If you’re a chronic bruncher who’s constantly on the lookout for something new or different, Prohibition in N.D.G. might have come up in your searches. This day-time neighborhood spot opened last year and has been generating a lot of noise since – most notably for their unique culinary roster. From Mediterranean-inspired dishes to southern food with a twist, the menu is ambitious. Instead of sticking to a certain type of cuisine, each plate is inspired by a different part of the world. The one thing they all have in common: a creative-meets-comforting edge.
At $4.00 apiece, the currant & pecorino scone is best split if you plan to eat anything else. The cheese and baked-in berries didn’t add much to it, but the copious amount of butter in this lump of carbs picked up the slack. The result? Rich, dense and moist crumb nestled inside a thin, crunchy exterior – sweet, after layering on some honey butter and homemade raspberry jam. It’s the perfect pairing for a bottomless cup of coffee.
I stole a bite of the maple fried challah French toast with fried chicken ($13.00) and it made a good first impression, but I opted for the other dish in demand: lemon ricotta pancakes with blueberry compote and sugar bacon ($13.00). People have been creaming their pants over it, and honestly, it’s not a big deal.
It features five pancakes – stacked high to compensate for size. Like, if you add them up, you get one and a half normal-sized pancakes – and I’m being generous. Yes, they work ricotta into the batter, but for $13.00, I was still hungry by the end of it.
As far as taste goes, the lemon definitely made a statement. Bright with a hint of acidity, it was clear in every bite of slightly under-seasoned and partly fluffy, partly gummy batter. Blueberry compote dribbled down the body of curves, lending a touch of sweetness, and I couldn’t resist letting loose with some maple syrup.
I knew something was off after the initial taste, but I couldn’t put my finger on it. Only after leaving did I realize they served them without a vital savory component: butter. That’s criminal. I won’t have any regrets about skipping this number next time, but if you’re tempted, promise me you’ll graciously ask for some butter.
On a good note, they came with a side of life-changing sugar bacon. Two thick-cut strips marbled with fat, rubbed with sugar and cooked to just-short of crispy – the textbook definition of sweet meets savory with a hint of smoky porkiness. My god. If your dish doesn’t include some, an extra $4.00 will fix that.
Although the Bulgarian benedict ($12.00) wasn’t perfectly executed, I liked it – a lot. Two poached eggs sat on an ample serving of thick, creamy yogurt with a powerful hit of garlic (read: bring breath mints) and salty crumbles of sheep’s feta. The orange hue of the paprika oil suggested an element of heat, but it was only for color. It was the fresh, cracked pepper that made the dish pop with a little spice.
Besides my eggs being slightly overdone, my biggest issue was the “toasted baguette”. I got three thin, diagonal slices – the equivalent of…nothing. I basically ate an entire bowl of dip – which was rich, filling and unquestionably delicious – without any carbs. Ridiculous. Please re-evaluate the bread issue – a standard six inches will do.
Prohibition takes reservations and it would be smart to make one for weekends. Small and intimate, the two rows of might-as-well-be-communal tables and the bar fill up quickly with an interesting mix of the young and old. It’s casual, loud and happening. They offer brunch on weekdays too, but the options are limited. Consult their website for what’s available and when.
Despite some flaws with the food served in small portions for high prices, I’m pro-Prohibition. It’s obvious that they care about fresh, quality ingredients and that they put a lot of thought into creating each dish. More importantly, they have sugar bacon and the Bulgarian benedict – two things I know I’ll long for and won’t find anywhere else. If I can resist those items after they lure me back in regularly for brunch, I might and hope to discover other winners coming out of that kitchen.
N.B. Closed Monday and Tuesday
5674 ave. Monkland | map