Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Aurora Bistro


SushiCat
 Share

Recommended Posts

Well we know from the amount of activity that Aurora is busy with DOV tables, but yet, no postings!

It was my first time at Aurora, much to the chagrin of my other half who has been aching to go there for some time (so many dining options, so little cash!). I was very impressed by the room which is sublime - lots of wood, and very modern, yet welcoming and warm as opposed to stark and cold in feeling. If only they were further south on Main, we would be hopping into the bar a little too often ... ah well.

Service was very good - Kurtis greeted and seated us, alas no decoder ring flashing, so it is possible he may not know who we are - I do enjoy a moment on anonymity before everyone knows who I am! I like the way not only Kurtis, but the wait staff I noticed which were three all have a method of checking to see if you have what you need in a very sweet and gentle tone of voice and with different phrases. It brings a feeling of intimacy in dining that I truly appreciate.

Another note, nobody seemed to be rushing around and from my perspective no rushed dining experiences either. Obviously bookings were arranged with this in mind, and it worked. From a diner looking in, the FOH are running a tight ship, bravo! Our server (is this the appropriate term these days?), Lorin made us feel as if we were at home and even put up with my indecisive-ness around beverages!

On the menu front, anohter + it is really nice to see so many choices! The $ 25.00 DOV menu has four appy and four entree choices as well as three desserts. Their is another more expensive DOV menu that we tried hard not to look at as we have an embarrassing number of DOV events this year! Just a note, that the posted DOV menu has fewer choices, and my comment is that I appreciate having a choice above and beyond what is expected. Alas in this case it made for difficult ordering AND a strong desire to go back and try the other options we missed!

Food standouts of the evening included the smoked sablefish bisque which was sublime, sorry I don't recall the exact description on the menu, but very smooth and with just the right amount of fishy-ness and smokey-ness. Tres bien fait! We also had the duck confit appy, which was made into fritters (sorry there must be a more appropriate word) and server on an amazing salad of pea shoots and lentils - something I had to try as I would never make this at home - very nice compliments of flavours. Alas we had to skip the beet salad which was what I had planned to order! I had the Cornish Game hen on the most amazingly crispy and delicious polenta which came with a my heart is won smoked tomato sauce Oh my! Lamb cheeks was our other entree and although quite delicious, it didn't have the smoked tomato sauce :wub:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well we know from the amount of activity that Aurora is busy with DOV tables, but yet, no postings!

It was my first time at Aurora, much to the chagrin of my other half who has been aching to go there for some time (so many dining options, so little cash!).  I was very impressed by the room which is sublime - lots of wood, and very modern, yet welcoming and warm as opposed to stark and cold in feeling.  If only they were further south on Main, we would be hopping into the bar a little too often ... ah well.

Service was very good - Kurtis greeted and seated us, alas no decoder ring flashing, so it is possible he may not know who we are - I do enjoy a moment on anonymity before everyone knows who I am!  I like the way not only Kurtis, but the wait staff I noticed which were three all have a method of checking to see if you have what you need in a very sweet and gentle tone of voice and with different phrases.  It brings a feeling of intimacy in dining that I truly appreciate.

Another note, nobody seemed to be rushing around and from my perspective no rushed dining experiences either.  Obviously bookings were arranged with this in mind, and it worked.  From a diner looking in, the FOH are running a tight ship, bravo! Our server (is this the appropriate term these days?), Lorin made us feel as if we were at home and even put up with my indecisive-ness around beverages!

On the menu front, anohter + it is really nice to see so many choices!    The $ 25.00 DOV menu has four appy and four entree choices as well as three desserts.  Their is another more expensive DOV menu that we tried hard not to look at as we have an embarrassing number of DOV events this year!    Just a note, that the posted DOV menu has fewer choices, and my comment is that I appreciate having a choice above and beyond what is expected.  Alas in this case it made for difficult ordering AND a strong desire to go back and try the other options we missed!

