It’s hard to keep up with all the new restaurants sprouting up between the cobblestones of Vancouver’s oldest neighbourhood, now thoroughly gentrified by hipsters and tech companies. Amidst all that foment, this ruggedly elegant Frenchinspired charmer, whose name pays homage to Gastown’s meatpacking provenance, remains the finest. Set in a refurbished brick-and-beam building appointed with classic tiles, sculpted driftwood and industrial fixtures, L’Abattoir offers a bar, an upper dining room, a glass-encased atrium and a new self-contained private dining facility across the back alleyway. Owned by executive chef Lee Cooper and general manager Paul Grunberg (both formerly of Jean Georges’ Market), the restaurant deports itself well in innumerable ways, with a sophisticated bread program, eclectic wine list and astonishingly good cocktails. Don’t shy away from the avocado gimlet. Though they read simply, chef Cooper’s seasonal menus incorporate rich twists in every plate—venison tartare adorned with smoked duck yolks, coddled oysters buried under buttery sabayon, and roast squab exuding an earthy, 14-day fermented funk.