Getting creative with a classic breakfast combo
By Shawna Wagman
Tiring of serving up ordinary bacon and eggs, local chefs are waking up to the possibilities of the most leisurely meal of the week. In fact, two of our most beloved sandwich shops are using weekends to revisit the basic brunch ingredients and show off their owners’ culinary chops. Here are two good reasons to get out of your jammies.
Art-is-in Bakery’s Breakfast Gnocchi: $11.95
When we hear the names Kevin Mathieson or Art-is-in, we think one thing: bread. But visitors to the bakery’s industrial takeout shop-café are discovering that the mastermind behind the city’s celebrated sourdoughs and baguettes can really cook! Luxurious brunch dishes like breakfast gnocchi, straight from the Mathieson imagination, demonstrate a penchant for culinary decadence. A hot pan of sizzling butter gives a slightly crisp exterior to the homemade Yukon Gold gnocchi, which have the ultimate melt-in-your-mouth texture. These nuggets nestle in a quick sauté of fresh vegetables — whatever inspires the chef at the moment — brussels sprouts, chanterelle mushrooms, cauliflower, beans, with some crispy chopped bacon and fresh thyme. A three-minute perfectly poached egg rests on top, napped with classic buttery made-from-scratch hollandaise sauce, a pinch of smoked sea salt, and snipped chives. This, my friends, is what weekends are made for.
Brunch hours: Sunday 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Art-is-in Bakery, 250 City Centre Ave., Bay 112-114 (from Scott Rd.), 613-695-1226, www.artisinbakery.com.
Edgar’s Dutch Baby: $10.75
Imagine a golden pancake that puffs up high like a soufflé but is crispy and golden around the edges like a traditional crepe and custardy inside like a flan. The bowl-shaped Baby is gently nudged out of a cast-iron pan that has been slicked with delicious duck fat (only bacon fat would make it crispier, says Edgar’s owner, Marysol Foucault, but her fried potatoes get all the bacon love). It is served hot from the oven, topped with a succulent slice of gooey caramelized slow-cooked pork belly, a crumble of five-year-old cheddar, chunky apple purée, and a glug of maple syrup. The sweet-savoury marvel is one of three brunch options served at the 11-seat Edgar. “We wanted to do something a bit out of the ordinary,” says Foucault, “something
Brunch hours: Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Edgar, 60, rue Bégin, Hull (Gatineau sector), 819-205-1110.