L’Abattoir 217 Carrall St., 604-568-1701, labattoir.ca.
I didn’t know that a slaughterhouse is also known as an abattoir: it’s just the kind of knowledge that has managed to escape me. Regardless, it is—but it’s also the name of another new Gastown hotspot. Housed in the old Irish Heather but featuring slick new interiors by David Hepworth (I’m seriously in love with the juxtaposition of classic French tile floors and Mason jar lights), the team here includes Paul Grunberg (who worked at Bao Bei—see below—before opening up his own place), chef Lee Cooper, barman Shaun Layton, and sommelier Jake Skakun. It’s taken me hours and several libation-accompanied meals to decide, but I’ve come to the conclusion that my favourite dishes here are the chicken and lightly-pickled cauliflower salad (there just isn’t enough tasty cauliflower out there!), the leg of lamb in Indian spice, and the crispy mushroom turnover.