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Zucchini Mama

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

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Last three have been in south Main area as I have just moved over there.

Toshi-1/2 block from my place so I can't complain too much. Tuna tataki was killer. Not the best sushi in the city by any means, but will be back.

Budapest-Pretty good...there were three of us so we shared a platter. Lots of schnitzels. Get the fried bread appetizer!!!

Habit-Great halibut and chicken wings. Beat salad was weak. Great wine. Reminds me of a bigger Bin...food at Bin is better but I'll definitely be back since I can walk there.

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Last Saturday brunch - Provence Marinaside, Croque Monsieur benedict, extra side of hollandaise. Love their potatoes; a little crispy, nicely browned, soft and buttery inside. Hollandaise is very nice indeed, slightly lemony and airy, not heavy at all. My new favorite brunch spot...

Sunday brunch - Lolita's on Davie. Also very nice, but I find I enjoy their dinner menu more than their brunch. Nice potatoes - ask for a side of fresh tomatilla salsa to dip them in.

Tuesday dinner - Tapastree, where I was pleasantly surprised. Had a few bland dinners there a few years ago, but thot we'd try it again after an aimless wander around the West End looking for inspiration. We had a crab bisque and avocado/tomato/bocconcini salad, followed by salmon gravlax, prawn wontons, and fries. The crab bisque and salad were wonderful; smooth texture, large chunks of crab, and a next-to-perfect balance of flavours in the bisque, and a very good plating of not-too-firm, not-too-ripe avocado and tomato, hint of balsamic, little bits of basil here and there, and bocconcini that didn't have the life marinated out of it. An often boring salad, very well done at Tapastree. I'd order it again any time. The gravlax was somewhat drowned in mayo/wasabi, the prawns were bland, but the fries were exceptional, as was the very light and flavourful mayo accompanying them.


Sharon Regehr

Maple Hill Farms

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Our office decided to have a lunch gathering and O'Douls on Robson was our destination (1300 block). I had been there a number of times for lunch however wanted to finally post a comment about our experience.

There were a couple of dishes that really caught my attention - the mixed west coast seafood salad which came with clams, scallops and salmon all on a nice bed of mixed greens. What was notable was the collective stares from the whole table as the dish was presented to the person who ordered it - a clear indication how truly it looked! All smiles from that patron.

The second notable dish, which isn't necessarily a culinary stretch, was a smoked chicken quesadilla. The large tortilla was filled with chicken, folded in half, grilled and then cut into thirds. The sour cream, guacamole and salsa served on the side added wonderful color and flavor. Again, all smiles from those patrons that ordered the quesadilla.

I ordered the seafood chowder as a starter which had clams, halibut and salmon. The carrots, onion and herbs rounded out the flavors for this nicely prepared dish. A nice starter indeed.

For the main course, I had was a Dungenous crab stuffed sockeye salmon filet, served on rice with mixed griled veggies on the side. All wonderfully prepared and presented. No discredits for this dish either other than the rice was bland compared to the other elements on the plate but then again, it really wasn't the focus.

All in all, no concerns in recomending O'Douls for a lunch gig. The food is presented in a wonderful fashion and all the flavors are definately taken into account when the dishes were created.


Brian Misko

House of Q - Competition BBQ

www.houseofq.com

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Friday:

lunch at Traditional Taiwanese in Richmond

We got the Taiwanese chicken nuggets, the fried squid, the stupid noodle ("soa gwa meen") and the saucy beef that's rolled up in the soft green onion pancakes. The pancake dish is always a favourite, but varies depending on the chef in the kitchen that day. It was particularly delicious yesterday.

dinner at Vij's

We got there around 8-ish and had a few drinks in the back (Merridale cider and a glass of white) while nibbling on some really tasty snacks (potato pancake, a flatbread, some beans with a minty tarragon sauce on a crisp, and Cassava fries that were a bit fiborous). We had a few more glasses of wine with dinner, and shared:

braised wild boar with black mustard seed and cream curry, millet, sunflower pilaf

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Of the three curries we ate that night, this was my favourite. I especially loved the little portion of grains in the sauce, which gave the dish some extra nuttiness, body, and texture. The wild boar was a little stringy though.

lamb popsicles in fenugreek curry

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This dish as a whole was our favourite. The lamb was cooked a bit too much for my liking, but it was still deliciously tender.

grilled venison medallions with eggplant and date ginger puree

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My bf enjoyed the flavour of dish, but I didn't like it so much as it seemed more flat-out spicy. The date didn't come through for me, so there was nothing really to round out the heat. This dish was the spiciest of the three. The venison was tough and overcooked (well done) and the silverskin was left on.

