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Everything posted by *Deborah*

  1. I haven't eaten at Sage myself, but several people whose opinions I trust have, and they enjoy it immensely.
  2. Izakaya: Kitanoya Guu (Gastown; I haven't been to the other two Guus) is fun, loud, inexpensive; Hapa Izakaya is also fun and tends to loud but a little bit more expensive (haven't been in a while); Kingyo on Denman Street is really good food! and a little more expensive than Hapa. I'm happy to eat at any of those
  3. Was there last night 7-9pm, 75% full? Never been to the original location but the new place's decoration is pretty simple. Service did not 'wow' anyone but prices hard to beat. What are the best dishes to try? ← OK but how was the food?
  4. I think a lot of DOV restaurants end up with a higher proportion of bargain-hunting (fair enough), water-drinking (also fair enough) 10% tippers (no fair!) who want the four-star experience even if they're at a two- or three-star (that's not realistic at all) and will complain bitterly to all their friends if they perceive any slight or the meal doesn't live up to some lofty expectation (which is probably unreasonable as they likely haven't been to a four-star restaurant to receive that level of service anyway). There's probably at least one of those for every good eGulleter who has a more reasonable expectation of a good meal for a good price. I sneaked in one last DOV dinner last night, at HSG. That was a good dinner, well-prepared, hearty food, good portion sizes, and only $109 including tax for dinner for two including a half-litre of decent wine. A bargain, really.
  5. Last night, Gastropod. 7:00 reso that some of my party were on time for; I forgot to add 20 minutes to look for parking and hike two blocks in heels when I judged how long it would take me to get there, so I was 20 minutes late. My companions had sparkling water, but in 20 minutes, had not been approached for a cocktail order (!!!) Massive lost income alert! . Service was uneven all around really; one runner/bar attendant seemed quite on the ball, but other than that, not so much. Hesitant. I think they may have a "don't speak until spoken to" kind of service philosophy, which can make a patron feel a bit neglected. I suppose I would expect that in a more formal sort of room, but perhaps due to dine out or the modern design, it felt a little more casual, and thus the service didn't seem to mesh, somehow. I don't feel that I am describing this well, it wasn't horrible or anything, just a bit "off." Food was pretty good: the bon-bon de foie gras didn't really float my boat...a bit too much fruit sauce, perhaps? pretty presentation though. And while I liked the salty/sweet pistachio crumbles on top as a counterpoint to the foie, my friend didn't. Another friend had the chowder, and liked it well enough. The Salmon Tar-Tar was the standout, lovely presentation, good flavours and textures. I just had a bite, but it was a good bite! Main courses: three out of four of us had the duck confit pasta. This was a bit of a surprise: apparently when adding ingredients, the chef purely missed the duck bin. There was sauce, there was broccoli rabe (sp?), mushrooms, garlic, pasta....but not a scrap of duck to be found By the time all three had confirmed that this was the case, the pasta was nearly done. However, when apprised of the situation, the server quickly brought out a plate full of duck and vegetables, lacking only pasta. The threesome dove in and enjoyed their duck. They figured the dish as it should have been would have been excellent. I downgraded ($25 menu) to the chicken with Israeli couscous, spinach, capers and bacon, and while my plate could have been hotter, the chicken was very good: juicy, nicely seasoned; and the couscous was very good indeed. Desserts were very nice: two of us had the chocolate fondant with raspberry sorbet and Earl Grey syrup, and two of us had the warm cheesecake with blueberry purée and berries, and we all enjoyed them. The only comment I have, besides delicious, is that the dish the fondant was served in sloped so that I lost my silverware to the syrup, twice. The wine list is laid out a bit oddly, hard to find what is served by the glass (not a lot, but the list itself is not extensive). Not being familiar with the by the glass offerings, I went for the low end, price-wise, and tried a glass of South African Shiraz, which was good value for money. One friend had a glass of Riesling with her starter, which she liked, and an Argentinean Malbec with her main, that was a nice glass of wine. I hope to return to Gastropod another time
  6. I have no opinion about the restaurant, but is anyone else having visions of this Chris Kattan character running through their head? ← Exactly what I thought!
  7. I'm wondering about a couple things here Deb ... 1) Was this an "early" DOV menu (i.e. did Parkside start their DOV menu early)? 2) Your love of Parkside is well known. Why would you visit during the circus that is DOV? The second question can apply to anyone. Do you visit places you already frequent during DOV, or do you branch out and try something new? A. ← 1) Yes, they started early. 2) I was encouraged by ownership to visit during DOV when I was there just before Christmas. They know I'm not rich enough to eat there as often as I'd like to Since Parkside started the menu earlier than many DOV participants, it was not a madhouse at all. Of course a Wednesday is not a Saturday in any case. I seldom dine out on weekend nights at any time of year as I usually prefer a quieter/less-crowded atmosphere. The only circus-like aspect the night I was there was the ratio of diners who were evidently more interested in their mobile phones/cameras than their companions or food. I am only going to two DOV dinners this year: one well-loved, and one hitherto untried but well-reviewed, Gastropod.
