37 King William St, Hamilton
Takes Reservations: Yes
As a big fan of Aberdeen Tavern, I was excited to hear about the new addition to their restaurant family. The French opened back in December and I finally got the chance to try it out last week. We headed over on a very chilly Sunday morning to have brunch.
Brunch is one of my favourite weekend (or weekday!) activities, but I was a bit apprehensive going in. Aberdeen Tavern has a killer dinner service with perfectly constructed dishes, but I have always found their brunch a bit disappointing. I know that opinion leaves me in the minority, but the service, coffee and food at brunch just can’t compete with their lunch and dinner service. All that said, I was unsure of how The French would compare.
Let’s start with the atmosphere because if you have not been there yet, this space is gorgeous. They have exposed stone walls including a separating wall for two dining areas. Although very striking, the stone walls are a bit of a liability in the winter. We were seated at the window right by the wall and the wall was very cold. Even the husband, who in his entire life has never felt cold, remarked it was chilly.
We started with lattes, regular milk for him and almond milk for me. They were both decent, not great. Next up was an Elderflower Kir which I absolutely loved, but I am a sucker for elderflower cocktails.
We ordered a fresh scone which we had intended to have with our lattes and then the Englishman and Croque Madame for our mains. Within less than 10 minutes of ordering we received our scone, both lattes, the cocktail and both meals all at the same time. On the one hand, timely service and hot food are great. On the other hand, the disappointing one, brunch is a leisurely meal and I felt rushed. We ended up only spending 35 minutes total from seating to exit which does not make for a relaxed Sunday brunch feel.
The timing of the food was unfortunate, but the food itself definitely made up for it. The Englishman included 2 eggs, sausage, bacon, crispy potatoes, braised beans, tomato and braised beans. Can we please talk about those crispy potatoes? I am still thinking about them. My husband ate his and then helped himself to some of mine. The bacon was the perfect level of crispy and this is from someone who does not like bacon (I know, I know). I loved my meal, but the star of the show was the Croque Madame. With ham and Handeck cheese, it was topped with a perfectly fried egg which met #yolkporngoals. I missed a picture of the scone in the flurry of plates arriving, but it was raspberry served with butter and preserves. Warm and fresh, it was a nice addition to the meal.
Overall, I thought it was a great meal. Service was friendly and attentive although timing from the kitchen was off and it ended up feeling rushed. That’s something that I think can easily be worked out with time. I will definitely be returning to try out their dinner menu!
Overall rating: 4/5
Ambience/Decor: 4/5 (only because of the cold)