Agricola Street Brasserie
Agricola Street Brasserie has opened, and from what I've seen/tasted, it's great. I'm looking forward to a longer period of evaluation...
My boyfriend and I went for the soft launch:
Space is beautiful... high ceilings, exposed industrial finishes, warmed up by great lighting and lovely leather booths. It's a large dining room/bar area, subdivided by some great wood & metal shelving, with a smaller, separate, area for private parties. The bar has fabulous shelving all the way to the ceiling. While the main space is restrained in its palette, the washrooms have great bright green tiles, and really interesting graphic wallpaper.
The staff seemed on its game - much more so than I'd expect for so soon after opening. Knowledgeable warm service.
The food was brilliant. Well executed, and interesting without feeling contrived or fussy. The night went like this:
Aperol spritzers - never had one before... now, I think they've found their way onto my list of regulars.
Couple glasses of wine - good selection with not too many choices
Charcuterie & cheese plates - I think the charcuterie is made in house. It was pretty good. Nothing stands out in my memory above the other components, but was a well-rounded selection and we did plenty of mixing and matching.
A bottle of wine
Prime rib, with frites and brussels sprouts. The prime rib seemed excessively large - 20oz for one serving - but was prepared and seasoned very well. I think it came with some sort of peppercorn/alcohol/cream sauce, but we ate the meat unadorned it was that good. The frites were excellent - crisp and hot. The brussels sprouts were fantastic - real standouts of this dish rich and nutty and addictive.
Arctic Char with vegetables (and maybe rice? I can't remember what it came with). The fish was moist and had a terrific seared crust on one side.
Mini doughnuts, with assorted sauces for dipping (and maybe straight-up guzzling). Light and fluffy, with a crisp exterior... felt like a fair, taken upscale.
Mille feuille with caramelized apples. This was amazing. Perfect combination of textures and flavours. Really really good. I mean, I kind of wish I had enough room to order two. Next time we go, I'll be hard pressed not to have this again, but the red beet gingerbread looked to interesting to ignore.
At the soft launch, food was no charge - we only paid for drinks. I haven't been for dinner, but hear most things are in the upper range of mid-priced, with the exception of the ENORMOUS prime rib, which is $40+... but really, 20oz? Who needs to eat that alone?
Tried it out for brunch this weekend
basket of pastries + 2 americanos + sausage, eggs, lentils and bacon + flank steak banh mi and frites = $50ish. I think the smoked salmon bennie was in the $12 range. Reasonable.
You can see photos of the menus, including prices, on the Brasserie's Facebook page.