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Rare


Chef Fowke
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Rare Restaurant is online and taking reservations through Opentable.com...

The first reservation was made this morning by Kontemporary for two at 7:30 for the opening day!

Thanks, eGullet for your support!

We are launching the menu with three distinct sections; a signature section, a seasonal section and a daily section...each section having three catagories; small, medium and entree:

What items do Vancouver eGulleters expect to see on the daily menu over the next 45 - 60 days.

haha i was pretty sure there were other times taken off when making my reservation - so don't be so sure I was the only egulleter. :smile: it just happens to be that my opentable and egullet usernames are the same :wink:

EDIT: and the pre-opening dinner looks enticing as well. i'll see how things work out as things are a bit tentative for me

Edited by kontemporary (log)

One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.

Virginia Woolf

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I posted some photos of the restaurant over at waiterblog...it really does not look like the room is going to be ready this week, but the contractors says everything will be finished on Tuesday!

With that said, anyone interested in a tour or seeing some of the food we are testing; feel free to drop by (or PM me and set up a time). Make sure to be wearing the eGullet decoder ring so I know who you are.

Chef/Owner/Teacher

Website: Chef Fowke dot com

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Oysters would make me particularly happy - all BC please.  I would love to see a steady supply of Brent Petkau's courtesans.  As I am voicing elsewhere BC oysters will indeed be VERY RARE unless we start supporting our local farmers and get eating the little treasures.

yes!

We are sourcing ALL BC products to use, where we can...

With the exception of Malpeque all the oysters at Rare will be BC (and Olympia ~ seasonally; the only true indigenous oyster on the West coast).

As will the:

• Quail ~ Okanagan

• Suckling pig tenderloin ~ valley

• Beef ~ maybe Alberta…but I lived there for four years and have a taste for the barley finished 2100lbs prairie cattle!

• Rabbit ~ Okanagan

• Pheasant ~ lower mainlain

• Mushrooms from Van Is as well as the interior! Cannot wait for mushroom season!

• (frog legs have been a problem ~ I cannot find real French frog legs, only Asian…seems the French ate (???) all of there production of frog legs and they are extinct…I think this was a salesman line to make me buy Asian. Is there a frog leg industry in BC?

• Seafood will be all-local except for Baja scallops and Washington State farmed sturgeon.

Chef/Owner/Teacher

Website: Chef Fowke dot com

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There are no BC grown Olympia oysters.

The only place they are commercially grown is in Washington State in Shelton and they are grown by the Olympia Oyster Company.

They have not been grown in BC (in commercial quantities) since before 1950.

Nice to see someone using this gem on their menu though........

Edited by Oyster Guy (log)

"Why then, the world is mine oyster, which I with sword, shall open."

William Shakespeare-The Merry Wives of Windsor

"An oyster is a French Kiss that goes all the way." Rodney Clark

"Oyster shuckers are the rock stars of the shellfish industry." Jason Woodside

"Obviously, if you don't love life, you can't enjoy an oyster."

Eleanor Clark

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[With the exception of Malpeque all the oysters at Rare will be BC (and Olympia ~ seasonally; the only true indigenous oyster on the West coast).

Yes, I toured Olympia Oyster Company last summer. Great people with a passion for there product. Unfortunately the inflation on this oyster seems to be about 100% a year. It is all about QUALITY, not quantity with this very very small oyster.

Thanks for the info, Oyster Guy, on the commercial side of this oyster. Where were they harvested in BC pre-1950?

Chef/Owner/Teacher

Website: Chef Fowke dot com

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They were harvested at one time all the way from central California to southeastern Alaska but due to overharvesting and evironmental degradation they are now only harvested in the very farm you toured, Chef.

In BC, they were mainly harvested from both the east and west coasts of Vancouver Island.

There is some good news though.

A very small number of oyster farmers in BC are now starting to grow the Olympia in small quantities and are hoping to re-establish it in it's native range.

It is not so much to harvest it commercially again but mainly to give it a fighting chance against the introduced species.

It's main competitor is the Japanese or Pacific oyster (Crassostrea gigas) which was introduced in BC in 1905 in Ladysmith Harbour and Pendrell Sound.

