Monday, October 18, 2010

I "heart" brunch at Epicurean Caffe

Epicurean is a cozy, little mom and pop restaurant located just west of burrard Street with a euro feel and extensive breakfast and lunch menus available for weekend brunch-ing. This charming Italian deli/café is spotless and charming with marble tables inside and a wraparound patio with climbing ivy outside. My friend Jobin lives right around the corner and had never eaten here….so I insisted that we head here for our scheduled brunch meet- up.
They don’t do drip coffee here- espresso drinks only and my Americano was pretty tasty.  
Everything on the menu sounds sophisticated and delicious- and pricing is extremely reasonable. It is actually pretty tricky to decide what to order- especially when you have the breakfast and lunch menus to review.
 This was my second brunch at this Kitsilano gem and my first experience was so amazing, I kept it simple and ordered exactly the same thing- The Earthy Breakfast (9.95). This savoury plate of goodness hits every flavour and elements of what I want in a meal. 2 Eggs poached in a simmering Amatriciana sauce, with grilled Turkey Italian Sausage (pork option also available), accompanied with spicy Eggplants (mild also available) and roasted Potatoes.  Toasted bread, butter and jam. You have your choice of Ciabatta, Multigrain, Rosemary Focaccia bread. I asked our server for his favourite and without hesitation he strongly suggested the grilled rosemary foccacia. Eggs were poached to slightly runny perfection, the tomato/pepper amatriciana sauce was so fresh and flavourful, the sausage was perfectly cooked, savoury, slightly spicy, and the “good kind of greasy.” The eggplant was a light, slightly spicy, and vinegar-y- which was a nice balance to the heavy intense flavours going on with the egg and sausage. The side potatoes were crispy and tasty- but the star carb of this meal was the grilled rosemary foccacia. It was excellent on its own and even better when used to sop up the extra tomato sauce, sausage juices, and runny egg yolk. The bread definitely helps to set this meal apart for other brunch places.
Jobin ordered the Uova alla Fiorentina, a scrumptious concoction of eggs in béchamel sauce that’s baked with bocconcini in a cast-iron pan ($10). The whole thing is topped with pancetta and buttered asparagus. He too ordered the rosemary focaccia on the side and added a side a roasted potatoes. He loved the thick, cheesy, sauce and the super crispy pancetta.
Both meals were awesome- they seem to have nailed fairly basic meals and taken them to a whole new level by using quality ingredients, attention to details, and combining amazing flavours on one plate (or skillet). The feel of this restaurant is elegant, kinda classy, and special—without being pretentious or making a huge dent in your wallet.
Our server was awesome too. He was good looking (always a plus), informative, attentive, patient and helpful with great recommendations. He suggested the Robust Bruschetta open faced panini which sounded amazing and I will definitely order that WHEN I go there next time for lunch.
Epicurean Caffe on Urbanspoon

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