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Truth be told: Where've you eaten lately? (Part 2)


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I finally got around to checking out Coast last night. Only now, after almost a decade of living in Yaletown, have I accepted my inner yuppie and decided that it's okay to eat at all these slick joints lining my neighbourhood streets.

Our original plan was to go to Diner, but the cash-only situation foiled us so we headed down the block. Settled on Coast as we were taking an out-of-town colleague for dinner and thought it would be a good West Coast culinary travelogue. No reso = no problem - we were seated at a cute and cozy booth near the chef's table and had great fun watching him work. Started with a round of cocktails, and then a bottle of the Mission Hill 2002 Cab Merlot. I have yet to taste a bad 2002 BC Merlot.

What I liked most about Coast was the variety that was available on the menu. I was feeling a bit off so I figured I could handle 2 appetizer-sized plates, but because of the of "teaser" option on the menu, I ended up trying 5 different things. I started with the carpaccio, which is served with tete de moine and port-braised fig quarters. Our server suggested I wrap some cheese and carpaccio around a fig quarter and nosh on that. It was just fabulous! I followed that up with a selection of three items from the teaser menu - the Mediterranean calamari, a portobello mushroom and goat cheese potato gallette, and the wai lea tuna. All were delicious, but I particularly enjoyed the calamari. Cooked perfectly, with an olive oil/tomato/olive (and caper maybe?) dressing that I soaked up with a few bread bites. Each teaser is served in a small bowl, sort of Chinese restaurant soup/rice bowl-sized, and gives you the perfect amount of food. And all for the low price of 3 for $15.

A similar teaser option is available for dessert - 3 small portions for $9. I shared with a co-worker - we ordered a Mayan vanilla bean creme brulee each, and a "chocolate peanut butter creation", which I snagged a bit of. The portions were more generous than I expected, much to my delight - I was thinking the CB would be the two-bite size but it ended up being about 2.5X big as I though. Extremely tasty, with a wonderfully delicate hint of vanilla. The chocolate peanut butter creation was pretty amazing too - think a high-class peanut butter cup topped with a dollop of fresh cream.

The presentation of each dish was lovely - none of that over-the-top Rem Koolhaas artichecture crap where your food ends up looking like a bad game of Jenga, but simple and classy. Service was outstanding - attentive and helpful but not overbearing. All in all, a totally enjoyable night which worked out to around $55/head before tip. I will be going back later this week to take Mr Cat for a date, since I forgot to get American Analog Set tickets and it sold out and I am in the doghouse (a cat in the doghouse, egads!)

Lunch at SFU's Highland Pub earlier that day. Ate the yam wedges with tamarind aioli again.

Was sick all weekend so no dining out for the cat family. The antepenultimate resto on the list is Boffins in Sasaktoon, which I dined at on Thursday and is written up in the Saskatchewan thread.

Off to try the Maui Grill in Port Moody for lunch tomorrow with Papa Cat. After its write-up in the paper a couple of weeks ago he's been itching to try it. He and his Lady Cat stopped by for some take-out the other weekend and loved it, so he's bringing me there for lunch. I will, of course, report back.

Jenn

"She's not that kind of a girl, Booger!"

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The presentation of each dish was lovely - none of that over-the-top Rem Koolhaas artichecture crap where your food ends up looking like a bad game of Jenga, but simple and classy.

Cute, Snacky...you do have a way with words! It will be hard to have a game of Jenga now without thinking of food.

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Hi there,

OK, I have been lurking here for about a year, so it's about time I "came out".

Last 3 places:

The Hermitage: great place IMHO and a real trusty standby for a decent dinner. interestingly, I can't recall reading anything about it on this forum.

I like everything about this place: the service is always excellent - professional, attentive and courteous; the food is reliably good; I like the decor of the room- it has a warm and inviting feeling to it; and we never feel rushed even if the place is busy, which it usually is when we have been there. If I can recall correctly we each had the soup (asparagus) - nice and velvety, bf had the venison and he declared it one of the best dishes he has had in a long time, I had the halibut with chanterelle mushrooms - no complaints there either. For dessert, the sorbet and apple tart - both a pleasant end to a relaxing and convivial evening. Oh, and the drinks - I had a Manhattan to start - and we shared a bottle of wine (sorry can't remember what type etc, or even if it was red or white - I am no wine connoisseur).

