Saturday, February 20, 2010

Feb 19th - Olympic concert: Theory of a Deadman & Post concert: Cru Resturant

Theory of a Deadman at Olympic Victory Celebration
CRU Restaurant: Riesling Poached Pear
CRU Restaurant: Beef Tenderloin w Potato Streudel, too salty
CRU: Lingcod

D and got tickets for a #Olympic Victory Celebration at BC Stadium. We'd already come to the disappointing realisation that the medals given at the paid for Victory celebration are rather limited and therefore, a big let down the first time. Many.. no, most are given immediately at the venue. You have to ask why bother? We paid more for these tickets off Craigslist mainly because of the artist after the few medals given live was Theory of a Deadman. I only found out last night that they are a local band. Funny enough, we found that out because in a venue with tens of thousands of people, we were sitting behind our next door neighbours. We had good floor tickets and as it turned out so did they because they knew the lead singer from high school in Delta. Hilarious.
The medals were the #Olympic Women's Snowboard Halfpipe. Two Americans got Silver and Bronze and the Aussie, Torah Bright. They also gave two medals live streamed from Whistler. *yawn*. I could see those on TV. Why not stream the whole day's medals. I would have preferred if they did that.

Theory of a Deadman was fantastic. The sound was pretty bad though. You couldn't envelope yourself in Tyler Connelly's baritone, velvety voice. Still watching the local boys, with the guitarist and bassist, in Canadian Hockey jerseys was great. The effects throughout the show were insane with flame throwers, waterfall sparklers and fireworks. They teased us the the opening of an ACDC and let the crowd sing the opening and then changed course.

On our way home, we found out that Canada had taken gold Men's Skeleton... Go on Montgomer! Woohooo! Earlier in the evening, I was so sad to see us loose the Women's Skeleton. I was doubly devastated by the fact that Elvis Stoiko, Canadian Figure skating legend of my childhood was in the Yahoo venue I was watching the skeleton from BUT I had left my camera battery at home. WAAAAAAAAAAA!

I was still hungry and the energy seemed like waste to head straight home. We decided to go out for Dinner. We had both had munchy snacks but it wasn't enough. Plus, with all the crowds in the streets the restaurants were open! However, our first choice was Bin942 on Broadway but despite the slow Friday, it wasn't slow enough to eliminate the line. That could have been partially my fault because I tweeted that there were no lines at some of the city's favourite places.
We walked across the street to Cru. A very small and intimate restaurant, it is best known for their small plates. They're probably closest to Spanish 'Raciones'. They're the shareable, slightly bigger than tapa sized portions.

We both opted for their Prix Fixe Menu for 42$.... though for some reason, the Beef Tenderloin has a supplemental charge of 5$ even though there isn't the reverse reduction for the risotto. A tad irksome that the Fixe is not really that.
We decided to go for wine by the glass since I was having seafood and D prefers big reds. Though it's generally a myth that it is etiquette or forbidden to drink reds with whites, there are lots of reds that clash. They simply reactly badly with the oils and result in a very unpleasant, metally echo. Blech.

I had two glasses of the Spy Valley Sauvignon Blanc. There wasn't another white that really appealed to me that was available by the glass so I stuck with the same. I am not a big proponent of oaky or woody whites with delicate white fish. One usually loses the dance.

D had a glass of the Chiante Ricasoli and a Quattro Malbec. I did not try his Malbec, which came strongly recommended by our server. I did try his Chianti. It was simply divine, luscious, vanilla and dark soused berries. Long though subtle finish. Wonderful. The Malbec had a nice nose but I was well into my Sav Blanc by then so didn't want to try. D liked it.

D's selection on the Prix 'Fixe' menu were:

Cellar Door Caesar, grilled in tact romaine heart half with garlic butter croutons and shredded asiago
Beef Tenderloin with caramelized shallots, blue cheese potato studel, mushroom-merlot jus (with prix-fixe menu, add $5)

The salad was brilliant. Perfectly dressed and though you might think it's alot of lettuce the form it's served allows for easier management. I really dislike navigating on palm sized pieces of romaine in a Caesar. The garlic croutons are dangerously addictive.

The Beef Tenderloin was a saline disappointment. As D put it, each component was too salty, the beef, jus, mushrooms and streudel... all separately slightly too salty. D is nicer than I. I would have sent it back. The only time we've sent something back was at Coast and it was so salty that your fingers pruned upon approach. In this case, it was at the point were it wasn't inedible but it built up as you ate it. Too bad. It looked great on the plate and smelled wonderful.

My selection on the Prix 'Fixe' menu were:

Riesling-poached Pear with gorgonzola, toasted filberts and greens tossed in a dijon vinaigrette.
Pan-seared Lingcod scallion dumplings, dashi ponzu broth, bok choy sprouts, ginger and chillies.

My starter was gorgeous. The pear was perfumed by the Riesling. It was slighly underdone. I did need my knife and needed to 'work it'. The filberts were nicely toasted and paired, excuse the pun, with the gorgonzola. The greens were gently dressed. Very nice.

My main course was perfect. What I hadn't realised however, and would have liked, was that the dish works best when you tear it down. The dish came, as you can see, constructed with the nicely seared lingcod perched atop the baby bok choy topped with the ginger and chillies. The dashi seemed rather plain until some of the relish on top fell into it. When I tore up the lingcod as I tired of using my knife, fork and spoon, the dish sang. Delish combination of flavours and textures. The cod couldn't have been cooked better. Just barely done in the middle and crispy on the top. I highly recommend this dish. I did not have a problem with the seasoning on this dish.

We shared the desserts:

Grand Cru Chocolate Truffle with peanut butter mascarpone mousse
Little Goat Cheese Cake with port-stewed fruits and orange ginger snap

Oh my goodness, if I had only come this night for the dessert, I would have left sated. Fantastic! The I could have savoured the little Goat cheese cake all night. The stewed figs and cherries, I believe were a nice accompaniment. The ginger cookies were nice but not necessary. The Grand Cru Choclate Truffle... sigh.... where do I begin. It was unbelievable. How do you describe something that was simultaneously, decadent, light yet rich and thoroughly chocolatey without tasting it for yourself. That is the truffle alone! The peanut butter marscapone was such a nice surprise. I will try to replicate this at home for sure. I could have a big bowl of just that mousse. D noticed right away that I was intending to bogart most of it. ... though honestly, I did it rather subconsciously. The only detraction on this dish is the raspberry coulee decorating the dish. It was completely superfluous. I don't know if it's just habit for a chocolate dish to require this as an accoutrement. Un-needed, really. Actually the sourness didn't go very well with the peanut butter mousse. That said, I would order these two desserts again and again!

Cost: $$$$ (On five base rating)i.e. dinner for two with wine, ~170$
Ambience: intimate
Staff: knowledgeable, friendly and warm
Location: Invisible. It has a very small sidewalk claim.

Cru Restaurant
1459 West Broadway
Vancouver, BC
V6H 1H6
(604) 677-4111

(Broadway just East of Granville)

Cru on Urbanspoon

Only four because of D's salty main. Frankly, had it been my main that was too salty, I would have given it a two. There is nothing you can do with that but send it back but like I said D is too nice and doesn't like to fuss. For nearly 100$ with tip, I think you should.

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