Food standouts of the evening included the smoked sablefish bisque which was sublime, sorry I don't recall the exact description on the menu, but very smooth and with just the right amount of fishy-ness and smokey-ness.  Tres bien fait!  We also had the duck confit appy, which was made into fritters (sorry there must be a more appropriate word) and server on an amazing salad of pea shoots and lentils - something I had to try as I would never make this at home - very nice compliments of flavours.  Alas we had to skip the beet salad which was what I had planned to order!  I had the Cornish Game hen on the most amazingly crispy and delicious polenta which came with a my heart is won smoked tomato sauce   Oh my!  Lamb cheeks was our other entree and although quite delicious, it didn't have the smoked tomato sauce  :wub:

I'm glad to hear you enjoyed everything Sushicat. This is our first time doing dine out, and we are very happy with how it's going. My staff has really risen to the occasion, and the clientelle has been great. We've seen lots of new people coming through our doors.

Next time your're in, pop back to the kitchen and say hi. The rest of you too. I like to put faces to your "names".

jeff

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Woohoo!

I am going on Saturday and I can't wait! I went in there for the first time for brunch on last Saturday, and Kurtis and Jeff and all the staff were lovely and welcoming. The food was fantastic! I wasn't wearing my egullet cape- maybe next time. I will definitely be back as often as I can, especially since it is right next to Pulp Fiction :biggrin:

Edited by annanstee (log)

The sea was angry that day my friends... like an old man trying to send back soup in a deli.

George Costanza

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm glad to hear you enjoyed everything Sushicat.  This is our first time doing dine out, and we are very happy with how it's going.  My staff has really risen to the occasion, and the clientelle has been great.  We've seen lots of new people coming through our doors.

Next time your're in, pop back to the kitchen and say hi.  The rest of you too.  I like to put faces to your "names".

jeff

Thanks Jeff and thanks to Kurtis, who tried to figure out who I was :biggrin: I promise to introduce myself next time - which will be soon. I'm still trying to figure out how to fit in another visit as I want to try that beet salad!

Also, I had to cut my post short without discussing dessert because of work - so I didn't mean to slight the dessert chef.

It has been nearly 36 hours since we were in, and we were discussing last night, with appreciation, as we were talking about the whole picture, the room, the service, the food etc. ... you have done well to create a warm and welcoming atmosphere where it is comfortable to dine on delicious well prepared food that is complex and pleasing! Very well done, indeed!

:wub: purr

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My wife and I arrived for our 5:30 p.m. and were promptly greeted by our pleasant waitress. We were unaware of the $45 menu when we ordered (finding out about it later, when our neighbors, 6:00 arrivals, discussed the option with their waitress). No harm done, however, as we had perused the $25 menu online and had already decided what we wanted before we'd left the house.

My wife started with the Sweet Corn and Smoked Sablefish Bisque with Lime Creme Fraiche, which she adored, while I opted for the Bison Capaccio, Pickled Eggplant and Black Truffle Aioli. Wonderful. For our main courses, we both went with the lamb cheeks - shredded, prepared with a subtle anchovy and black olive seasoning and served on a bed of diced potatos. My wife very much enjoyed it. For my part, while I did think it was good, it wasn't something I would order again. As an aside, I've noticed both lamb and veal cheeks popping up on a number of menus around town (Diva at the Met offered them as an entree on their Dine Out Vancouver menu while Villa Del Lupo, not participating in Dine Out this year, offered them as an a la carte special this past weekend).

Dessert for me was the Heritage Apple Upsidedown Cake, Burnt Caramel and Whipped Creme Fraiche. Good. My wife had the Sweet Potato Creme Brulee with Pistachio Biscotti - Holy Smoke Awesome!

Service was terrific. Before leaving, I snuck a peek at the regular menu which will go back into effect once Dine Out wraps up. We've already planned a return visit based on one particular entree that popped out at us: Root Beer Braised Bison Short Ribs!

www.josephmallozzi.wordpress.com

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We've already planned a return visit based on one particular entree that popped out at us: Root Beer Braised Bison Short Ribs!

It's my favourite thing on the menu.

Aside: pick up the Straight this week everyone. Jurgen Gothe has written a flattering ode to the wine list at Aurora in his column.