Delilah's: this was my first visit but will not be the last. We had the "cheapo" $28 three course menu and it was pretty decent - terrine to start, chicken for the main course and hazelnut ice cream to finish. Again, a pleasant and warm room with animated service. I don't know what's with marking the items you want on the menu - never seen that before. We just missed the entertainment - drag act - , but will make an effort to go back for that sometime soon.

Tim Hortons: Always the same - BLT soup combo with vegetable soup and diet coke.

BTW: given another discussion currently on the Vancouver thread I'd like to say that I do not work in the restaurant industry and have no kind of affiliation with any of the above restaurants.

Eliz.

Elizabeth

"The only time to eat diet food is while you're waiting for the steak to cook".

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OK, I have been lurking here for about a year, so it's about time I "came out".

Tim Hortons: Always the same - BLT soup combo with vegetable soup and diet coke.

BTW: given another discussion currently on the Vancouver thread  I'd like to say that I do not work in the restaurant industry and have no kind of affiliation with any of the above restaurants.

Oh well. Your disclosure thwarted my guess of your occupation at doughnut jockey as Timmy Ho's. KIDDING! :raz:

And welcome, Eliz. To the nuthouse, that is. Pull up a strait jacket and stay a while. :wink:

Edited by Mooshmouse (log)

Joie Alvaro Kent

"I like rice. Rice is great if you're hungry and want 2,000 of something." ~ Mitch Hedberg

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The Hermitage: great place IMHO and a real trusty standby for a decent dinner.  interestingly, I can't recall reading anything about it on this forum.

Welcome, ElizR! I had dinner at The Hermitage 2 years ago for Dine Out.

http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showto...ndpost&p=503796

(It was an OK experience, but I haven't been back for their regular dinner. I'm interested in going there again though, if you say it's consistently good. :smile: )

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Last night - ChongQuing on Commercial and 12th....had the ginger beef, peanut wontons, cashew prawns, mixed vegetable fried noodle and hot and sour soup. I'm not sure why this place never gets mentioned on this forum....the food is always outstanding.

It is a regular delivery spot for us. At least once a month.

Love the pork dumplings as well as all of the items that you mentioned.

One thing of note. Delivery prices always wildly fluctuate.

Sometimes the order is $30 and sometimes the exact same thing is $50

So you've noticed too .... I've had the same experience with their deliveries. I still order there, though; they make the most incredible won ton in spicy peanut sauce.

The belly rules the mind.
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Hi there,

OK, I have been lurking here for about a year, so it's about time I "came out".

Nice to read your post, welcome. :smile:

Delilah's:  I don't know what's with marking the items you want on the menu - never seen that before.

They've done that for years, from when they were at the location now occupied by Parkside, one of their unique aspects. :wink:

"If cookin' with tabasco makes me white trash, I don't wanna be recycled."

courtesy of jsolomon

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Sandy and I went to Hart House tonight. We wanted to 'check it out' for a potential wedding.

I had the scallop chowder, ribeye and a peanut butter cheesecake. Sandy had a tossed green salad, sirloin and a lemon tart.

The scallop chowder was ok. I'm not sure what it was missing but it was missing something. Sandy's salad had a really refreshing vinegarette. Simple and good. The ribeye was the highlight. Wow. Flavourful, soft and cooked exactly rare and finished with a marvelous gorg sauce which wasn't too overpowering. Sandy's sirloin was very packed with flavour but not as juicy (as expected). We had a great waitor. Super funny.

The lemon tart was not really a tart but more like a lemon cake. Interesting approach. I really liked how they carmelized the top like a brulee. The peanut butter cheesecake was really rich and good! I was surprised since I like PB and I like cheesecake but I never thought putting them together would work as well as it did.

Food was solidly good, service was top notch. They have made our short list for wedding destinations.

Edited by fud (log)

"There are two things every chef needs in the kitchen: fish sauce and duck fat" - Tony Minichiello

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In Calgary...

