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Everything posted by Johnathon

  1. Hawker's Delight on Main Street. Great street eats. Dover Sole at Le Crocodile... Classic Sauces extraordinaire.
  2. You should be. It was indeed epic. And you would not regret it if you did return. Enjoy.
  3. It is no secret at all that West is my favourite dining establishment in Vancouver. There is fantastic dining in the city, and a bargain at that on a global scale, but ever since West used to have an "O" in it, I have been gorging myself on as many of Chef Hawksworth's creations as often as I have the good fortune to do so. To count how many different dishes I have had over the years is impossible, Chef and I already tried. Suffice it to say, it is in the hundreds. What makes this amazing to me is that Chef remembers them all! The only time I have ever had the same dish twice was because it was requested. I have written countless accolades for West and have backed off for fear of sounding like a cheerleader with a boyfriend on the team, but... I have to share this dinner with you. The request to Chef: A birthday dinner menu with 14 courses. What does he do? 17 courses of plates I have never had before and some with ingredients he not only hand picked (read: foraged for) but included specifically because they are some of my favourite. Grey Goose anyone? Birthday Dinner 2004 Start with a bottle of: Krug “Grand Reserve” 01. Oysters on Rock Salt with Organic Cucumber 02. Organic Sunchoke Soup with Black Winter Truffle 03. Beggar’s Purse with Dungeness Crab, Grey Goose and Salmon Caviar 04. Lightly Seared Albacore Tuna and Sesame Vinaigrette 05. Vanilla Butter Poached Lobster, Smoked Red Wine Jus 06. Raviolis, Oxtail and Squash 07. Squab, Foie Gras and Truffle Tartlette 08. Pine Mushroom Carpaccio with Aged Balsamic 09. Grapefruit and Beetroot 10. Boudin with Bacon Essence and Cepes 11. Sous Vide Halibut with Osetra Caviar Crust and Saffron Foam 12. Pink Sea Bream with Artichoke and Orange Barigoule 13. Grilled Buffalo Ribeye with Chanterelles a la Crème 14. Cantaloupe Sorbet with Elephant Heart Plum Jus 15. Gravenstein Apple Hazelnut Tart with Crab Apple Ice Cream 16. Clafoutis with Chocolate, Raspberry and Almond 17. Petit Fours Dinner was accompanied by bottles of: Domaine Ostertag Grand Cru Pinot Gris “Muenchberg” 2002 Saintsbury Pinot Noir Carneros “Brown Ranch” 1996 I do not have a single "favourite" meal memory from all the places I have dined, but I do have a Top Ten List, and Chef David Hawksworth with his wicked little kitchen staff and Barman Jay Jones have easily and permanently notched very well earned spots for West on that list.
  4. Still a bargain on a global scale for that quality in food, service and environment.
  5. Thanks to everyone for the input. I will be trying for "all of the above" so if you see me mingling about my plate full of goodies be sure to say hello. Cheers.
  6. "Den of Iniquity", an apropos title for such a city based upon my last visit! Looks like Gary Danko is the way to go. Too bad about resos though, the bar it is. Don't I have any connections on this board who can "squeeze" me in! Zuni? The "Famous" Roast Chicken and Bread Salad sounds intriguing. Maybe for Monday lunch? Any other gastronomic nuances of comtemporary elan in the den of iniquity to consider on a Sunday prowl?
  7. I will be in San Francisco for a quick visit and the only night available is Sunday evening for fine dining. A majority of the restaurants are closed on Sunday and in many cases Monday as well. Any suggestions for a Sunday evening of gourmand delights? I am particularly interested in contemporary and innovative cuisine. Any and all responses are deeply appreciated as I will be writing up reviews on my dining in the Bay Area. Cheers.
