OPENING SOON | L’Abattoir Crew To Launch ‘1 Gaoler’s Mews’ Project In Gastown, May 19th

April 18, 2017.

IMG_9389

by Andrew Morrison | The decline and fall of fine dining is an easy, old hat complaint among local chefs, restaurateurs and food writers. Slickly designed, calm and confidently expert dens of aspiration and ambition – those last redoubts of the endangered Lumiere ilk –  have for years accounted for fewer than 1% of new Vancouver restaurants, so whenever a new one appears – with all its civilized quiet and tasting menus – they’re always objects of intense fascination. I expect it will be thus at L’Abattoir‘s new exclusive offshoot, 1 Gaoler’s Mews.

That’s what they’re calling the new 9 seat chef’s table-style spot behind the award-winning Gastown restaurant. The name is its address, which is located on the main floor of the private dining facility L’Abattoir launched in the original Shebeen spot in 2014. 1 Gaoler’s Mews is going to start off as a once a month affair on May 19th, 2017. Based on my experience at a test run a couple of weeks ago, I reckon it and the dates that follow will be quick sellouts. As it was a ‘friends and family’ style of service I won’t go into the dishes I enjoyed except to say that everything was well conceived, well executed and adeptly paired with some very interesting wines (I sang for my supper in direct feedback). However, I will share other thoughts and notes…

It’s always fun to have a front row seat to watch the making of one’s dinner, and it was an especially fascinating thing to see co-owner/chef Lee Cooper – a fellow of few words during service – introduce dishes, answer questions and engage those present. Co-owner Paul Grunberg was there, too, prodding for guest feedback from the peripheries while sommelier Lisa Haley gave brief but thorough introductions to each of her pairings. I knew each of the other eight guests assembled that night, but the cozy, bar-height seating is a straight row with everyone in communion facing the kitchen. Crosstalk and shooting the shit is tricky as the orientation – fittingly, I suppose – is that of an audience, but it’s more intimate than that sounds. It’s not a church pew subjected to chefs dispensing edible benedictions. It’s a good time.

Conceptually, it’s similar in scope to Brooklyn’s Blanca, an elegant 12 seater tucked behind the owners’ more casual eatery, Roberta’s. What’s fundamentally different is the size of the gulf between the dining experiences. Roberta’s is basically a cluttered pizzeria, while Blanca has a couple of Michelin stars. Now that is a gulf. To the average diner, I wonder how distinguishable the difference will be between L’Abattoir and 1 Gaoler’s Mews. There is a gulf to be sure, but it’s one that’s been dug out by exclusivity, reach and scope rather than quality, talent and cost. One is gold, the other is platinum.

IMG_9428

It’s a smart move for several reasons. For starters, it’s only nine seats and in operation for just one evening a month (to start). Even if they price it high (they won’t price it cheap), its fancy factor will appeal to special occasioners and food-lovers with ‘fuck you’ money (our city has plenty of both). Secondly, it’s a great way to keep staff – especially cooks – engaged and ambitious. The kitchen at L’Abattoir is hardly the minor leagues to 1 Gaoler’s majors but I expect the more driven cooks would sooner take their tweezers to the former than the latter if given the choice. Further, if it’s as successful as it should be, it will lend to L’Abattoir – arguably the best, most respected and tightly run restaurant operation in the neighbourhood – an even brighter halo than it already wears. Finally, if it flops – and I would be stunned if it did – it would be no big deal as they have no problem booking private functions in the space upstairs. “This isn’t about making money,” Grunberg told me. “It’s about inspiration. It’s about challenging ourselves, our staff, to reach a little higher.” Reaching is good.

That’s why I’m excited at the prospect of it. There’s always room for ambition in Vancouver’s food scene, and I expect it will always be on display at this place. Pity, then, that it’s just once per month. After the first run on May 19th, expect subsequent services on June 23, July 21, August 18, September 29, October 27, and November 24. Tickets to the first three dinners will be released on Monday, May 1st at 10am. I’ve included some shots from the dinner I attended below, plus a glimpse at their branding by Glasfurd & Walker. Follow along via @gaolersmews.