New Vietnamese place in Kensington, Indochine... yes another Vietnamese place in Calgary, you'd think we'd be tired of it by now but we're not. This is in the location previously housing Bamboo Palace (Thai/Lao) and Seika Sushi (many moons ago). Indochine was pretty good considering we wandered in on their 2nd night open, the salad rolls were fresh and had some very nice fat shrimps in them. I had my old stand by Pho (sliced rare beef) and was very happy, the broth was excellent and the noodles just the right thickness for me. The only small bone of contention... they have draft beer (a few to chose from) but they are charging pint glass prices for beer glass sizes!? I'll stick to bottled beer in the future or their wine list which was pretty good all things considered.

Friday night we went to Abruzzo Ristorante on the corner of 8th Street and 4th Avenue SW. I've been walking or driving by this place as long as I can remember and never gone in till Friday. We started with their obligatory bruscetta and a bottle of Montepulciano, the bruscetta was good, excellent tomatoes and EVOO used, not too garlicy. For the appetizer we went with the sauteed calamari in a tomato sauce but were sadly disappointed as the calamari was overcooked and tough. I went for an old favourite next, canneloni filled with veal topped with bechmel, tomato sauce and cheese. This was very average, nothing to really write home about. Not sure if we'll be back.

I do wish there was a better affordable Italian place in Kensington, as Strombolis was back in it's day. Osteria de Medici is great but not really the everyday dinning place I'd like, plus the owner (Antoinetta) can be a bit frightening with her authoritarian attitude. :angry:

Vanderb (ever hungry)

Amateur with dreams of grandeur

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So much for the Cat family's attempt at budget-friendly dining - it seems like the closer we get to the start of our mega-mortgage, the more we eat out. Duh.

Breakfast this morning at Seb's, my favourite rainy-day place. For once I managed to NOT have my usual (bacon and caramelized apple omelette), and had the green onions and ham scrambled eggs instead. Totally delicious, as always. Their free range eggs are great - the most wonderful dark golden yolks. Jam today was unidentifiable but amazingly good, as always. It tasted a bit blueberry/appley/curranty. Mr Cat had the turkey sausage, comme toujours, and replaced his breakfast potatoes with extra fruit.

Seb's is a good place for social observation. On busy mornings they pack 'em in pretty tight, so you overhear a lot of conversations. We were there a few weeks ago and were sitting next to the loudest guy in the world who didn't stop talking for more than 2 seconds at a time. This morning we sat next to two guys having breakfast together who managed to not say a SINGLE word to each other the entire meal.

Dinner last night at Coast. After my first meal ever there last Monday with a work crowd, I decided that Mr Cat HAD to try the place, so I took him there to apologize for dropping the ball on some concert tickets I was supposed to get. I called earlier in the evening hoping they still had some space, and they were totally accomodating. We were seated at the chef's community table which made for a totally delightful evening. Chef Sean showed us what was fresh that day, and we started with a tuna sashimi served alongside a king crab and asparagus roll. I opted for a scallop appetizer (fresh that day from the Baja) followed by another of the chef's teasers plates for dinner (calamari again, tiger prawn tempura, and chicken in phyllo), and Mr Cat had the salmon. All the dishes were simply exquisite - they really do fresh right at Coast. Watching chef at work was fascinating, and we also had a great view of the assembly process for a series of dishes for what I assume was a private party upstairs. Our dessert was off the charts! We had the special for the day, which was a pear and ginger cake with a chocolate caramel sauce. Not only did you get the cute little cake, but there was a small scoop of vanilla ice cream in an almond lace cup, a bit of chocolate truffle, and a chocolate/raspberry shard. God, it was good. Service all evening was wonderful - attentive, warm, helpful. We'll be back soon, and we're going to do one of the tasting menus next time.

Lunch at the crepe place in Park Royal south. I had a roast chicken/paprioka crepe. Not as good as the Cafe Crepe ones (I looooooove the chicken and cheese crepe there), but very tasty nonetheless and filled with lots of fresh ingredients - lettuce, tomato, spinach. Yum.

Jenn

"She's not that kind of a girl, Booger!"