Andrew Morrison

Food Columnist | The Westender

Editor & Publisher | Scout Magazine

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, I finally got to go to our DOV at Aurora on Saturday- and man was it worth the wait!

I love this room! Light and warm in tone, not fussy- but not careless.

We were warmly greeted and seated immediately in the little corner "booth" by the window- which would be a great table for a date- you can see everything but you are still tucked away in a corner. Tonight I left husband at home and ventured forth with a girlfriend.

I had a gin-gingerale cocktail, which was livened by the addition of basil... Vancouver seems to be experiencing a little cocktail rennaisance right now, and I for one am an ardent supporter of this trend.

Anyway- to the food.

The menu looked so good that I couldn't settle on any one thing, so I decided to order according to the wine pairings- but they all looked great too. Dammit.

When in doubt, I go for the duck- so to start we both had the duck croquettes.

They were fantastic- served with lentils and peashoots with a mildly acidic sauce (sorry, I can't quite remember what it was- too.busy.eating.). The duck confit was bound with enough potato to counter-balance the richness. Very satisfying.

For the main, my friend had the lamb (cheeks?) - beautiful, rich and unctuous.

I had the white spring, a fish which I far prefer to the regular spring.

Perfect carmelized crust, fish tender and just done. It was served in a mild dashi broth on a bed of sunchokes with delicious tiny little sea asparagus adorning the top. There was some parsnip on the side roasted- just fantastic. It was a carefully considered blend of texture and flavour and the colour presented a lovely winter palate of green, white and caramel.

Dessert- well, I can't look at Creme Brulee on the menu and not order it. I am usually a bit of a purist- tartar even- when it comes to creme brulee. No chai, chocolate or green tea for me.

Well, this sweet potato creme brulee was a revelation- OMG. I don't think I will ever be able to bring myself to order anything else on the dessert menu.

Oh- and I loved the wine pairings from the all BC menu, but the best treat of all was the Apricot wine that Kurtis brought us to try after dinner- which, importantly, he said you could actually find in town- but lord, I forget the name of it now. Seriously, brain like a sieve. This was much brighter, livelier and just yummier than other fruit wines I have tried. It is like ehrenfelser for dessert.

The service at this place personifies what I consider to be perfect "Vancouver" service; not formal, but informed.

Aurora has presented a DOV menu that, I think, really typifies what they are about, and did it while maintaining service levels that are up to the best standard. I am sure there will be no nasty comments about this place not meeting the mark during this event- because to my mind they hit every one.

I can't wait to go back.

Thanks Jeff, Kurtis and staff for a very memorable dinner.

Edited by annanstee (log)

The sea was angry that day my friends... like an old man trying to send back soup in a deli.

George Costanza

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We were warmly greeted and seated immediately in the little corner "booth" by the window- which would be a great table for a date- you can see everything but you are still tucked away in a corner.

You know...the one thing that did really stand out in my mind about Aurora was the "greeting" on my first visit to the restaurant. It was pouring rain and I walked by and stopped shaking my umbrella off outside the door. Kurtis came to the door and opened it like a host welcoming me to his home. In fact I kept thinking to myself "oh my god, does he know me? I don't remember him...was he a schoolmate?" Thats the kind of feeling I got...like I was a welcome friend from ages past.

Really, that kind of welcom helped to colour the most incredible meal I had there. You don't go to Aurora Bistro like you go to a restaurant. You go like you're going to a friend's house. That's why I like it so much. I wonder what they would say if I showed up with food for a pot luck?

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

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You don't go to Aurora Bistro like you go to a restaurant.  You go like you're going to a friend's house.  That's why I like it so much.  I wonder what they would say if I showed up with food for a pot luck?

Well, I once showed up with some smoked chicken, some shiso, and eggplant, and assorted other veggies from our garden for Jeff & Kurtis. It became a staff meal (lasagna iirc) for them. Keep in mind I delivered the food to the back door and not during business hours.

Why the gift?

Because these guys "get it." Sure they run a business ... but they love food and wine. It shows. Amazing what happens when you give a damn.

A.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...