The service was attentive throughout the evening, though there was quite a long wait between the appetizer and the mains.

Saturday:

Granville Island:

We decided to do Canada Day on GI and have ourselves a little picnic outside. We chose some things from Oyama--the goose liver with black truffle pate (probably my favourite thing at Oyama), the lamb prosciutto, a heavily spiced dry-cured beef, goose prosciutto, and the boar salami. We also got a regular baguette and a sourdough baguette from La Baguette.

It was my first time trying the lamb prosciutto from Oyama and neither of us liked it too much. It is much heavier spiced and salted than the Salumi version, and much leaner as well. Everything else was wonderful, especially the goose prosciutto and the baguette. We didn't enjoy the sourdough one too much (coarser crumb and thicker crust, both which I expect from a sourdough bread, but it wasn't very sour at all.) Regardless, it was the perfect way to celebrate Canada Day.

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Yes, we ate it all.


Edited by Ling (log)

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Friday: Celebrating my mom's 70th birthday at The Cannery. Hadn't been there for a long while, but the views are as amazing as always, and the food very very good. I had the Salmon Wellington and it was fantastic! Also, the service was excellent - they did a special insert in the menu for us for my mom's birthday and it just thrilled her.

Sunday: Started with appies and drinks at Chill Winston - the new spot in Gastown by Gassy Jack. Great wine list and well priced drinks. We shared the vegetable tempura which was a nice little snack - the dipping sauce was excellent. We wanted to have the pizza, but they were out of it :wacko: Pretty slim menu there - I think they need a few more "share plates", but that's just my two cents. I like the space at Chill Winstons and will definitely be back -it's a very comfortable room, and the patio is awesome. After our drinks and nibbles, we headed to the Alibi Room and had a wicked good hamburger.

Monday: Brunch at Teresa's on Davie Street. Always good, always cheeeep, and always served with a smile :smile:

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Urgh. Still full from a two-day eating marathon.

Thursday's lunch was at Japone with canucklehead and Vancouver Lee. Reasonably priced lunch specials; the menu featured their full complement of sushi and two bento boxes plus a build-your-own lunch thing where you choose your main and add on the side dishes of your choice. Much smaller selection than their dinner offerings but great food dollar value. Clean tastes, reasonably sized portions and fresh, fresh sushi/sashimi. I ordered the Chicken Nanban (battered, deep-fried chicken topped with a light tartar sauce) with rice, miso soup, spicy tuna sashimi, a Dynamite Roll and a Negitoro Cone. Chicken was great: light, not greasy at all and nicely seasoned.

Thursday evening was a long-overdue girlie dinner with *Deborah*. However, her vehicle drove us to Parkside instead of the intended budget-conscious Gyoza King; we still managed to snag a table for two despite brazenly walking in there without a reso. I promptly mollified my parched palate with a Mojito while our intrepid designated driver stuck with mineral water until our wine arrived.

Prior to ordering, Chef asked if we'd be willing guinea pigs for the new sous-vide pheasant main course that he'd be putting on Friday evening's menu. It took two magic words to convince us: prosciutto and truffle. Enough said.

True to form, *Deborah* started out with her requisite Foie Gras Parfait. My starter was the Sesame-crusted Tuna Tataki served with Japanese mushrooms and wasabi-lime vinaigrette. Perfect blue rare in the centre, excellent sauce that enhanced rather than overpowered the fish.

We vowed that three courses would be more than enough; however, a largish dish of linguine with pesto sauce appeared before us as an intermezzo and begged that we eat it. The pesto was bright and fresh, almost like having an herb garden in your mouth.

