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Peter Rodgers

West

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Would be most interested in hearing of the experience of those who have sampled Warren Geraghty's cuisine since he took over the stoves at West. Difficult to tell from the menus posted on West's website, what has changed. Is Chef Geraghty on his game or still easing in? What changes, if any, have been made in concept, approach, service, etc.?

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To me - it felt like he was still easing in.

Clearly he's talented - so I am looking forward to what kind of changes he is going to make.

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Here's the link, but you'll need a subscription now (poor Globe, still in the web Stone Age).

It's was discussed ad nauseum in the forum over at UD, as well as on the blog.

I thought it was a very well written review, but arguably the worst that West has ever received. A quick skim through the comments, however, show that mine is the minority opinion among our readers.


Andrew Morrison

Food Columnist | The Westender

Editor & Publisher | Scout Magazine

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Here's the link, but you'll need a subscription now (poor Globe, still in the web Stone Age).

For the time being, you can read it via Google's cache.

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Here's how Gill's review (Globe and Mail, June 4) concludes:

Mr. Geraghty is flubbing his way through the local produce seasons. It's going to take him at least a year to figure out the fish.

In the meantime, I say, find a new butter supplier and pile it on. Stick to your original version of frog's legs coddled in rich cream (whoever told you to go with a vinaigrette was mad or anorexic). Bring back the foie gras.

Give us sweetbreads and calf's liver.

Stop pulling your punches.

Show us something new and exciting.

Right now you look like a French chef in North American drag.

I know that's not you, Mr. Geraghty.

So why don't you step up to the plate and show us something this city has never seen before.


Cheers,

Anne

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Mia Stainsby was considerably more impressed in her 14 May Vancouver Sun review, here's an excerpt:

A transcendant food experience comes down to something really simple and quick for me. When the elements come together, my being goes "Wow!"

There definitely were a lot of Wow! moments. and some "best yets," such as the Vancouver Island octopus salad with beetroot, potato and cucumber. It was steeply priced at $19, but I've never tasted better octopus in a restaurant.

We normally don't order rabbit, not because of the bunny factor, but because we're so often disappointed. Here - it's another "best yet." (It's done three ways: a roast loin with sage, a braised leg and a ravioli of shoulder confit, married with a green olive tapenade.

Tartare of Japanese tai with pear and ginger purée and roasted spot prawns was gorgeous; a dish of Queen Charlotte halibut with spinach sauce, clams and mussels let the pristine ingredients do the talking.

Not all the dishes were joyous. Delicious, yes, but not enough to send me into rapture.

I haven't been to West since the changing of the guard so I can't add any insights or perspectives.

Peter if you are the same Peter who posted on UD then it looks like your experience may have been closer to Gill's than Stainsby's.


Cheers,

Anne

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No more lunch at West, according to today's Georgia Straight:

West skips lunch

Midday martinis are a thing of the past at West Restaurant (2881 Granville Street), which is no longer serving lunch. According to restaurant director Brian Hopkins, West wants to “focus on the main part of our business, which is dinner”, and he said that chefs’ prep times for both services were overlapping in the small kitchen. Dinner hours remain 5:30 to 11 p.m.


Cheers,

Anne

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I enjoyed Rhonda May's take on the Gill review. An excerpt:

Phase Two is the “Who Does this Guy Think He Is?” stage. This is where the savvier players in the cast wait for their less worldly brethren to genuflect at the alter so that they can move in with the heavy critique, thereby establishing themselves as “the tough one”. Mostly the complaints are in the tone of … “but wait, this so called superstar doesn’t understand us. Why does he think he can just walk in and impose his outsider ideas on our ways of doing things? He’s got a lot to learn” …and so on and so forth. Everyone then elbows everyone else to plant a jackknife in the new arrival’s rib roast while the audience titters. This is even better for selling newspapers.

Read the rest here: City Food: From the 'No One Asked Us, But...' Department


Cheers,

Anne

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I enjoyed Rhonda's take, too, but it isn't panning out that way. Gill and Stainsby are the only ones who've reviewed it since Geraghty took over. One was good, the other not so much, while the rest of the food pundits have so far stayed mum, Rhonda included.


