Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Wednesday, January 21st - Dineout Vancouver

It's your typical humpday. Well, even better since I'm taking Friday off to go to Whistler. Wooo. For breakfast, I crawled upstairs, exhausted. I had a bowl of Activia Vanilla Yogurt, I like it but it's a bit runny. I have to admit though, it is as advertised. I do feel like it helps my digestive system more so that run of the mill yogurt. Well the pre/pro biotic stuff in general. Though I don't know that they're low fat version does the same since I'm not convinced that low and no fat yogurts are really yogurts. Look out for yogurts that contain GELATIN to simulate the 'set' consistency of yogurt. I had the yogurt with fresh strawberries and Natures Path Smart Bran. I only had coffee when I got into work. I had the Columbien stuff in the urn.

For lunch, I've brought 8 of my mom's mandu with some soy and chili garlic sauce for dipping. I have some Jasmine Green tea.

Tonight is the first of the restaurants we reserved tables for Dine Out Vancouver. It's an annual thing and Yaletown, a small section of Downtown does something similar on their own as well in the summer. There are three levels of pricing 38, 28, and 18. It's up 3 bucks from last year. Also different is that Dine Out told the restaurants this year what price level they HAD to do. Many restaurants have purposefully declined to participate like Chambard who took out an ad to that effect as well as Chow. Both great restaurants that I am sorry to see not participating. No matter. It is really hard to get a table. You have to book as soon as you see the annoucement of participating restaurants OR just assume and book. Stupid really. I chose the most expensive and therefore probably the best deals. Otherwise, you may as well just go whenever. The menus are at times slightly smaller or mass produced because of the event. Though I don't know why anyone would do that because it wouldn't draw anyone back. Case in point Coast. We went to their Taste of Yaletown last year and it was HORRIBLE. The servings were notably smaller and the mash that D had was so salty was inedible. We sent it back and they came back with admittedly, a hotter portion but no less salty. I mean really did the chef or the sous chef not taste it? We weren't given any sort of concession because of it either. Even though we bought a very expensive bottle of win. I would not go back there.

Tonight we're going to Blue Water Cafe. I chose it, in addition to having $$$$ next to the listing, because J was supposed to be doing her internship for culinary school there but it turns out she's not. No matter, it's booked and I am probably going to cancel or give away the reservation at C Restaurant because the only seafood dish they have has pancetta on it. It's a flipping seafood restaurant!! Can you believe that???

The menu for Blue Water is:

Price per person:
$38 (excludes taxes, gratuity and alcohol)
Note: Price includes one appetizer, entrée and dessert selection only.

Matane Shrimp Salad
romaine heart, fennel, arugula, pink grapefruit, avocado
-- or --
Albacore Tuna Tataki
seared albacore with ponzu sauce and honey-mustard
-- or --
White Bean and Truffle Veloute
shiitake mushrooms, parmesan foam, crispy prosciutto

Arctic Char cooked a la plancha : served with celery, pearl onions and beluga lentils , fennel pollen and vanilla butter
-- or –
Kurobota Pork: twenty four hour braised pork shoulder with bourbon bbq sauce, corn bread, baby spinach, rutabaga
-- or –
Mediterranean Vegetable Tian: zucchini, eggplant, red peppers, onions and tomatoes
with goat cheese, arugula pesto and saffron emulsion

Hazelnut + Almond Meringue
coffee butter cream and chocolate ganache
-- or –
Key Lime Cheesecake
vanilla marshmallow, maple ice cream
-- or –
Apple Raisin Bread Pudding
chocolate sauce and dark rum sabayon

Blue Water Cafe + Raw Bar
1095 Hamilton Street
604 688 8078

Review to come. I've eaten there once before and the food was great. Except, EXCEPT, the champagne was flat and I was sat facing the raw bar and I saw the sushi chef scratch his nose. He was standing at attention with this hands behind his back waiting for an order. Then he scratched his nose with his bare finger and then returned to standing at attention. He didn't wash it. Blech...


The yummiest part of Blue Water Cafe is what you don't have to pay for. The foot long herbed breadsticks in pint glasses at the bar are awesome. We arrived on time but the first sitting had run long so I ate a couple. mmmmm

The fresh bread that comes to the table is served with a 1c mound of fresh chickpea and red pepper 'pate'. It's chunkier than hummous and is a tad salty but it is lovely.

We ordered the Joie unOaked Chardonnay. We've had other Joie's and they're quite nice for a local wine. BUT mainly because Blue Water's mark up on wine is 3 THREE times retail. It's pretty obscene. So wine's we've had like Meyers Chardonnay which sell for 25 or so were listed at 85 bucks. Yeah I don't think so. The cocktails are a better value. They do have a very extensive list and I believe that they are virtually all offered by the glass. Though the prices are not listed nor offered.

We both opted for the Tuna starter. It was yummo!! Nice sized portion of five medallions or Toonie sized slices of barely seared tuna in mustard mayo and light ponzu. There was a little frizzee and I had a little bit of a spoiled leaf on mine but I couldn't be bothered to say anything. But the tuna was perfectly done and not at all fishy.

We both also opted for the Arctic Char. It was not as nice. In fact, though the fish was done nicely, perhaps a bit over cooked, the VANILLA BUTTER SAUCE was disgusting. It was too sweet and you inhale the volatile aromatics with every bite even if you pick up one of the small onions or celery served with it. The skin was tough and fatty. The baluga lenils were nice. I'd look to buy those to make at home with the little pickling onions. But that sauce was disappointing and I would not recommend you try it.

I had the key lime cheesecake with toasted marshmallows and persimmon. Once I scraped the marshmallows off, the cheesecake was nice. Portion was a tad small and you get one once scoop of maple ice cream which actually clashed with the cake. The marshmallows really ruin the dish. D had the breadpudding. It was alright but it was stone cold. I've never had stone cold bread pudding before. I expect breadpudding to be warm and luxurious. It was not. Again, I would not recommend either desert.

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