Sunday, May 6, 2012

Brunch at Zinc

Our friend Tanya announced around her birthday that she wanted to go for a big brunch. Big brunch? My list of brunch spots is not extensive, but after a bit of searching, we came up with Zinc. Three courses for $36, and reports from a few bloggers that we'd be waddling out once our meal was complete.

We hadn't been to Zinc in some time; probably a year and a half ago now. But the interior remains as striking as ever, with rich blues, steel and wood all contrasted against one another. Our server offered us coffee and tea (included in the price), while I asked for a run down of their sparkling cocktails on offer that day (there were three or four, plus a couple lovely sounding mimosas). I ended up with a floral cocktail that combined St. Germain Elderflower and Violet liqueurs with sparkling wine. It was a great way to start the meal, and we all loved the purple hue of the drink.

The first course of cheese, pastry and preserves arrived soon after selecting our entrees. Since Charles is not a cheese fan, they kindly moved his cheese portion to the plate Tanya and I were sharing, and gave him extra pastry. Alongside the cheese there were pieces of peppery, cheesy shortbread, fruit, tarts and glasses of yogurt with berries. We enjoyed everything on the plate, with the shortbread stealing the show. The only thing I would add is some sort of list or explanation of that day's cheese, either printed or verbal.

There were three different mains on the table that day - Tanya chose the frittata with tomatoes and asparagus, and chose to add the house made turkey and apple sausage. Charles went with the only sweet option on the menu - the Neapolitan of pancakes - with Lagavulin bacon. And I went with the Salmon Benedict.

Since there were three different dishes on the table, we were able to try a bit of everything. I thought Charles' pancakes were the winner of the three. They were light and fluffy, and the different toppings were fun additions. The cubes of bacon served alongside were the perfect smoky accompaniment. Tanya's frittata was also well executed, and came out fluffy and tangy thanks to the dollop of goat cheese served on top. And although I wasn't a huge fan of the turkey sausage - it stood no match for the bacon on Charles' plate - Tanya really enjoyed it.

And finally, the Salmon Benedict. Nearly everything about this dish was lovely. The hollandaise was buttery and rich, with a nice acidity cutting through everything; their house smoked salmon was sweet, savoury and wonderfully smoky, and the buckwheat potato blinis were a welcome change from bread. My only complaint was that the eggs were slightly over cooked, which meant that beautiful runny yolk was nowhere to be found. This definitely wouldn't keep me from ordering a benedict next time though... the lobster sounds particularly enjoyable.

Just when we thought we could eat no more, slices of warm apple strudel arrived at the table to finish the meal.

I wouldn't hesitate to recommend Zinc for Saturday or Sunday brunch. While there may be a couple kinks, the menu offers something for everyone on the list. And if you don't feel like indulging in all three courses, each one is available on its own. And with that the brunch list grows.

Zinc at the AGA
Brunch: 11-2; Further hours

*Past posts on Zinc can be found here, here and here.

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