From NHL Goalie to Restaurateur
Kirk McLean opened his restaurant McLean’s in July of 2010 on Water Street in Gastown (formerly social). We had planned to check it out before Christmas but with so many invites to dinner already it had to wait until the New Year. Last Saturday we headed to the Apple Store in Pacific Center Mall to finally buy an iPad and decided that brunch at McLean’s was in order first.

Décor
McLean’s is actually three spaces in one. The restaurant which is on the main floor (and actually up a half set of stairs from the street) was not what we expected. The décor included light colored table cloths, fresh flowers and white curtains on the windows overlooking the street. The room is on the small side with about 10 tables plus more seating at the bar and in the intimate and appealing lounge area. For the sports fan, the downstairs includes a 40ish seat bar area with big screen TV’s (which is what we expected from the upstairs). A custom deli is also attached and open six days a week (no Sundays). It was only about half full when we arrived so we chose to sit at “Kirk’s” table which has two large high back chairs and a view into the kitchen.

Menu and Hours
The restaurant is open for lunch on weekdays and brunch on weekends starting at 11:30. They are closed from 3pm to 5pm and dinner is served daily at 5pm. The bar is open until midnight seven days a week. The menu as described by Chef Szasz is “West Coast with European touches”. Being a Saturday we ordered from the brunch menu which included both breakfast and lunch options. Sadly the kitchen was out of fresh croissants. Options included a traditional breakfast, three benedicts, two omelets, French toast and a corned beef hash. We chose the Brioche cinnamon French Toast and the Smoked Brisket Corned Beef Hash. The French toast was drizzled with maple cream and topped with a scoop of Chantilly cream. Very rich; very delicious. The corned beef has had sliced red peppers, wild mushrooms and sweet onions mixed in with the smoked brisket and fabulous potatoes. It was topped with two poached eggs and fresh hollandaise and was also delicious.

Return Visit
The food was great and the service was good. If we keep finding places to go that we like this much it makes it even harder to try new ones. We might have to consider a move to Gastown to be closer to both McLean’s and Pourhouse.

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