The pheasant arrived while we were sipping on our bottle of Leroy 1997 Bourgogne. It was stuffed with prosciutto, sage and an insane amount of black truffle, served with a sauce Colbert and accompanied by baby carrots, haricots verts and a sunchoke purée. The sauce. The sauce. Dear God. Remarkably lush and rich, so much so that I had to forfeit at least part of the pheasant if I had any hope of making a dent in dessert.

Michel talked us into ordering the Chocolate Nemesis, a flourless chocolate cake served room temperature with brandy soaked cherries, chocolate sorbet and whipped cream. Admittedly, not my favourite dessert, particularly when I still had visions of the previous chocolate ganache torte dancing in my head... just a bit too firm for my liking. The restaurant's last slice of Banoffi Pie did, however, more than adequately make up for the Chocolate Nemesis. Light yet creamy, brilliant as always.

Friday's lunch with Kolachy Keith was at Rangoli. We each had a Mango-Pineapple Lassi and shared the Coconut Chicken Curry and the Masala Lamb Stew, two of my favourite dishes on their menu. Excellent, as always... curry really hit the spot on a rainy afternoon.

I did manage to make it to Gyoza King last night, though, where Ian and I managed to work our way through a sizeable chunk of the menu while sharing large bottles of Kirin and Sapporo. Personally, I prefer Sapporo -- it's darker and lacks the slight bitter aftertaste that Kirin has.

Tuna tataki in ponzu sauce. Salmon sashimi marinated in a shoyu vinaigrette and served with thinly sliced onion and cucumber. Negitoro with nori sheets and daikon. Shiitake mushroom tempura stuffed with ground chicken and served in ponzu sauce. Pork and chive gyoza. Scallops and Japanese mushrooms in garlic butter. And the evening's weakest dish: karubi or grilled beef shortribs. Not nearly as good as my last visit a month ago with db, canucklehead and HKDave just before his departure... too gristly and not very tender.

Dessert was still at the forefront of my mind. Having missed the opportunity to partake of some of the city's finest sorbets, we trekked over to Parkside once again and planted ourselves at the bar, much to the amusement of both Michel and Chef Andrey. They started laughing as soon as I walked through the door. :blush:

A perfect Gin Martini for Ian (three olives, of course) and a Ruby Slipper for me (some brilliant concoction with raspberry sorbet, vodka and sparkling wine among other things). A trio of sorbets: mascarpone, strawberry and passionfruit-banana. Such pure flavours. Feckin' brilliant. And, of course, the restaurant's second-last slice of banoffi pie... Ian finally understands the true measure of goodness about which I've raved so often.

Now I need to go and hibernate for a week until my body successfully processes the ridiculous amount of food that I've consumed over the past couple of days. :rolleyes:


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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On Saturday night, eight of us had a Tasting menu at West.

I can't seem to upload the pictures on Image Gullet, so here's a link to the Flickr set. Most of the photos are washed out because I had to enhance them in Photoshop...we had a late dinner and the pictures got really dark as the restaurant dimmed. The food was beautiful...the pictures don't do it justice.West dinner

Menu:

chilled Nova Scotia lobster tian with smoked salmon caviar and tomato gazpacho

Louis Jadot "Rose de Marsannay" 05

weathervane scallop ceviche, mango and mint

Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc 05

goat cheese and artichoke ravioli with cherry tomatoes and basil

Cedar Creek Chardonnay "Estate Select" 04

soy and sake marinaded sablefish, manila clam, braised daikon and sesame, lime and thai basil broth

Yalumba Y Series Viognier 05

maple smoked bacon wrapped veal loin and crispy sweetbreads, chantrelee vinaigreet and sweet garlic puree

Alejandro Fernandez "Condodo de Haza" 03

cinnamon port braised blueberries, peach brie mille-feuille and buttermilk ice

Clos des Verdots Cotes du Bergerac "Cuvee Bacchus" 01

My favourite dish of the night was the lobster tian and gazpacho. The gazpacho was unlike any I've ever had--so bright and sweet and tasting of pure summer. A revelation, especially with the wine. (I really enjoyed the wine pairings that night. Only one red was featured, but everything matched beautifully with the food.)

Another standout was the sablefish. It was cooked to a perfect doneness with each bite separating into lush, ivory petals. A joy to eat.

The dessert was likewise amazing--it was as salty (from the brie) as it was sweet, and I liked how it was different from the usual cheese course with accompanying fruit. The blueberries still popped in the mouth with freshness, which was a nice surprise.

