EATS: The French

Hello everyone! A little while ago, the HF and I were leaving The Mule (great taco place in Hamilton and where we had dinner on our first date) and we noticed a beautiful restaurant that would be opening soon right across from it. With a bit of Instagram lurking, I discovered The French was to open a few days after. Brought to you by the same people as The Aberdeen Tavern (which we still have yet to visit), The French offers modern French bistro style cuisine.Located at the corner of King William and Hughson, The French adds elegance to the historic building it is housed in. On our last visit, our waitress informed us that the stonework on the walls is actually pre-confederation which is pretty damn cool.
I love the open kitchen and the juxtaposition of the old stone with the modern white tiles. Add in beautiful marble and wooden tables and gorgeous leather seats, The French is not only Instagram-worthy, but still maintains a very warm and welcoming atmosphere.

We went for brunch on the Sunday of their first brunch service and were immediately impressed. Our waitress, Charlotte, was bubbly and such a pleasure to chat with. When we returned a few weeks later for lunch, service was still impeccable and definitely added to the fantastic experience. We started off with croissants served with their housemade butter and blackberry-juniper compote. Although the croissants are not made there, they were still deliciously buttery and flakey and were excellently complemented with the butter and compote. Now when you think of French cooking – what comes to mind? Butter and cream. Cream and butter. Variations of both used to create the most rich and indulgent foods. NO REGRETS. The HF ordered their Eggs Benedict, which had the most buttery (how many times can I say buttery) hollandaise on top of perfectly poached eggs (dat runny yolk tho) and accented with crispy prosciutto.I opted for the Duck Waffles because really – how can I say no to duck confit, blueberry compote, and creme fraiche on top of a waffle!? I’m not even sure what that crumble was but it was all delicious. Indulgent and worth EVERY calorie. I would highly recommend this if you’ve never had duck for brunch or duck in general. We came back a few weeks after having brunch since we decided we need to try their lunch (and obvi eventually their dinner.) Again, we were blown away with the excellent quality of food and service. The HF had the Lamb Burger with harissa and super crispy fries (our fave kind!) and I had the Albacore Tuna Nicoise. I forgot to take a picture of our Foie Gras Parfait (yep, we’re fancy) which was basically a whipped mixture of foie gras and pate served with De La Terre sourdough (also sold at the Hamilton Farmer’s Market.) Mega shoutout to the egg in my salad – HOLY MACKEREL. It was probably the BEST egg I’ve ever had. NO REALLY. So simple and yet so perfectly executed. That salad is light yet still filling and hey – I don’t even like olives but I ate it all up. I had seen this lemon tart on their Instagram feed and I needed to give it a try (hey – I ordered a salad – it was justified!) French pastries…OMG. This was baked in house and the best lemon tart I’d ever had. The curd was perfectly tart (har har) and the tart pastry was sweet and you guessed it – buttery. A very balanced dessert and a very generous serving (the HF definitely helped take a few bites of this.)We cannot wait to come for dinner (cough cough – perhaps Valentine’s Day if not sooner) and have been raving about this to all of our friends.

The French is located at 37 King William Street in Hamilton. You can check them out online at http://www.thefrench.ca, and be sure to follow them on Twitter and Instagram at @TheFrenchHamOnt. You can also give their Facebook page a like if you end up going and loving it there as much as we do.

Thanks so much for stopping by! Let me know if you end up going to The French, or what you’d recommend at The Aberdeen Tavern.

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