Cue the Hitchcock music: Date Night has dinner in a slaughterhouse.
“Abattoir” is French for slaughterhouse. Don’t worry, this is a really nice place, housed in an old warehouse on the Westside. This is one busy area, with Ormsby’s and Yeah Burger drawing the young crowd and Abattoir attracting those with a higher income. It’s owned by the same people who bring us Bacchanalia, and this good food comes at a fraction of the cost.
We arrive for our 7PM reservation and are seated right away.
The dining room is open, with high ceilings. There is a big bar on one end and an outdoor dining area that is closed on this cold winter night.
The beer list features four drafts and about a dozen in bottles.
We go for the Palm from Belgium and a Monday Night Fu Manbrew that is brewed literally across the street at Monday Night’s new facility. The Fu Manbrew is a wheat beer with a lot of ginger in it. The smell reminds you of a ginger snap and it is really strong as you taste the beer.
Eve’s mom used to make her fried ceci (che-chi) peas as a child, and when we see them on the menu, we must order them.
They are advertised as spicy, and the cumin covered garbanzo beans live up to their billing. This is a big bowl of crispy beans that must have crack cocaine in them. Once we start eating them, we can’t stop. Good thing we have the nice beer to put out the cumin fire.
True to the restaurant’s name, there is a lot of meat on the menu. If you are a vegetarian, you can actually eat well here, but we are not here for the farro and fennel. We order the short ribs bourguignon.
The first bite elicits a “wow” from both of us. The meat is moist and full of red wine flavor from the sauce. We would love to know how they get the short rib so tender. It comes with root vegetables, which tonight are turnips, carrots, and onion. The veggies have the same amazing taste as the meat.
Accompanying the dinner we get a side of Brussels sprouts, Date Night’s favorite veggie.
These are marinated in an Asian-style sauce and are crispy fried. They are as good as any we have had and we discuss if they are better than the sprouts from the Happy Belly food truck, which we have not had lately. These might be our new “Best Brussels”.
The service tonight is impeccable. Our waiter Alex knows the menu and he suggests his favorites as we go through the various categories. He’s a pro as his support staff. Our water glasses never get close to empty and our napkins are folded for us when we leave the table. If only I could provide such good service at home!
As we look around, we notice that most tables order an appetizer, an entree and dessert for each person at the table. That’s a lot of food and fortunately, since we have split everything, we are able to have a guilt-free dessert. The monkey bread catches our eye. What is monkey bread you ask? We did too and it turns out that it’s brioche dough rolled in butter, cinnamon, and sugar, then pressed together and baked.
This is what it looks like when it comes to the table. We first use the small glass of hot chocolate as a dip, but then quickly start to sip it when we taste how good it is. This dessert would have gone great with a glass of chocolate stout, but we were all “beered out” by the time we had dessert.
Date Night bottom line: This is fabulous food and service. You get all of the class of Bacchanalia, but it’s a lot more laid back and less expensive. Check out Abattoir if you are looking for a special meal on the Westside.