful, contemporary food presentations. To us it is crucial to maintain loyalty to the cuisines we borrow from, while striving to create something to call our own. A kitchen/bar representative of our morals, values and relentless dedication to food and drink."
Dark n' Spicy - Sailor jerry rum, ginger beer, house preserved ginger soaked in vanilla ($8)
Tuna Tartare - Soy caramel, potato chips, wasabi, edamame, pickled ginger ($14)
Duck Confit - Gnocchi, roasted garlic cream, mustard greens, beech mushrooms ($23)
Seared Scallops - Sweet corn, house bacon, beech mushrooms, jalapeno, fennel purée ($23)
Hmmmm I loved my Dark n' Spicy cocktail (mainly because of my infatuation with ginger beer these days =D) There were obvious Japanese influences in the tuna tartare (wasabi, edamame, pickled ginger) which was pretty neat but overall, I thought the tuna itself was a bit dry and lacked cohesiveness (i.e. the chunks of tuna didn't stick together and fell apart really easily). However, our mains totally made up for it. I had the duck confit (yay for crispy skin!) with gnocchi, which were done just the way I like it (slightly chewy and not too soft). The mushrooms and the roasted garlic cream were excellent too. The presentation, on the other hand, left a lot to be desired. Audrey's scallops were a winner; they were thick and nicely seared. I had a spoonful of the sweet corn-bacon-mushroom medley and lets just say I wouldn't mind eating that, and only that, for the rest of the night...the sweet and the savoury flavours with the fennel purée were fantastic! Audrey and I both really enjoyed our mains at L'ouvrier.