Last week I reviewed the
$32 buffet brunch at the Westin, which I thought had lots
of pretty good food, but which I found was surplus to
I don’t really get
the point of such massive buffets. Why spend so much for
such a huge assortment of food? I don’t see how
anyone but a six-foot-five 17-year-old can get their money’s
And even the best items
aren’t as good as fresh-cooked dishes.
Of course, the Westin isn’t
to blame for my poor judgment. No one forced me to go
back to the buffet line for a fourth time.
But while I was sitting
in the nice dining room at the Westin, regretting my gluttony
and waiting for our bill, I thought of how much I enjoyed
my last brunch at Epicurious Morsels: sitting outside
on a sunny Sunday morning this summer.
I went back this weekend,
to see if my recollection was correct. It was.
It’s a neighbourhood
place, with a small, cheerful dining room with big windows.
I like having dinner here.
The chef-owner, Jim Hanusiak, turns out dinners that are
sophisticated but not showy. It’s not trendy cooking
but it’s interesting, with carefully cooked seafood
and meat served with unusual sauces. He has an especially
sure hand with seafood.
The dining room is pleasant
in the morning, with the winter sun coming in the big
And I really like the brunch
The Belgian waffle ($7.95)
is fresh-tasting, tender and tasty, with lovely bits of
fruit and whipped cream.
The waffle is not quite
as nice as the ones you can make using the recipe from
the old Joy of Cooking, which called for the eggs to be
separated and the whites to be beaten, but just as nice
as the ones you can make using the recipe from the revised
Joy of Cooking, which doesn’t demand you separate
The stuffed french toast
($8.25) is just as good, and a bit more interesting.
It’s like a grilled
cheese, with a nice eggy coating on the bread and a fresh-tasting,
sweet stuffing of cream cheese, raspberry and banana.
I’m not as enthusiastic
about the special, which is described on the chalk board
as a lobster strudel ($11.95).
It comes with a bowl of
the soup of the day, a squash bisque, which I find too
sweet, though I know many people would like it.
The lobster strudel is
really a couple of slices of a spanakopita log, with feta,
spinach and lobster in the middle. It’s pretty good,
but not brilliant. It’s more pastry and spinach
than lobster, and there are only two small slices. If
I had liked the soup, I’d probably feel better about
Hanusiak smokes is own
salmon and does a good job of it. He also does a good
job making hollandaise sauce.
It’s thin and delicate,
with a nice lemon kick, which is a perfect match for the
smoked salmon in the eggs Benedict ($10.95).
Our waitress, a sharp cookie,
asks if we would like the eggs slightly soft, which is
how they are nicest. Not everyone likes them that way,
though, so she’s smart to ask.
The combination of the
lemony sauce, the good smoked salmon, the slightly runny
poached egg and the English muffin is excellent –
comfort food of the highest order.
For dessert, there’s
excellent pecan pie ($3.95) and something out of the ordinary:
Shaker lemon pie ($6.25).
The waitress warns us about
it when we order. It’s a fruit pie made with slices
of whole lemon – peel and all. It’s incredibly
intense, even with whipped cream and ice cream and excellent
I like it, and I’m
glad I tried it, but it has a very strong, bitter aftertaste.
I think it’s the sort of thing you’d be more
likely to enjoy as you age and your taste buds get jaded.
I can’t say enough
good things about our brunch.
I like the room, the coffee,
the service and food.
And the price. It cost
us $70 for four, taxes included.
That was less than we paid
for brunch for two at the Westin.
And it was a lot better.
Stephen Maher is an
editor with The Herald and the author of The Hungry Critic,
A Reliable Guide to the Restaurants of Nova Scotia.