The only thing I didn't care too much for was the veal loin, but loin has never been my favourite cut of meat. I found the loin a little tough and dry. It was, however, my bf's favourite course of the evening.

The service throughout the evening was attentive and friendly, as it always is.

***

My two previous restaurant meals were both on Thursday. We hit up Veil for cocktails and snacks--a goat cheese salad, and an incredible braised tongue dish that Shannon was doing as a request from Ichiro...we were lucky to snag a plate too. :smile:

We then hit another party, and were a bit hungry around 10pm so we went to the late night Happy Hour at Union. We had tiny, fried (whole) Japanese river crabs that crunched with a bit of bitterness from the innards (I loved that) and honshimiji mushrooms, and grilled branzino with cauliflower and olives. Happy Hour dishes are only $8US...incredible deal!


Edited by Ling (log)

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Tried a couple of new places these last few days...

(Edited to clarify - new places to me! I know a couple of these restaurants have been around for a long time :smile:)

Thursday night had an early dinner at The Shaughnessy Restaurant at Vandusen Garden. Since the company was paying, I went for all three courses and had some nice wine to boot :raz:.

I had...

Starter: Tuscan Salad, a hearty salad with cherry tomatoes, bocconcini, pinenuts, capers, kalamata olives, and the best croutons I ever had (grilled pesto). The greens were very fresh and served with a light vinagrette.

Main: Smoked Bacon Wrapped Pork Tenderloin Medallions with scalloped potatoes, and a warm sage scented apple sauce. Served with baby carrots as well. This was excellent - full of flavour and cooked to perfection.

Dessert: Black & White Callebaut Chocolate Pyramid with a milk chocolate & pistachio mousse center. This was pretty good, though the hard chocolate on the outside was a little too hard and difficult to break into without fearing I'd shoot it across the table! But once cracked open, the mouse was light and very chocolately. The pistachio added a nice crunch to the texture.

I had a Washington Cabernet Sauvignon and darned if I can remember the name of it. I think it was Columbia?

All in all, enjoyed the dinner very much - it's not somewhere I'd normally go (I'm more into the trendy casual restaurants) so this was a nice change.

On Saturday, we tried brunch at Fet's on Commercial Drive and wow, was it good. I love diner-style brunch and this was great. Loved that I could have the "best of both worlds" - fried egg, hashbrowns AND a slice of French Toast. Perfect for indecisive folks like me!

Saturday night we checked out the new Jimmy's Tap and Grill (on Homer, under the Westin Grand) before heading off to another event. The room is nice, the service was really good, though the drinks seemed a bit on the weak side. The cocktails were okay, the martini was better. We shared a Chicken Quesadilla which was packed full of veggies, and really hearty. Served with okay french fries. Prices were good, and it acted as a great starting point to our night. I'd go back for drinks if I could snag a spot on the patio! :cool:


Edited by eastvillage (log)

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Today's lunch was at Top Shanghai Cuisine. We ordered some standard stuff--Hainanese chicken, soup dumplings, pan-fried pork buns, and green onion pancakes. The chicken was great, and almost every table was getting one. The soup dumplings aren't quite as good as the ones at SR and SW, but they are very, very good and definitely worth getting. Really long wait for a table--this place was packed to the gills.

Yesterday's dinner was at Sea Harbour with canucklehead. We got the crab and kabocha hot pot, fish maw and crab soup, prawns with soy, sweet and sour pork, hand-shredded chicken, and mini bbq pork buns. We were stuffed. The crab, the soup, and the prawns were excellent but everything was good. We'll definitely be back to try the rest of the menu. :smile:

Lunch yesterday was at Seto in Richmond. I got a sashimi platter with ika, blue fin akami, and wild hirame, and also shared some of Henry's tonkatsu. The pork had a nice balance of meat and fat and the curried rice was really tasty.

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Thursday evening was a long-overdue girlie dinner with *Deborah*.  However, her vehicle drove us to Parkside instead of the intended budget-conscious Gyoza King; we still managed to snag a table for two despite brazenly walking in there without a reso.  I promptly mollified my parched palate with a Mojito while our intrepid designated driver stuck with mineral water until our wine arrived.

