|Amuse Bouche - Carbonated Heirloom Cherry Tomato with Olive Oil Powder|
It is a warm and elegant setting though it is quite a large seating area. Very neutral, unimposing and forgettable decor. That is actually meant to be a compliment. The design was pleasant and not worth noting because it was simply meant to frame the food. If I leave a place and all I can remember is the heavy wallpaper or light fixtures, there is something amiss.
I was pleased to see that in addition to the Seafood and Beefy Tasting menu, they offered a Vegetarian option. It was not in the main menu, odd. You have to request it. Actually, I do not know that I would have known if I hadn't visited their website beforehand. It is Ovo Lacto and not Vegan.
Unlike, other tasting menu's I have seen, I would say that the portions per course were not reduced in size. I had five courses to D's three and noting his portions, and they were certainly on par. So be prepared.
We ordered a Domaine de Beaurenard Châteauneuf du Pape 2007
|Domaine de Beaurenard Chateauneuf du Pape 2007|
My starter was a Goat Cheese and Burnt Onion Crepe, Okanagan Peach, a touch of Coffee and Hazelnut Emulsion and topped with a Porcini Tuile. The crepe was served as a roulade with the creamy Goat Cheese. It was a cold starter. I quite enoyed it but I did find the temperature a tad strange. When I say cold, I do not mean that it was not warm, it was ice box cold. Though that was fine for the cheese, it was not the ideal temperature for the crepes. Still, very pleasant.
D went on a meatastic meal selection. His starter was the Sweet Breads and Beef Tongue. Deep breaths. D offered me a taste. Hmmm. He insisted that they were exceptionally mild and very tender. Since the glands and at times, brains, are pretty much fat free, the gaminess is removed. It had a texture not too disimilar to Fois Gras, not the best way to draw me in D. I have said that I am a taste based Vegetarian/Pescotarian with the exception of some dishes which I mentally cannot 'digest'. Those mostly fall into the category of Offal. The irony of the homonym cousin of that word always seemed very appropriate to me. The Beef Tongue was sliced paper thin. D quite liked the dish. Oddly enough for a French Canadian, that was his first go at Sweet Breads.
|Goat Cheese Crepe with Porcini Tuile|
|Crispy Poached Egg Summer Corn Succotash|
|Smoked Ricotta and Artichoke Agnolotti|
|Pork Jowls with Carmelised Apricot Risotto|
As part of my, set menu I had a pre-dessert and they were nice enough to give us both one. It was a Berry Sorbet. It was a pure block of sugar. Neither of us finished it.
My set dessert was a Dark Chocolate Bourbon Pot de Creme. It was pleasant.
The star postre was the cheeses we ordered. We had the Manchego, Quebec Brie and Poplar Grove Tiger Blue. The cheeses are served with fruit, toasted Walnut bread and what I think was quince jelly. The Quebecois Brie was spectacular. Brie and soft cheeses here are not as punchy with the pasturised milk but this one did not hold back. The salty Manchego was a nice balance to the creamy soft brie. The Tiger Blue has been one of my favourite cheeses for a while. It is a VERY strong blue cheese and is not for everyone. If you like strong blue cheese, I insist you try this one.
The overdose of Fennel Seeds aside, I enjoyed my meal. The only downside of the whole evening was the insanely loud, woman sat next to us. Seriously. She was speaking several dozen decibels over everyone else. I could hear her more clearly than D. I could sense by the muted tones of her friend that she was rather embarassed. Brutal. If I wasn't already on course 2 by the time she was seated, I would have asked to be moved.
We finished dinner with a nice frothy Irish Coffee. MMMMM
Ambience: subdued and warm
Staff: Attentive, knowledgeable and friendly
Wine list: stellar
2881 Granville St
Vancouver, BC V6H