Le Chien Noir (Kingston) – Awesome brunch!

We had an out of town guest visit a friend of mine (her fiancee). We decided to go out for brunch when I was post-call. I tried to make a reservation for Aqua Terra Sunday brunch but as expected, it was booked solid. They could fit a party of 2 at 1pm. Frankly, it really isn’t that good. I’ve done it 3 times. I don’t get the hype. But then again, I also don’t understand a line up at Cora’s. And Tim Horton’s.

I did some chowhounding and someone mentioned that Le Chien Noir served a good brunch. We decided to try it. They easily accommodated my party of 7. It wasn’t packed (like Pan Chancho’s or Aqua Terra). It wasn’t too loud, the ambience was nice, and the coffee was seriously non-stop. I had 3 cups. Needless to say… I was jittery.

This is the Black Dog Hash (Root vegetable and beef brisket hash, two fried eggs, veal jus) for $15. Sooo damn tasty. The beef brisket was salty, and lended its savoriness to the hash. And with an egg on top! Wow, I feel like a sultan. Probably the best hash I’ve had. Only complaint: the eggs were overcooked. I am not sure if they wanted it solid all the way through… but I was thinking that if the yolk was still liquid, it would mix well with the hash.

This is the Eggs Benedict (two poached eggs, potato galette, bacon, lemon-chardonnay hollandaise) for $12. A good deal for that price. A fairly straight forward benny, nothing particularly remarkable. Again, J has commented that my palate is not sensitive enough. She said she really enjoyed the lemon-chardonnay hollandiase. I shrug. My only gripe: one of the two eggs was over cooked (just like the above dish! Who is in charge of the eggs here???)

The Nova Scotia Lobster Salad (butter lettuce, pink grapefruit, pickled ginger, preserved lemon, crispy wontons, cilantro, mint, blood orange vinaigrette) for $15. A simply amazing dish. Very cool, refreshing and light. It would have been great to have this during the summer. The lobster was fresh and had a good texture. They even provided a knuckle! I was really impressed.

I think this is the Scrambled Eggs (Oven head N.B. smoked salmon, potato galette, salmon roe) for $13. I didn’t get a chance to try this dish.

Overall, Le Chien Noir is an awesome place for brunch. It is a great alternative to Aqua Terra and Pan Chancho’s Bakery. I will definitely be coming here again.

Addendum – June 30, 2010 – I came here again when we had many out of town visitors (from Ottawa and Toronto). I really find the brunch outstanding here.

This is the Eggs Benedict (two poached eggs, potato galette, berkshire bacon or sauteed spinach and mushrooms with lemon-chardonnay hollandaise) for $12. A really great price for the quality of the ingredients you get. I just wish that it was a little larger. The eggs were nicely runny, the galette was crispy, and the bacon was deliciously salty. A winner!

This is the Crab and Chive Quiche (with mixed organic greens salad) for $12. The pastry was delicious, flaky and light. J says it was pretty crabby.

This is the Pain Perdu (French toast, local maple syrup, Toulouse sausage, fresh fruit) $14. I didn’t get a chance to taste it but I want to bite that sausage.

This is the Bistro Burger (naturally raised local “Black Angus” beef, mushrooms, aged “Black River” cheddar, horseradish aioloi, heirloom potato chips) for $14. Again, I didn’t get a chance to taste it but the report was that it was juicy and rich.

Man oh man do I love Chien Noir for brunch. I think this is another hidden gem. Sunday mornings are empty here!

Addendum part 2 – July 2010

My rotation has been pretty relaxed thus far and as such, I have been able to sneak away for a quick lunch at Chien Noir!

This was the lunch special: Beef Brisket Sandwich. Really tender pieces of beef brisket, with a delicious jus on top of the mushrooms. The flavours were really heavy in your mouth and left you extremely satisfied.

This is the fish and chips (Chien blonde beer battered local pickerel filets, frites, pickled heirloom carrot and fennel slaw, tarragon-mustard remoullade) for $17. I found the batter incredibly heavy and oily, especially when paired with pickerel which I find pretty light and delicate. I really felt the fish was lost in these battered filets. The frites were a touch soggy also. I wouldn’t get this again.

This is the soup and sandwich of the day. Some nice smoked turkey with fresh vegetables in a well made sandwich. I only wish there was less bread.

Chien Noir does really well for brunch and breakfast. I don’t love their lunch and dinner menus to be honest. While the food is interesting, I find it often texturally difficult (ie the fish and chips) and usually too salty. Today’s meal wasn’t too salty and the Beef Brisket Sandwich was amazing. There are hits and misses on the menu but just enough hits to keep coming back.

Le Chien Noir, 69 Brock Street, Kingston, (613) 549-5635. www.lechiennoir.com

Le Chien Noir Bistro on Urbanspoon

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~ by Russ on December 18, 2009.

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