Prior to ordering, Chef asked if we'd be willing guinea pigs for the new sous-vide pheasant main course that he'd be putting on Friday evening's menu. It took two magic words to convince us: prosciutto and truffle. Enough said.

True to form, *Deborah* started out with her requisite Foie Gras Parfait. My starter was the Sesame-crusted Tuna Tataki served with Japanese mushrooms and wasabi-lime vinaigrette. Perfect blue rare in the centre, excellent sauce that enhanced rather than overpowered the fish.

We vowed that three courses would be more than enough; however, a largish dish of linguine with pesto sauce appeared before us as an intermezzo and begged that we eat it. The pesto was bright and fresh, almost like having an herb garden in your mouth.

The pheasant arrived while we were sipping on our bottle of Leroy 1997 Bourgogne. It was stuffed with prosciutto, sage and an insane amount of black truffle, served with a sauce Colbert and accompanied by baby carrots, haricots verts and a sunchoke purée. The sauce. The sauce.  Dear God. Remarkably lush and rich, so much so that I had to forfeit at least part of the pheasant if I had any hope of making a dent in dessert.

Michel talked us into ordering the Chocolate Nemesis, a flourless chocolate cake served room temperature with brandy soaked cherries, chocolate sorbet and whipped cream. Admittedly, not my favourite dessert, particularly when I still had visions of the previous chocolate ganache torte dancing in my head... just a bit too firm for my liking. The restaurant's last slice of Banoffi Pie did, however, more than adequately make up for the Chocolate Nemesis. Light yet creamy, brilliant as always.

After reading your post I am even more excited about my long awaited visit to parkside tomorrow night, I am taking a friend there as a part of her birthday present. And hopefully I will make another visit shortly after to try that pheasant on a Friday.

Do you recommend sitting inside or on the patio, I have made reservations for the patio but currently a little worried about the weather?

Today after a disappointing time at taste of the city, which I should have been expected and a nice stroll threw, yaletown’s show and shine/side walk sale; we stopped at Bistro Sakana for a small snack. With help from their sushi chef Jason we decided on The Chicken Tenderloin Wasbi and Nori Tempura (a must try), The Crunch Salmon & Tuna Roll which Jason added crab into the mix, simple yet attractive presentation and I loved the sweetness of the crab even though it wasn’t the main ingredient. The last dish we lef up to Jason he brought us a round mold of rice topped with salmon, scallops, wasbi, avocado, and mangos. A nice little dish but could have been better, the mangos took center stage in most bites since it was a little too ripe and sweet.

Over all I really enjoy this place.

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After reading your post I am even more excited about my long awaited visit to parkside tomorrow night, I am taking a friend there as a part of her birthday present. And hopefully I will make another visit shortly after to try that pheasant on a Friday.

You don't have to wait until a Friday evening: the pheasant is now part of the regular daily menu. We were just fortunate enough to get a sneak preview before it was officially added. :biggrin:

Do you recommend sitting inside or on the patio, I have made reservations for the patio but currently a little worried about the weather?

Just checked the weather for an event that we have scheduled for tomorrow afternoon, and it's looking mighty iffy. I'd recommend that you sit inside.

Looking forward to hearing about your dinner on Sunday!


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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A couple pictures for the above post.

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Taste Of The City @ Plaza of Nations

A Snack @ Bistro Sakana Yaletown.

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Chicken Tempura

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Crunchy Roll

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Chef Jason's creation.

Thanks Mooshmouse I cant wait already charged up the camera battery lol.


Edited by D90 (log)

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K. Back in Saskatoon for a few days, visiting eldest daughter for birthday..... Breakfast this morning at Broadway Cafe . As ALWAYS perfect poached eggs, amazing gammon-style sliced ham, potatoes, rye toast. Yesterday Saskatoon Asian (younger daughter-vegan- eating there EVERY day of visit w assorted friends,and occasionally mom.) We had Spicy Thai noodles, and Special Rice. Both excellent and made amazing take home leftovers :smile: Tonight a small pile of boxes from Family Pizza.... vegan version in one of course, Hawaiian for me, Beef Taco for older daughter.... all really really good.

Look forward to return to Vancouver of course, but there's great food all the way out here for sure !