Screen-Shot-2017-04-17-at-3.58

EXPLORE THIS NEIGHBOURHOOD

#ScoutThis

There are 3 comments

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Diner Delicious restaurant intel...

HEADS UP | Deliciously Focused Pasta & Wine Pop-Up Returning To Gastown – Wed, July 5th

HEADS UP | Deliciously Focused Pasta & Wine Pop-Up Returning To Gastown – Wed, July 5th

by Ken Tsui | Inspired by the bar à vin scene of Paris and the relaxed brewery vibes of Vancouver, Siôn Iorwerth started teaming up with The Birds and The… more 

DINER | A Look Inside The Highly Anticipated, Imminent ‘Rhinofish’ Noodle Bar In Chinatown

DINER | A Look Inside The Highly Anticipated, Imminent ‘Rhinofish’ Noodle Bar In Chinatown

by Andrew Morrison | I've been looking forward to the launch of Rhinofish since I first got wind of its coming last Autumn, so when I noticed the paper had… more 

HEADS UP | Taste The Flavours Of The World On June 24th At UBC Farm’s ‘Joy Of Feeding’

HEADS UP | Taste The Flavours Of The World On June 24th At UBC Farm’s ‘Joy Of Feeding’

by Thalia Stopa | On June 24th, UBC Farm will once again be converted into an international picnic for the 6th annual Joy of Feeding fundraiser. The singular… more 

DINER | Another Hintless, Next-To-Impossible ‘Name That Vancouver Restaurant’ Challenge

DINER | Another Hintless, Next-To-Impossible ‘Name That Vancouver Restaurant’ Challenge

by Andrew Morrison | This game challenges Vancouverites to identify local establishments by revealing only a tiny facet of their interiors. It might look… more 

INTELLIGENCE BRIEFS | On Amazing Burgers And What Trump Means To Restaurant Labour

INTELLIGENCE BRIEFS | On Amazing Burgers And What Trump Means To Restaurant Labour

by Talia Kleinplatz | Check out what happens when you put 20 of the best chefs in the world in one kitchen and task them with creating 40 new recipes in 16… more 

DINER | Veg-Mex ‘Lucha Verde’ Opens Tonight In The West End’s Legendary Lolita’s Location

DINER | Veg-Mex ‘Lucha Verde’ Opens Tonight In The West End’s Legendary Lolita’s Location

by Andrew Morrison with photos by Michelle Sproule | The highly anticipated launch of the Veg-Mex themed Lucha Verde eatery goes down tonight at 1326 Davie… more 

SO HOT RIGHT NOW | Brand New Vancouver Restaurants That Totally Live Up To The Hype

SO HOT RIGHT NOW | Brand New Vancouver Restaurants That Totally Live Up To The Hype

Scout has been keeping track of restaurant openings for a very long time. We try to focus on and follow the construction arcs of the eateries we believe are… more 

INTELLIGENCE BRIEFS | On Praising The New Hot Spots And A Tidal Wave Of Industry Woes

INTELLIGENCE BRIEFS | On Praising The New Hot Spots And A Tidal Wave Of Industry Woes

by Talia Kleinplatz | From Tacofino and The Juice Truck to Vij’s Railway Express, Vogue shares some of their favourite Vancouver food trucks. With the US… more 

