Location: 209 10th street NW
When my cousin first broached the subject of having brunch, Vero was not the first place I had thought of. We decided on this place primarily because they were willing to take reservations, unlike many other brunch places (OEB, Diner Deluxe, Monki, to name a few). I had passed it on several occasions, but this was just one of the places that always slipped my mind. When I arrived, my first impression was how cute the place was. Like almost everything in Kensington, there was a small town feel to it, but this one was a little different from a place like Vendome. Since it’s renovation, Vendome has definitely become more modernized, but still retains it’s uniquely antique feel, where as Vero maintains an air of sophistication in its modernity. And this sophistication is reflected in its menu, both in the fare available as well as the prices.
I’ll admit, I always take a quick look through their menu to see what they offer before trying the place out. The menu was small, but everything on it looked delicious. Though I’m tempted to try out everything, I’m not sure my wallet would be able to handle it in the long run. When I have a meal, I tend to have more of a savoury inclination. so I stay away from the French Toasts though in actuality, I’d really love to try some…just not the whole thing. After some deliberation, I decided to go with the Forest Mushroom Fricassee Organic Egg Benny while my cousin went for the Vero’s Traditional.
When the dishes came out, they certainly lived up to the classiness of the restaurant. The arrangement of the Egg Benny was unlike any other I had seen, it was so well put together I had to take a few moments just to admire it. The Vero’s Traditional was a little more rustic in its appearance and a little less put together. Too many times I’ve been to restaurants that have dressed up their entrees to compensate for their lack of taste. The same cannot be said of Vero. Besides the portion sizes being perfect, the salinity levels in the dishes were perfectly balanced: no need to reach for the salt shaker or gulp down a gallon of water. The eggs being organic were the most vibrant shade of yellow-orange and the decision to serve them on a warm, buttery, crisped croissant was absolutely brilliant. My initial reaction to having the egg, hollandaise, and mushrooms on the croissant would make it soggy, but it wasn’t and I’ll admit, how they managed that I have no idea, but I’m impressed. I had a taste of the bison sausage from the Vero’s Traditional, bracing myself for the gamy taste that I’ve often associated with bison, elk, and the like, but no such taste ever hit me. It was lean, but not dry, well seasoned, and overall very delicious. The salad looked fresh and appetizing, a good pairing to the buttery warmth of the croissant.
This restaurant clearly caters to people who are a little more affluent, however, the price matches the quality of the ingredients used, the quality of the dishes themselves, and the quality of service. There were times when the staff were a bit harried because of the sheer volume of customers (seeing as the brunch craze has finally hit Calgary). The menu options are very healthy and don’t feel heavy, which is a huge problem for me. I’m glad that such a place with these considerations exist. I would certainly return here again and based on this experience would rate it 4.25/5.