Next destination is Toronto with bf, interested to see how it holds up after a year in Vancouver.

Will be travelling with babas pierogies and mennonite farmers sausage for a big SK cookup for new TO friends !!!

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My last three were in Seattle.

brunch at Cafe Campagne, Saturday

Long a favourite spot for locals and tourists, the food here was as tasty and rustic as I expected (and hoped) it to be. We got the oeufs en meurette (runny poached eggs, foie gras red wine sauce, pearl onions, and a big basket of fries) and the pork and liver pate which they make in house. The oeufs en meurette have been written about all over on various food boards as one of *the* breakfasts to get in Seattle, and it was very tasty, though the sauce tasted very strongly of garlic and I couldn't detect much foie.

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Our friends got the croque monsieur (I had a bite--tastes as cheesy and hearty as it looks) and the french toast.

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The service, however, is extremely slow.

We ended brunch with a bottle of rose at The Tasting Room and then chocolates at Roses (wasabi nori, cardamon espresso, and port).

Friday dinner at Siam

We had Thai food for dinner with some friends who lived across the street from Siam. We got a squid salad, a fried rice dish with pineapple, pad thai, and a squid stir-fry. (Pre-dinner nosh at their place was a selection of cheeses and Australian truffle honey. Dessert was some salted caramel ice-cream we made.)

Thursday dinner at Harvest Vine

brief comments here In short, my favourite of all the mid-range Seattle restaurants I've tried thus far. This is a place I could see myself eating at every week.

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Last three...

Went to The Pear Tree in Burnaby on the weekend, and was sadly disappointed. Were my expectations too high? You be the judge:

The food and service deserve high marks for technical merit. No bonehead failures like an undercooked chicken or some such. My wife's starter was a pea-shoot salad with pear slivers. It was nice, though you couldn't taste any pear flavour, so why bother?

My "lobster cappuccino" was a dish where they foamed a lobster bisque. Interesting, novel, but not great. I had the lamb main course, which was topped with some tasty scallops, and had an interesting jus underneath. But the lamb itself was . . .fine. I had tastier lamb at the Greek Festival on Boundary Road this year. And the pea-shoot salad returned as a side dish with my order.

My wife's chicken was perfectly pleasant, though I thought it was good rather than interesting. But the presentation was just weird: four or five slices of chicken breast buried under a tan-coloured sauce, with not even a random sprig to break up the plate. Okay, there was some gnocchi off to one side. Did you know that gnocchi is rougly tan-coloured too? Seriously, it reminded me, looks-wise, of some sort of cafeteria mystery special. It was so weird I briefly wondered if it was some sort of culinary jest, in the style of the lobster cappuccino, only this time referencing bad cafeteria food. Again, it tasted pretty good. It just looked odd.

So nothing really bad, but given the entree price of $20-30, and that pea-shoot salad costing something like $10 as a starter, I expected, well, the best food in Burnaby. I dropped nearly $100 on a meal, no alcohol, and it just wasn't impressive. I would have been much happier spending twice as much at Tojo's, or half as much at any number of nice places around town with good food. Pear Tree is widely acclaimed: what did I miss? The room is nicely styled....

Oh, and the other two "last threes" were Pajo's in Port Moody, which is always tasty for fish and chips (rumor for you: they're planning to open a year-round location in Port Coquitlam), and the Lougheed Wonton House, which has moved from its closed location on North Road by Lougheed Mall to St. John's Street in Port Moody, where Yan's used to be. Oh, and we had the Peking duck, which was pretty good.

That last one is a major upgrade, since Yan's was a bit of a cruddy greasy-spoon Chinese restaurant, while Lougheed Wonton is a very good greasy-spoon Chinese restaurant. So good for me, not so good for everyone over by Lougheed Mall :).

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Went to The Pear Tree in Burnaby on the weekend, and was sadly disappointed. Were my expectations too high? You be the judge

Since we don't know what those expectations were, it's difficult to say. If you were expecting "tasty" by Greek Festival standards (over salted and covered in garlic & olive oil) then yes, by all accounts, you would have been disappointed in the lamb at Pear Tree.

Nothing wrong with either, but the comparison has me at a loss.

A.