  8. Last supper a few nights ago was a jaw-dropping, gut-expanding, add any other noun-gerund superlative you like, too-freaking-good-for-DOV night at Parkside. We had many of the same items you did, Fud Italian Job Blood Orange Negroni for me (natch) Starters: The oxtail consommé with bone marrow dumpling. WOW. Don't know that I ever had oxtail before, it was sublime. And gorgeous little wontonny sort of marrow dumplings, most tasty indeed. Try it with sherry. Pumpkin ravioli sage butter amaretti crumble, served with Pinot Grigio. As good as expected. Mains: Steelhead trout with toasted hazelnuts, scallop tartlet, haricots verts, beautiful presentation, very nicely done. I had the braised veal cheeks and grilled flatiron and red wine jus and spinach and tiny carrots and a potato croquette thingie and ooooooooooh my God it was good. The veal cheeks were so tender. The steak was beautiful and rare (I ordered this thinking oh it will be one of those thin bits of meat that simply can't be prepared rare, and I'll suck it up for the veal cheeks. I was astonished: tender, red, juicy) I had a glass of something red...Di Majo Norante Ramitello. We got a wee scoop of the prune and Armagnac ice cream, with a tiny tuile. So good! so rich! I never would have ordered it if I hadn't tried it. Tasty. Dessert: My friend had the espresso panna cotta. Can't recommend this enough! Holy crow! v rich, v good. I had the lemon tart brûlée and it was very nice, sweet, tart, the little brûlée bit, and oh yeah it came with blood orange sorbet and orange segments I had a couple few bites of the panna cotta...I think it's probably the standout in a v strong field, having tried three of the four sweet options, unless you jones for blood oranges the way I do, or are in lurve with the classic lemon tart. Gastropod will have a hard time matching this Edited for spelling.
  9. Donald's Market on Commercial had several kinds of truffles in these types of boxes near the cashiers, on sale, earlier this week. I'm sorry but I can't confirm they had these specific ones (trying to avoid candy atm!), but maybe one of them would be a suitable substitute.
  10. D90, I think it really was just a mistake on the website, not that it necessarily needed to be explained to you as it was...I know I phoned a day or two prior and got a message that went into great detail about the days and hours they would be accepting DOV reservations, 12-5 is what they said on the phone message. They literally have brought extra staff in, and regular staff are coming in early, to take reservations, since they normally only answer the phone from 3:00. I think it is much easier for restaurants who use Open Table to deal with the mad rush of reservations, it must be really overwhelming to have the phone literally not stop ringing for five hours every day. I am such a fan of the place that I just laughed when I called the first time, and heard the message. And then when I called the next day, and tried five or six times before I got through to a rather harried Johnny Depp Waiter...I feel bad for them as it seems to be completely different from their usual modus, and they're simply not used to it. *** As for people who make extra reservations, I laugh in your general direction. Extra reservations? ZOMG I just can't decide WHERE TO GO! :shock:
  11. I made a reservation for Gastropod on Open Table and didn't notice the same comment. The confirmation email had the following info: NOTES ABOUT THIS RESERVATION: To take advantage of the Dine Out Vancouver fixed-price offer, be sure to request the special menu when you arrive. In an effort to accommodate all reservation requests during this event, the restaurant asks that you respect the 1.5 hour dining time allotted each party. ← OK, they've phoned me and all is well. I'm eager to try, I've heard good reports.
  12. I will double-check that mail when I get home. Thanks for the info. The "not qualifying" note was in the confirmation page on Open Table, but I didn't read the email I got from Open Table later particularly closely. Edited for clarification. I still have not received a return email from the restaurant, which I contacted directly.
  13. I made a reso at Gastropod on Open Table yesterday, following the link from the DOV site, and there was a note on the confirmation that the reso "did not qualify for the DOV menu." I emailed them instantly and have not yet heard back, but I wonder if any of you have noticed this kind of comment, or have any idea what kind of special reservation or secret code you have to enter to get a "qualifying" reso (I will phone them if they do not return my email, but figured it was worth a shot to see if any of you have experienced similar)
  14. I had many hangover breakfasts at Ben's during my university years. Sad to think it will no longer be there.
  15. She catered my office's Christmas party last night, Tina, and I have to add my accolades to yours Very good stuff!
  16. Sean Heather's Salty Tongue may carry some Irish items?
  17. My choice would always be Parkside, unless there were young children, who might find the pace of a meal there a bit slow. I'm definitely a carnivore but there are always good seafood choices and vegetarian options as well. Desserts have never disappointed. (I may be Parkside's biggest fan, though, so you may want to take my recommendation with a grain of salt.) I have had good meals at Cru, also; but I can offer no guidance for the other spots. I'm sure others will chime in!
  18. Revolving restaurant Top of Vancouver is serving Sea Bass; source not named. Fleuri at the Sutton Place lists Sea Bass; again, no provenance. Coast and Glowbal both show up in Google searches but their current menus have no mention. VancityGirl's blog talks about a Glowbal event featuring CSB as recently as September 2006, though. Lift opened with CSB on the menu, but has it no longer. I was exploring Burrowing Owl's excellent restaurant's menus for winter yesterday, though, and was sad to see CSB there.
  19. That counts as my hood, too, Anchoress I should try it out! Thanks for the info.
  20. The filter must be at the level of 1 micron or less to filter out parasites. It is not the soil or dirt that is colouring the water to worry about, it's the potential of animal based organisms that haven't been neutralized with chlorine that is the concern until the boil water advisory is lifted from the Seymour and Capilano watersheds. ← They can say what they like about not worrying about the soil, but last Friday, the stock pot of water I had boiled and left on the stove overnight for counter-washing etc. had a quarter-inch of silt at the bottom. Which then left a greasy film when I queasily emptied the pot. So I mean if it were wartime and I had no other options, I would be perfectly resigned to drinking it, and would be using Melitta filters to try to remove some of the dirt. Having other options, however, means that I choose not to drink/brush my teeth/water my animals with it until the NTUs are down in single-digits, preferably below 5. I am much happier about the dog drinking rainwater in the alley than this stuff (which, admittedly, is no longer so murky).
  21. Last time I was there (Saturday) Costco was selling flats of 12 x 1.5 litres for $4.99--2 per card.
  22. Oh thank you, I picked some up on the weekend for my stew, but decided to give them a miss, as the reality of all those little peels became overwhelming
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