When Paris' macaron mecca Ladurée landed in Canada for the first time, it was here in Vancouver on Robson Street. The sweets boutique and tea room is a slice of pastel-coloured heaven for sugarholics and the French-obsessed.
Recently Ladurée Vancouver launched a new weekend brunch service, and the menu offers yet another way to enjoy a little bit of stolen Parisian time without leaving Vancouver. Bonus: It includes champagne cocktails and giant macarons, for a little weekend ooh-la-la.
Offered from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays, "Le Brunch" menu at Ladurée is essentially split into three categories: Cocktails and mocktails, brunch dishes, and sweet treats.
There are a duo of brunch champagne cocktails on the menu - a classic Mimosa with fresh-pressed OJ and the Royal Ladurée (champagne with fresh strawberries and rose syrup) - as well as elegant champagne by the glass options. Mixed drinks are inspired by Ladurée macaron and treat flavours, so you can drink your Ispahan - which in this case is Grey Goose vodka, Chambord, lychee liqueur, and rose syrup - or a sweet kicked up "Macaron Coffee" (Whisky, Kahlua, coffee syrup, coffee cream, and a coffee macaron).
The main event showcases a meld of Paris by way of Vancouver eats - brunch is a big deal here in our town, but has only recently become a habit on the Parisian eating scene - with plenty of breakfast-y classics. Viennoiseries (think croissants and similar pastries) are available in full or mini versions.
You've got the North American-style "toast" - a slice of Ladurée brioche loaded with avocado, or avocado and smoked salmon, or avocado with smoked salmon and a runny poached egg - and then the French Toast - a dish that Ladurée does beautifully well.
Keeping in the classic spirit, Le Brunch also showcases the much-lauded French omelette, which is often a test of culinary mastery for kitchen talent around the world, thanks to the need for it to be uniformly yellow and absolutely free of any overcooked brown spots (like its American cousin). The Ladurée Omelette is filled with mushrooms, Emmental cheese, ham, and tomato.
Lastly, Ladurée takes a little liberty with their Croque Monsieur, swapping out the typical flat trench of smothered bread with dainty roll-ups of the cheese and ham dish.
It would be counter-intuitive to not have some sweets and macarons while at Ladurée, and you can cap your decadent French brunch off with a sugary note with something as petite as some of their world-famous macarons, or their large-scale "Gourmet Macarons" that cross over solidly into the dessert realm.
Additionally, their individual serving cakes, like the aforementioned Ispahan or their Saint Honoré are on offer, and you may find some Vancouver-only seasonal specials, like their fall Pumpkin Tart, which draws from both the French tartlet tradition and the U.S.-Canadian autumn essential pumpkin pie. And, oui, if you say please, you can add ice cream on top, too.
Brunch is available at Ladurée Vancouver at 1141 Robson Street from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.