Edited by Daddy-A (log)

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My husband and I were in town for a couple of days R and R.

On Wednesday, we ate lunch at "Century." What a gorgeous room. My husband had the Mojito (I tasted it - perfectly minty and limey). He had the pulled pork sandwich, and I had the seafood burritos. Both came with an assortment of freshly fried tortilla and potato chips and guacamole and a salsa with a kick. I liked the burritos and the chimichurri sauce that came with them, but I'd have to give it hands down to the pulled pork sandwich - spicy and sweet. I kept asking for

bites. Very nice place, and I will certainly be back for supper next time I'm in Vancouver.

That night we went to the Irish Heather, and before we went in, we went down the alley to peek in Salt's door. Looks great, but I just wasn't in the mood for charcuterie (which will surprise anyone who has read my postings on the Vancouver Island thread), so we went back to the Heather and had a delicious whiskey (OK I had a bourbon cask Bushmill's whiskey and my husband had a 15 year old Bruchladdh (sp?) whisky) in the Shebeen before eating fish and chips on the patio. Good solid pub grub and a wonderful atmosphere. I love the old gaslights and the cobbles.

The next night, we went to Hapa Isakaya for lemon drops and some silky tuna sashimi, short ribs, kabocha pumpkin spread, shrimp salad, and spicy chicken. We'd never had the kabocha before and were surprised that it was like, well, pumpkin pie complete with sweetened whipped cream. It was strangely good, though.

And then we came home and had a TERRIBLE Bread Garden chicken salad sandwich on the ferry. How did they get that contract? When is their contract up? I just don't get how a place called the Bread Garden can make such stale tasting, fluffy, tasteless bread.

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Went to The Pear Tree in Burnaby on the weekend, and was sadly disappointed. Were my expectations too high? You be the judge

Since we don't know what those expectations were, it's difficult to say. If you were expecting "tasty" by Greek Festival standards (over salted and covered in garlic & olive oil) then yes, by all accounts, you would have been disappointed in the lamb at Pear Tree.

Nothing wrong with either, but the comparison has me at a loss.

A.

I expected that the food would be first-rate. I hoped that there would be interesting subtleties or pleasant novelties in the flavours and textures. I am fond of saying that the most interesting thing about Tojo's omakase (the one time we went) was that it was a lesson in how sushi should taste.

I think what I meant was that the lamb was a bit bland, and that the jus, while a nice sauce, was not an especially creative match for the lamb. My taste in lamb may just be informed by having in-laws who are Greek, and who every couple of years roast a whole lamb for Easter.

Lamb at the Greek Fest is not my favourite lamb. I'd probably go to Vassili's on Kingsway for the best I've had outside of my in-laws' back yard.

I should say that the lobster cappuccino, despite the pan I gave it above, was the most interesting dish of the evening. It tried to play with the texture of lobster by foaming it, and came off with something that was evocative of the sea itself. I didn't find the dish entirely to my taste, but could see where it was going. If I was being more arrogant, I'd say that the foam could have stood to be a little firmer, but reasonable people may differ.

You know what really offended me? That the same bland salad had the temerity to return to my table twice, and not be very good either time. That, and I still can't figure out what was going on with the presentation of the chicken dish. It was just weird.

You could blame my unrefined tastebuds for this annoyance, but I've eaten at a lot of pretty nice, pretty expensive places that did impress me. It's possible that the mistake was that we stumbled onto the four dishes we would like the least on an otherwise great menu. And as I said, the service was excellent, there were moments of interest (if not greatness), and the meal was pretty good. It just wasn't so good that I'd pay a hundred bucks to experience it again. Had the menu been half the price I would have described it as a pretty nice place. Perhaps my sense of marginal value was offended. :hmmm:

Maybe the question is better phrased thus: what's the Pear Tree's signature dish, and why?

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Brunch at Cassi Bistro on Saturday and Sunday. Try the Cassis benny with a truffle wild mushroom hollandaise and the black cod benny with a citrusy lemon hollandaise. We were there at 11:30 and twelve and it was quiet in the dining room with most guests seeking out the patio. The benny's are $13.50.

Cheers,

Stephen


"who needs a wine list when you can get pissed on dessert" Gordon Ramsey Kitchen Nightmares 2005

MY BLOG

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Last night's Parkside birthday extravaganza...