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OK, there are only two, but I had to get it in:

Brunch today with Mooshmouse at Aurora Bistro. Chef mentioned the smoked sablefish hash when I saw him last, but when I got there, I was seduced by the thought of the smoked duck bacon with a potato rösti, with poached eggs, Hollandaise, and corn relish. Moosh had black truffle scrambled eggs (which she let me try) served on puff pastry, which became part of our ongoing vol-au-vent repartée. We began by running into makanmakan and her beau, very nice to meet you both! Then we had coffee for me and cappuccino for Moosh, and an order of the Five-Spice Doughnuts with plum sauce. HOLY COW! these doughnuts are of the hole variety, with apple bits, and with I think a rice flour component which gives them that grease and goodness consistency of those little sesame seeded balls of delight at dim sum...I think Moosh said they're mochi? Whoa. And the sauce, luscious, very tart to offset the sweetness of the doughnuts. I could gain some serious weight with those puppies.

Our mains came, and were just lovely. Smoked duck bacon. It has nothing to do with a pig, but geez that is some good good stuff. Flavourful, and with a bit of chew. Tastes pretty damn fine with Hollandaise. My potato rösti was divine, just crispy enough, and sucked up the Hollandaise admirably. There was also some chard in there...a very good breakfast, good for you and bad for you at the same time, what any good breakfast should aspire to be :biggrin:

Moosh allowed me a bite of her scrambled eggs with black truffle...whoa. You don't even really need to eat it, it smells soooo good. She also was glad she had a side of the duck bacon to herself :laugh:

Last Tuesday, I had an order of yam fries at HSG and a Sun God Ale whilst watching the Canucks game on Neil's fancy new flat-panels. Boy, I love that chipotle mayo. :biggrin: Excellent hockey fare!

Agenda-free since 1966.

Foodblog: Power, Convection and Lies

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Wednesday lunch

Lunch mafia @ Diner

I had the chicken schnitzel with spaetzel and swiss chard (I admit, I'm guessing at the vegetable here. I don't eat vegetables very often, but it looked like swiss chard to me!), the lemon meringue tart, and the highly-touted Mexican chocolate souffle (definitely deserves the praise on this forum).

Friday dinner

with best friend @ Feenie's

Amuse:

crab ravioli on seared scallop with truffle beurre blanc

That's some seriously rich and luscious ravioli right there. Nice crust on the scallop. (sorry you can't see it in the photo).

I started with a glass of the Dirty Laundry blush wine--one of my favourites at the moment.

rav.jpg

Appetizers:

Shephard's pie with duck confit and truffle oil

Yup, that's right. My friend had a main course as his starter. :laugh: Filling was moist with the tender shreds of duck.

pie.jpg

Wild mushroom tart

This is one of the best things I've tried on the menu so far--the crust is incredibly buttery (and maybe there's just a wee bit of butter in the mushrooms too :wink: )

tart2.jpg

I had a glass of wine from Blasted Church...I forget the name, but it was a blend and the dominant grape was pinot noir.

Mains:

Beef short rib with celeriac puree

rib23.jpg

Mission trout with lemon and cauliflower puree, wild rice, browned butter, raisins, and capers

This is my favourite dish at Feenie's. The combination is just amazing.

trout2.jpg

Desserts:

Concord Grape tart with pinenut filling and browned butter ice-cream

Unfortunately, this treat is off the menu now, as the grapes are proving difficult to source. Of all the desserts I've had thus far at Feenie's, this was my favourite. ETA: this is an old pic from my dinner 2 weeks ago. But same thing.

concordgrapetart.jpg

"If You've Been Good"

Here's a whimsical take on childhood treats--hot chocolate with homemade marshmallow, rice krispie, and a peanut butter mousse on a chocolate base.

trio2.jpg

Friday...later on...

Aurora Bistro

One more glass of wine for me--the Dirty Laundry Gewurtztraminer and The Canuck for my hockey-obsessed friend. :smile:

Edited by Ling (log)
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Ah, I find myself in the vicinity of the infamous ling on a friday night and I didn't even realize it.

Our own party of 10 had our reservation delayed by 45 minutes and were showered with comped drinks during the wait, and cheese and charcuterie the moment we sat down.

duck confit salad and short rib for me. the pork tenderloin special was brilliantly executed. Such wonderful service and great food. Having waited forever to actually get around to trying feenie's food paid off nicely.

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- Friday Night - Ling's Chocolate Cake. Seriously. This was a meal in itself. So good.

