New: The Sparrow
I posted this over in "2009 Openings" but figure it might be worth a post of it's own.
I have not been yet, plan on going today for brunch.
Here's what I know so far:
5322 blvd Saint-Laurent (the former Mile End Bar. As a setting, could be very promising)
The chef is from London. Since arriving here last year he's been working at Chasse et Peche. (in London he was at "Gordon Ramsay at The Narrow" and "Magdalen")
There is a connection with Cocoa Locale. (These are friends of mine, respecting their privacy.)
They do not have their liquor license yet so they are only doing lunch and weekend brunch until they do.
The menus (they post them on Facebook) look *fantastic*. (attached)
Looking forward to some proper Bubble and Squeak (even though I will be back in London in 2 weeks myself but hey)
Have you seen the price for real cheddar cheese lately? ;)
If this were a steamie or a street dog (Oskar Meier Weiner + white bun), then yeah for sure $8 is too much.
But you know what? I'm pretty certain it's not. I wouldn't be surprised if it's a proper sausage, sourced from a local artisan (like the one that came with my English Breakfast), with real mustard (not the yellow crap) and home made sauerkraut.
I definitely have $8 for that.
Besides, there's other stuff on the menu eh? Mussles, pork chop, etc.
This is not a greasy spoon burger joint and I don't feel your comment is fair.
Back. Try to report...
The Sparrow is/will be what is called in England a "gastro pub", which means, as you may guess, a fancy pub with higher end quality food. Usually pub food, but made fresh, usually with some twist, and with quality ingredients.
Gastro pubs are *everywhere* in London. The Sparrow does a good job of emulating the look and feel of them, especially the homier-yet-modern ones in the Shoreditch/Hackney area (which if you know what that means, you know how perfectly The Sparrow suits it's location in the Mile End ;)
We went for weekend brunch, the menu for which is very simple and basic. What we were served, the English Breakfast (one egg, sausage, bacon, 2 pieces of blood sausage, bubble and squeak, toasted (real) bread), was not revolutionary, but it certainly pleased and hit the spot. (My focus was to see the place, the faces, and have a hearty breakfast.)
Definitely going to go back and sample their lunch and (eventually) dinner menu.
Ah yes that. When they get their liquor license, The Swallow will be a complete gastro pub. That means good beers on tap, regular at the bar, people hanging out. The dinner menu will be served from 5 to 10pm.
Very excited to see this place opening up! I love a good pub. And Montreal is so very weak on British Isle fare, unless you happen to be out on the West Island.
Reema mentioned her husband is involved with this resto. I was so excited about the cake I had in my hand, I forgot to ask if she does the desserts!
Tried The Sparrow yesterday
This is definitely a place I’m happy to see opening up in my neighbourhood.
The vibe is very mile-endy, service was beyond excellent and most of the food very good.
The chocolate and banana beignets were overflowing with mashed banana and chocolate and arrived piping hot. Delicious.
I then ordered the eggs Benedict. The eggs were perfectly cooked and the pork slices under the eggs were succulently tender. I am told their pork is cured and smoked in-house. Apparently, almost all of their meat is cured or otherwise prepared in-house. My lone quibble is that the hollandaise could definitely have used more acid. Oh, and it also would have been fun if the dish came with some kind of side or garnish. Two lone eggs Benedict on a plate make it seem kind of bare.
I couldn’t resist ordering some bubble and squeak (smashed pan-fried potatoes with cabbage) on the side. This is a very cravable dish and even though it seems simplistic, I believe it shows that the cook knows what he’s doing, with just the correct ratio of browned bits, cabbage, mashed and semi-intact potato pieces.
One last important point: coffee refills came fast and the coffee was great.
The owners of this place clearly have a focus and passion for food and it shows. It’s in the air. Even though some dishes may need some tweaking (to my taste at least), it’s obvious that the talent and skills are there.
Here’s to hoping they get their liquor license soon so we can go to the Sparrow for dinner!