Andrew Morrison

Food Columnist | The Westender

Editor & Publisher | Scout Magazine

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True. So why is that do you think?


Cheers,

Anne

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I don't understand why people feel like that have to go through these reviews with decoder rings? Mia liked it and Alexandra thought it could be better. I don't think there is a lot more subterfuge than that.

I myself went very early on the new chef's tenure - so there was not alot of menu changes yet, but you left feeling somehow that it he could do much better. I am looking forward to a return visit to see how things have progressed. I think Gill is telling the guy to swing for the fences and not hold back - not bad advice really.

Perhaps other pundits have held back for now to wait for Gerharty to fully settle in and find his footing. A summer meal (if summer ever comes this year) would be a great time to see what he does with the burst of local produce..


Edited by canucklehead (log)

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I don't understand why people feel like that have to go through these reviews with decoder rings?  Mia liked it and Alexandra thought it could be better.  I don't think there is a lot more subterfuge than that.

I don't think there is any subterfuge. I'm just trying to get some discussion going.

I guess I should go to West for dinner and report back myself. Unfortunately for me lunch was my favourite meal at West and it is gone.


Cheers,

Anne

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Sorry Ann - did not mean to be a discussion kille

And I agree - it would be interesting to hear from people who have tried the new food at West.

Anyone? Bueller?


Edited by canucklehead (log)

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For the benefit of those other than Barolo, here is what I said on the UD Blog:

"I’ve not seen the review, as I refuse to pay the Globe $ 4.50 for a single article, and only heard of it after paying a visit to Mr. Geraghty. However, having dined at West last Saturday, I suspect that Ms. Gill was not being overly unkind. Compared to what we’ve come to expect, the kitchen has a long way to go. Among my disappointments: (i) an odd, cold raviolo of spot prawns that did not work at all (the citrus sauce hid any hint of the fish); (ii) a gummy risotto; and (iii) a middling partridge (the confitte legs were excellent though). This was the new menu just introduced last week — I think perhaps the new chef might want to start again.

Service remains up to par and the front of the house generally still shines. I didn’t mind the prices for food, but as before, the wine prices are way above the local restaurant market."

I would add that I went to West on a mission to decide whether to book there for a family celebration later in the month and decided that it would be better to celebrate elsewhere. This is not to suggest that I wish West and its new steward anything but the best. I have had consistently terrific experiences at West and like its siblings, especially Araxi. But when a restaurant occupies a price point on this exalted level, it is not unfair to expect special results.

I am an Easterner with a second home in Vancouver. I do not expect Vancouver to replicate New York (which sets the standard in my judgment), but over ten years I have found an amazing level of creativity in the Vancouver restaurant scene -- exemplified by great talents like David Hawksworth and, in his better moments, Rob Feenie. When you put these folks together with the most vibrant Asian food in the Americas, Vancouver is unique for those of us who would rather spend our time eating and thinking about food more than much of anything else. Of course, this spoils us.

Perhaps the proper thing to say is that Warren Geraghty has a challenge ahead of him. I hope that he succeeds.

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Perhaps the proper thing to say is that Warren Geraghty has a challenge ahead of him. I hope that he succeeds.

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Thanks Peter and C Simril for your reports. Andrew I look forward to reading your report in print.

I thought I might might use my $100 Climate Action Dividend to check out how things are going for myself.


Cheers,

Anne

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I'm not going to review it.

On another note, I was there for a private function this afternoon. I wasn't aware that they'd closed for lunch indefinitely. Bummer.


Andrew Morrison

Food Columnist | The Westender

Editor & Publisher | Scout Magazine

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I'm not going to review it.

On another note, I was there for a private function this afternoon. I wasn't aware that they'd closed for lunch indefinitely. Bummer.

Yes it is too bad about lunch. Lunch was my favourite meal at West. And I'm sorry you won't be reporting on West.


Cheers,

Anne

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