- Saturday Night - Nu for bevy's and snacks (review in the Nu thread here)

- Sunday Night - Home made pizza with San Danielle Proscuitto, peppers, mushrooms, topped with Mozza and a crust stuffed with Guyere. [too much corn meal in the crust, I'm modifying the recipe next time]

Edited by fud (log)

"There are two things every chef needs in the kitchen: fish sauce and duck fat" - Tony Minichiello

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Brunch today with Mooshmouse at Aurora Bistro. Chef mentioned the smoked sablefish hash when I saw him last, but when I got there, I was seduced by the thought of the smoked duck bacon with a potato rösti, with poached eggs, Hollandaise, and corn relish. Moosh had black truffle scrambled eggs (which she let me try) served on puff pastry, which became part of our ongoing vol-au-vent repartée. We began by running into makanmakan and her beau, very nice to meet you both! Then we had coffee for me and cappuccino for Moosh, and an order of the Five-Spice Doughnuts with plum sauce. HOLY COW! these doughnuts are of the hole variety, with apple bits, and with I think a rice flour component which gives them that grease and goodness consistency of those little sesame seeded balls of delight at dim sum... Whoa. And the sauce, luscious, very tart to offset the sweetness of the doughnuts. I could gain some serious weight with those puppies.

Our mains came, and were just lovely. Smoked duck bacon. It has nothing to do with a pig, but geez that is some good good stuff. Flavourful, and with a bit of chew. Tastes pretty damn fine with Hollandaise...

Moosh allowed me a bite of her scrambled eggs with black truffle...whoa. You don't even really need to eat it, it smells soooo good. She also was glad she had a side of the duck bacon to herself :laugh:

What she said. I'm just here to post the photos. :raz:

gallery_18820_1174_18493.jpg

5-Spice Donuts

Absolutely, wonderfully good. :wub:

gallery_18820_1174_2693.jpg

Smoked Duck Bacon Benny

gallery_18820_1174_17808.jpg

Black Truffled Scrambled Eggs with Roasted Tomatoes

Though I didn't get a photo of my side order of smoked duck bacon, words cannot adequately express how phenomenally delicious it is. Genius. Sheer genius. Give me a box of the 5-Spice Donuts and two side orders of the Smoked Duck Bacon... that's brunch enough for me!

Joie Alvaro Kent

"I like rice. Rice is great if you're hungry and want 2,000 of something." ~ Mitch Hedberg

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^ Screw lining up at Hatch, I'm making my way to Aurora next time!

Truffle eggs and did I just read some keywords : Duck, Bacon and Fat?

"There are two things every chef needs in the kitchen: fish sauce and duck fat" - Tony Minichiello

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Truffle eggs and did I just read some keywords : Duck, Bacon and Fat?

You got it, Wes! Isn't that tantamount to breakfast nirvana for you?! :wink:

As noted by Deborah, just the smell of those truffled scrambled eggs is nothing short of divine. I took a big whiff just before my first bite and damn near fell off of the banquette.

Joie Alvaro Kent

"I like rice. Rice is great if you're hungry and want 2,000 of something." ~ Mitch Hedberg

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Took the growing brood to Mo:Le in Victoria this morning and gorged on a fabulous beet-top bechemel sauced Galloping Goose sausage omelette with chanterelles and pesto hash (it's easier to eat than write!).

John's Place yesterday for an awful chicken burger and cold fries (bun three times the size of the chicken breast and wilted lettuce makes for the grosser side of bad). Same staff (love them though I do) serving the same old menu.

Tonight it's either J&J's Noodle House or a return to Brasserie.

Fiction tomorrow night for the hockey game (they are apparently giving away two tickets to a future game), and then on to Guu with Garlic to curse the Wild or Chambar where I will pose as several different eGulleters cashing in on free beers. I might not be as beautiful as snacky cat or as handsome as Neil, but with a little mascara, some dark light, and a razor, I'm sure I could pass as Arne. Bring on the Stella and Go Canucks Go!

Edited by Andrew Morrison (log)

Andrew Morrison

Food Columnist | The Westender

Editor & Publisher | Scout Magazine

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Give me a box of the 5-Spice Donuts and two side orders of the Smoked Duck Bacon... that's brunch enough for me!

My mother-in-law's good friend found that wrapping the doughnuts in duck bacon and then dipping them the syrup was quite tasty. I love her!!!!!

Jeff

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