The scout Community

49th Parallel Coffee Roasters & Lucky’s Doughnuts Acorn Agrius Ai & Om Alibi Room Ancora Waterfront Dining & Patio Anh and Chi AnnaLena Araxi Arbor Ask For Luigi Au Comptoir Bao Bei Chinese Brasserie Bar Oso Bauhaus Beach Bay Café & Patio Beaucoup Bakery & Cafe Bel Café Bestie Bishop’s Bistro Wagon Rouge Bittered Sling Blue Water Cafe + Raw Bar Botanist Bottleneck Boulevard Kitchen & Oyster Bar Bufala Burdock & Co. Cabrito Cacao Cadeaux Bakery Café Medina Caffè Artigiano Camp Lifestyle + Coffee Co. Campagnolo Campagnolo ROMA Cartems Donuterie Chambar Chefs’ Table Society of BC Chez Christophe Chocolaterie Patisserie  Chicha Chill Winston ChocolaTas Chocolate Arts Cibo Trattoria Cinara CinCin Ristorante + Bar Cioffi’s Cioppino’s Mediterranean Grill Cocktails & Canapes Catering + Events Cook Culture Culinary Capers Catering & Special Events Dirty Apron Cooking School & Delicatessen District Brasserie Dixie’s Authentic Texas BBQ Earnest Ice Cream East Van Roasters Cafe Edible Canada El Santo Elementa Espana Fable Fanny Bay Farmer’s Apprentice Fat Mao Fayuca Fernwood Coffee Company Field & Social Forage Giovane Cafe + Eatery Gotham Steakhouse & Bar Grain Granville Island Grapes & Soda Greenhorn Espresso Bar Gyoza Bar Hart House Restaurant Harvest Community Foods Hawksworth Restaurant Heirloom Heritage Asian Eatery Homer Street Cafe & Bar Hy’s Steakhouse Irish Heather Jamjar JJ Bean Joe Pizza Joy Road Catering Juice Truck Juke Fried Chicken Juniper Kafka’s Coffee & Tea Keefer Bar Kin Kao Kissa Tanto Knifewear Kozakura Kuma Tofino L’Abattoir La Buca La Mezcaleria La Pentola La Quercia La Taqueria Pinche Taco Shop Les Amis du Fromage Lions Pub, The Liquidity Bistro Lobby Lounge + RawBar Longtail Kitchen Lucha Verde Made By Pacific Maenam Mak N Ming Mamie Taylor’s MARKET by Jean-Georges Matchstick Coffee Roasters Meinhardt Fine Foods Miku Restaurant Milano Coffee Minami Miradoro Mission Mister Mogiana Coffee Mosquito Nero Belgian Waffle Bar Nicli Antica Pizzeria Nightingale Nomad Nook Nuba Oakwood Canadian Bistro OLO OPUS Bar Osteria Savio Volpe Oyama Sausage Co. Pallet Coffee Roasters Pat’s Pub & BrewHouse Pidgin Pizzeria Farina Pointe Restaurant at the Wickaninnish Inn, The Pourhouse Railtown Cafe Railtown Catering Rain Or Shine Ice Cream Red Wagon, The Revolver Coffee Rocky Mountain Flatbread Co. Royal Dinette Salt Tasting Room Savoury Chef Shaughnessy Restaurant Shebeen Whisk(e)y House Shelter Six Acres Sophie’s Cosmic Cafe Sorella Stable House, The Tableau Bar Bistro Tacofino Tavola Terra Breads Thierry Thomas Haas Chocolates & Patisserie Timber Timbertrain Coffee Roasters Torafuku Tractor Foods Truffles Fine Foods Two Rivers Specialty Meats UBC Farm Uncommon Cafe, The Urban Digs Farm Uva Wine & Cocktail Bar Vancouver Aquarium’s Ocean Wise™ Program Via Tevere Pizzeria Napoletana Vij’s Restaurant Virtuous Pie West Restaurant Wildebeest Wolf In The Fog YEW seafood

Lorem Ipsum is simply dummy text of the printing and typesetting industry. Lorem Ipsum has been the industry's standard dummy text ever since the 1500s, when an unknown printer took a galley of type and scrambled it to make a type specimen book. It has survived not only five centuries, but also the leap into electronic typesetting, remaining essentially unchanged. It was .

Lorem Ipsum is simply dummy text of the printing and typesetting industry. Lorem Ipsum has been the industry's standard dummy text ever since the 1500s, when an unknown printer took a galley of type and scrambled it to make a type specimen book. It has survived not only five centuries, but also the leap into electronic typesetting, remaining essentially unchanged. It was .