Last week we attended the media and VIP opening of Labarake on Rachel in Shop Angus. Without even having served a single plate, excitement and anticipation for Labarake has been quickly growing over the last few weeks. The restaurant is so freshly opened that you could still smell the varnish on the wooden tables when we arrived. The owners have done an excellent job restoring and adapting the building that at one time was a neighborhood firehouse and more recently an SAQ. The restaurant’s dining room is open and airy with exposed brick, concrete and wood with large bright windows. All these elements come together to make a warm, sophisticated atmosphere.
As far as opening events go, the media and VIP opening for Labarake last week was less than stellar. Billed as a cocktail and tasting event, we tried not much more than a couple of samples of beef and salmon tartar. They were good but we were left feeling a little empty and still not sure what else the menu will feature. Other food was carted around by understandably frantic yet very friendly wait staff but never seemed to reach our table. While some people were gathered at the bar others were seated which meant feast for those hanging near the kitchen and famine for those having taken a table. Also, for some reason food stopped coming out quite early in the evening. After mentioning to the staff that we didn’t get a chance to try everything, they tried their best to find something for us and ended up coming back with more tartar and a couple of brownies.
Overall we enjoyed our first taste of Labarake even if the event left us craving a little more. The restaurant’s atmosphere and location make it something that feels new and exciting in an area with a lot of potential. A full review of the dining experience will be posted in the coming weeks. Stay tuned.