  8. I feel your pain as well and am reminded of my own. But, I am quite thrilled my mother was a horrible cook. Bless her soul having to fill four squawking mouths in the nest on her own and work full time to keep us happy and fed. Monday: Casserole Tuesday: Casserole Wednesday: Casserole Thursday: Casserole Friday: "The Week in Review" Casserole Weekends: "Go to your friends house and get some grub!" I grew up in a neighborhood resembling a miniature rendition of the United Nations. East and West Indian, Chinese, Japanese, Fijian, Portuguese, Punjabi, Polish, Ukrainian, Greek... As a child I was learning how to make Roti in a makeshift outdoor oven with 20-30 massive Fijian women laughing at my eagerness to learn. Fresh fish lessons from the Japanese family across the lane when they returned from the boats, the "fine art" of wine making in your garage from the Portuguese and Ukrainian breads, Pierogies and Homemade Sausage from even more neighbors. I did not set out to learn about food because I wanted to; I learned quickly to defend myself from my mother's cooking! Which I in turn turned around and recreated in our own kitchen for my younger brothers and sister. Good times! I was blessed to have this type of exposure and wholeheartedly encourage anyone with children to expose them to as much as possible in respect to ethnic and local cuisines. And for the rest of you... It is never too late to explore the new. Even if it is only new to you. Enjoy, always.
  9. Daniel Boulud's DB Bistro Moderne in New York introduced the DB Burger Royale in January 2003 and still holds the Guiness Record for most expensive burger. http://www.guinnessworldrecords.com/index.asp?id=58760 I have had the burger at DB Bistro and the Feenie's version. Damn fine burgers but when all is said and done, I would much rather see some of the fine ingredients (foie gras, braised short ribs, truffles, etc.) in the creations treated in a more eloquent manner other than a "good grillin". Shelora is right. This is not an inspiration for Diva at the Met, it is a replica. At least Feenie's is really just a great burger with toppings you decide and not an exact replica of the DB Burger Royale.
  10. Looks like you need to flip more than one coin here! I would say you really can't go wrong with any of your choices here. All will provide a great atmosphere for a party dinner. Enjoy! Just don't forget to share the experience here!
  11. Delighted to hear an echo of my thoughts on the Filet and the Sablefish ala Hawksworth. By far the best piece of beef I have ever had the pleasure of dining on (complimented by some gorgeous fresh morels) and the Sablefish is a dish I would recommend to anyone and everyone who would listen to me rant on about the beauty of that broth! Yoshi is both a tactition and an artist, to enjoy his crative skills up close and personal is a treat indeed. Artigiano? Best damn cup of Joe in town. Period. keep it coming Andy! As a Voncouverite it makes me wish to possibly-consider-without-obligation-a-perhaps-reservation-for-snacks-beverages-sushi-tasting menu-maybe-sort-of-booking-at-some-place... maybe.
  12. That is exactly what will make you a great food journalist... You are humble. I am still looking forward to more though, even if you are from Brighton.
  13. Delightful report Andy. Looking forward to reading more from "one of the world’s foremost wine and food journalists from London, England" and the continued triumphs, perils and experiences our fair city had to offer you. Cheers!
  14. Excellent updates Jamie! Thank you. Glad to hear Scott Kidd will be back in action in the kitchen. I enjoyed many a unique dish of his at Araxi and look forward to his contributions to Cafe de Paris. Is there a date set for when he will be at Cafe de Paris or is he already there?
  15. The Public is located on Main Street (near the corner of 17th and Main on the West side of the street). Price range is as small and approachable as the physical size of the space. Extremely moderate. I walk up and down Main Street regularly as it is "The Strip" between my home and my studio, and have seen it grow over the last decade into a real treat for so many reasons. So much so I believe it needs a culinary map of the area with great places pointed out to anyone interested. There are some magical spots with what I would consider the best Pho in the city, great coffee houses, bagels, ethnic grocers and way better veggie alternatives than The Naam. For years I thought NAAM was slang for BANAL.
  16. I was told Shelter was closed as well and my understanding is that the chef that gave it such a strong start is in Whistler doing something else. Seems like all the great chefs from Tofino are on holiday or have packed up and split. Can't say I blame them when the skiing in Whistler is a wonderful alternative to a slow season in Tofino!
  17. I quite literally just got home from 4 days in Tofino. Unfortunately SOBO and Cafe Pamplona were both closed for the season. However, the dinner at Raincoast Cafe was divine. Looking forward to returning soon to enjoy the seafood taco at SOBO.
