Cross-posted from Calgary is Awesome.
Because of its storefront and its location in Inglewood, I'd always erroneously thought that Jacqueline Suzanne's was an antique shop that just happened to have a few tables and chairs, and perhaps a tiny kitchen. But it's actually the other way around - Jacqueline Suzanne's is a full-blown restaurant (though it does have that antique shop-feel with the original 1912 pressed tin ceilings, hardwood floor and some lush decor to match) that also happens to sell antique furniture and jewellery.
I think Jacqueline Suzanne's undersells itself by referring to itself as a "bistro". The menu leans more toward the "fine dining" side, with items like escargot, AAA prime rib, filet neptune and Grand Marnier scallops. Interestingly, there are also many dishes inspired by international cuisines, like the curry shrimp, Moroccan Wrap, Poached Sake Salmon Salad and jambalaya.
Of course, my perennial brunchmate Tiffany and I didn't get to try all that because we were there for, well, brunch.
Jacqueline Suzanne's serves up a brunch menu on weekends from 10 AM-2 PM, and Eggs Benedict is their specialty - their menu features eight varieties, from the traditional Eggs Benedict and Eggs Florentine (with spinach instead of ham/back bacon) for $12.50 to the fancy Crab Cakes Benedict for $16. If Eggs Benedict is not your thing, every weekend there is a different feature omelette and feature crepe. Cinnamon raisin French toast (served with your choice of sausage or bacon, if you're into that savoury-sweet thing) and Lox and Bagels round out the brunch menu. If none of those appeal to you, Jacqueline Suzanne's also serves their full lunch menu during the weekend, including AAA prime rib. (Steak for breakfast? Well, actually, steak and eggs is also on the brunch menu.)
All breakfasts come with your choice of hash browns, salad, soup or, for $2 extra, a fruit cup. I decided to be healthy and ordered a fruit cup with my dish, but when Tiffany's Canadian Back Bacon eggs benedict ($12.50) arrived, I realized I'd been deceived.
Apparently you get a little bit of fruit if you choose any of the other sides. Tiffany shared a hash brown with me - I like how it's clearly homemade (none of that frozen, deep-fried stuff that you can sometimes get), but it wasn't very flavourful and I prefer my hashbrowns a little crispier. Tiffany enjoyed her eggs benedict, but said mine was better.
That'because I decided to be fancy and got the Crab Cakes benedict. The crab cakes flaked quite easily under my fork and were full of sweet, crab flavour. I was also quite impressed by the hollandaise sauce - while some places tend to get a little overzealous with the lemon, or worse yet, make it too runny or the texture of snot, I was happy to find that the hollandaise sauce here wasn't very assertive flavour-wise so that you really got to enjoy the smooth, creamy texture. Totally worth being the most expensive item on the brunch menu.
It wasn't until I got home and looked at their website that I realized they had a brunch table d'hôte special - $25 for a three-course brunch! Start with a choice of a breakfast martini (sparkling wine with juice) or a fruit cup, choose any brunch menu item, then end with one of their "decadent desserts" - I personally think brunch is a little too early for cheesecake, but perhaps that's just me.
Instead we ended our meal with these adorable pastel candies served in a little painted dish. I'd originally thought they were gumdrops, but according to Wikipedia, my long-held image of gumdrops has been incorrect. (Sorry, Tiffany, I lied.) Can anyone tell me what these are called? I think they were white chocolate, flavoured with mint.
All in all, I think this would be the perfect place to go back in the evening for a date that is classy, but a little off the beaten path. I can't wait to try their dinner menu!
Jacqueline Suzanne's Bistro
1219 9 Ave SE
Calgary AB T2G 0S9
Open Mon-Fri 11 AM-4 PM; 4 PM-Close. Sat-Sun 10 AM-2 PM; 4 PM-Close. Reservations available online via OpenTable.