The Dude (my dad) and I are looking at the menu, and he points out the caviare and Champagne option; oh! I say, and order that. Blue Mountain Brut Rosé, bigger bubbles than the Piper-Heidsieck Rosé Sauvage we'd been drinking at home, and less fruity, but also quite nice. Served with little sanddollar pancakes (blini?) with a cascade of salmon roe and some crème fraîche, just lovely. We only ordered for one, as the Dude was driving and doesn't like roe, but we got two...:wink:

Then the starter. I didn't have to order as I knew they were coming up with something foei-y in the back for me. The Dude had the Bayonne ham with melon, arugula, parm reggiano, hazelnut oil I think it is? and he enjoyed it immensely. They might have created that dish with him in mind. Lucky me, they created my dish with me in mind: a bed of brioche pain perdu, bathed in a sauce of sherry vinegar, sour cherries and fresh figs, topped with a rather large portion of seared foie gras, with a little salad of fresh dill and italian parsley to refresh....soooo good. :wub:

We had a little intermezzo of two of the pea and ricotta ravioli with carrot jus, and it really sounds better if you say cawwot like Jacques Pépin. :biggrin: It was delicious.

Then for mains we both had the Pheasant saltimbocca, with a genius sauce of course, more fresh figs (bring on the figs! I love summer!) and a parsnip, a carrot, and a white asparagus, some baked polenta (really good), and some I think it was spinach, I didn't have any...saving room for dessert :wink:

For wine we had the Domaine de la Grange des Pères, and since we were only two and the Dude was driving and I had already had four or five glasses of Champagne, we had some to offer Chef when he came out to say hello and wish me happy birthday :smile:

For dessert, we couldn't resist the siren call of the homemade crack--er, marshmallows. We both had the coupe glacée, and Chef told us about the whole foam thing, he was turned on to it a bit by a chef he was paired with for a culinary event in Montréal last February...he said he's not at all into the molecular whatnot, but the white chocolate foam seemed OK :wink: Er, more than OK in our opinion. I think that's the best chocolate ice cream I've ever had, anywhere. WOW. They also kindly brought the Dude a scoop of green apple sorbet to try, and he nearly licked the wee bowl.

A very very nice birthday, and today's Tony's birthday :biggrin: I hope he has a good one. Superlative service as ever FOH, and the BOH really outdid itself for one of their biggest fans. Thanks a bunch! :wub:

Edited to add: there was a small child there, which reminded me of the contentious thread in this forum...we arrived after 8:00 and that party left after 11:00, by which time the little one was fast asleep in his (?) stroller. Very well-behaved child, whom I will admit I heard singing sweetly at some point, but that was the extent of the aural assault, and I found it charming, however inappropriate :wink: If all kids in restaurants can be that quiet and nice, bring 'em on.


Edited by *Deborah* (log)

Agenda-free since 1966.

Foodblog: Power, Convection and Lies

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^Happy Birthday, Deborah! :smile:

Friday

We had dinner at Phnom Penh. We got the fried chicken wings and the rare anchovy beef. Both were delicious as usual.

Dessert, post-Phantom, was at Blue Water Cafe. We had a few drinks and the wasabi cheesecake, which was in between a creme brulee and traditional cheesecake in texture, and arrived with a bruleed top. It was served with matcha ice-cream and pineapple compote. It was perfectly balanced and the sweetness was just enough. One of the best desserts I had in recent memory. :wub:

Saturday

We got the usual stuff for lunch at Traditional Taiwanese--the pork roll in chive pancake, dan dan noodles, and grilled chicken (thigh).

We thoroughly enjoyed dinner at Zest with Mooshmouse and her husband later that evening. Some of the more memorable dishes included a sashimi platter with different types of soy made in-house (nori, sour plum, ginger, and another I'm forgetting), pine mushroom and red snapper broth with gingko nuts, the tuna carpaccio with yuzu dressing, hot mixed mushroom salad, and the crab and liver appetizer. We got through a good portion of the menu, and the only thing I didn't like so much was the (too sweet) fried oysters with miso sauce. We had some sake with dinner, one of them unfiltered.


Edited by Ling (log)

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