  18. The Parfait of Chef Hawksworth's is indeed divine intervention with foie gras as was the Mosaic of Wild Game Terrine he had made some time ago. This one definitely needs to be revisited! Chef? The Damier de Caribou et Foie de Canard aux deux Gellées done by Chef Emile Jung and Chef Michel Jacob at Le Crocodile's Anniversary Dinner is the one dish that jumps out for the year. Spectacular! And for those who did not have a chance to partake at that dinner, it is on the specials list at Le Croc as of 2 nights ago and is just as fabulous, albeit down to only one Gelée
  19. Top Ten for the year would include at least 7 meals from West, and I completely agree that the Mushroom Tasting Menu was a true highlight. Jay Jones from West introducing me to things like Ginger Beer and Rosé. Two items I have until now completely avoided. Neil from Lumiere introducing Primitivo as a pairing to a gorgeous lamb dish with eggplant and confit tomato. Les Amis de Fromage for pretty well everything in the shop. Oyama's Strasbourg Terrine and Goose Prosciutto and everything in-between. Le Crocodile for reminding me what great service can be and providing consistently beautiful Alsatian delicacies for twenty years. Gyoza King, need I say more of this jewel? La Petit France and their scrumptious Pain au Chocolat. And every list should contain a nod to Barbara-Jo for providing a priceless resource for foodies.
  20. Great. There goes my "Secret" place for duck fat. And by the way, they also sell goose fat if you should so choose. I am beginning to believe that Oyama translates into Nirvana. A one stop shop for so many goodies!
  21. Johnathon


    I had to giggle when reading the Le Crocodile to Au Crocodile mix up, especially considering it was not too long ago when I had lunch and then dinner with the chefs from both restaurants while Chef Emile Jung was visiting Le Crocodile to celebrate Le Crocodile's 20th Anniversary. The subject of Michelin stars in Europe and the standards expected was raised many times, but this is indeed in need of another thread. Susur provides some of the most unique and beautiful food in Canada. My first experience was the reverse menu and though I thoroughly enjoyed the experience of flavour and taste, I chose to not repeat the order the next few times I dined there. The food is on par with the best of the best of the restaurants I have dined at in terms of skill, creativity and execution. Susur is Susur. There are few realistic comparisons to make to what he is doing with taste, texture and flavour. I would, and most certainly will, return to his dining room on my next visit to Toronto. In respect to Michelin Star ratings for North America (and I was hoping Jeffrey Steingarten would address this from Chef Hawksworth's question to him in the Q&A), the main differences felt here is in service and the consistency thereof. ADNY excels in this area yet so many restaurants in NA fail miserably in service. There seems to be a lackadaisical and melancholy approach to so many servers. Mainly because they do not view the profession as a career of choice. How many servers do you know are "actually" actors or musicians and are just making a few bucks to fuel their "real" career?
  22. I cannot imagine anyone not liking you Coop. And for the record, my money is on Mrs. Coop. Shame sometimes what we must endure to achieve a balance in quality and price. As with most things in life, there is the triangle of Quality, Cost, Time. In the food industry I break it down to Quality, Cost, Service... Pick Two, because that is all you ever seem to get. If you desire great service and quality, get ready to pay. I just returned from NYC with dinners at Babbo, Mix and Ducasse. The plastic in my wallet just achieved flashpoint!
  23. Other than Monk McQueen's I am unaware of any in the Vancouver area. The Brunch Buffet has always been the domain of the hotel circuit. I practically grew up on the Brunch in the Garden Lounge at The Four Seasons when it was in full bloom. Used to love those sleepy Sundays of three hour buffet binges!
  24. I agree. In an arena of fresh seafood where the flavours are sometimes quite subtle and are not to be overwhelmed, I believe he will shine. I am waiting for him to have some time to settle into the place and come up with his own menu before exploring the dining experience there. Has anyone been to Quattro's in Whistler? Curious as to how they are doing with the mountain location. I am also curious about anyone's experiences with Hermitage as I have never been there.
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