The name might seem off-putting until you realize that the restaurant sits on the edge of Gastown’s historic Blood Alley, named for the slaughterhouses that could once be found here. And so you might think that this is a meat-heavy sort of place, but in fact, L’Abattoir serves up some beautifully fresh, creative dishes. There’s a French influence, and a slight Asian one, and maybe a dash of molecular gastronomy, but it’s mostly about great West Coast ingredients. Think warm steelhead trout and crunchy potato salad, or char-grilled lamb loin with Indian spices, or a milk-braised pork shoulder with salsa verde. Oh—and the best bread basket in town, bar none. Expect a meticulously well-edited wine list and terrific creative and classic cocktails, courtesy of talented barman Shaun Layton. Expect, too, a pretty room—French tile floors, a strangely beautiful sculpture-cum-light fixture made of twigs, exposed brick walls—in one of the city’s oldest buildings located right at the intersection where Vancouver got its start—Maple Tree Square.