This oyster makes a rabbit look lazy when it comes to reproduction and as it competes for the same habitat and food, it almost wiped out entirely the native stock of Olympias (Ostrea lurida or conchiphilia)

It is native to the northernmost island of Japan, Hokkaido.

Most oyster growers still harvest oyster larvae from the waters of Pendrell Sound every summer as it is perfect for the breeding of this type of oyster.

If you would like any help sourcing some interesting BC oysters that are not very well known, Chef, I am at your disposal.

Keep on shucking

Oyster Guy

Edited by Oyster Guy (log)

"Why then, the world is mine oyster, which I with sword, shall open."

William Shakespeare-The Merry Wives of Windsor

"An oyster is a French Kiss that goes all the way." Rodney Clark

"Oyster shuckers are the rock stars of the shellfish industry." Jason Woodside

"Obviously, if you don't love life, you can't enjoy an oyster."

Eleanor Clark

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After checking out the website, couldn't wait for the opening and am happily signed up for the pre-opening event. Salivating even now..... :raz:

Cheers,

T

"Great women are like fine wine...they only get better with age."
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Rumour has it that Saturday night a couple of oysters were shucked in the name of charity at Rare.

Tim?  Brian?  Anything to report?  Were the toilets installed?  Did the dishwasher work? 

A.

A great night for charity at Rare, The Children's Heart Foundation. Brian shucked 30+ dozen oysters. Quang was busy in the kitchen with an audience watching him prepare the other dishes for the evening. I would say more but I will let Brian describe the dishes in detail.

Toilets were working, sinks in, mirrors and glass polished, the new dishwasher worked like a charm. We had our artist in and he was busy getting our mural started. There is still a cosmetic item or two to get done in the space but we are very close. The upstairs soft seating area and servery were very popular and the guests were rubbing shoulders up there while enjoying the food and Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand and Pinot Noir from BC. I think it is great to see BC wines shine on so many levels....quality and the price point.

I will leave a more detailed description of the night to Brian. Thank you to Neil from the Hammy for giving Brian a hand with some construction items over the last week, it was appreciated as it allowed me to work on some marketing and training deadlines.

Edited by TimK (log)

Tim Keller

Rare Restaurant

tim@rarevancouver.com

Metro Restaurant

timkeller@metrodining.ca

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Rumour has it that Saturday night a couple of oysters were shucked in the name of charity at Rare.

Tim?  Brian?  Anything to report?  Were the toilets installed?  Did the dishwasher work? 

A.

The week was a nightmare! A NIGHTMARE….

I cannot even begin to describe all the things that went wrong.

Okay…maybe just a few:

• The floors in the bathroom were skim-coated and it cracked! I had to CHISEL every inch of skim-coat away and retile. The tradesman disappeared and I ended up grouting myself.

• There are no plumbers in this city who will do small jobs ~ I had to re-install the toilets myself ~ but it gets better, the tradesperson who took the toilet off left all the water in the tank and the bowl.

• The wallpaper arrived, but the tradesperson responsible for applying the wallpaper to the wall lent his ‘special tools’ out to someone…weird.

• The new mirror installed slipped off the wall and broke

• The Banquette did not fit ~ the ‘craftsman’ (HA!) tried to pry it in…it is crap.

BUT!!!!

We made it, we worked through the night, and we cleaned…we called in favours from friends (thanks Neil and Leigh)…and we got the room ready. Unfortunately, we did not get the stainless steel polished. I have a vision of Tim cleaning the toilets burnt into my brain...

The room looked great and we shucked a lot of oysters for a good cause; The Children’s Heart Fund. A great night with lots of fun, great food and wine. Everyone, including the staff had a great time! The room held togeather, the dishwasher worked and the kitchen ran at a higher-than-expected- level. WOW! I was so proud of everyone.

Unfortunately we were so busy we had no time to take any photos. Please follow the links through Waiterblog to my blog for the few pictures I did take:

I will post more photos tomorrow of the room. It is brilliant. As well, Quang (previously my apprentice and Sous Chef at West) and I will be testing our menu at the restaurant all week. Feel free to drop by and say hello and see the menu ~ LIVE.

Any suggestions and recommendations on local BC foods would be appreciated.

Edited by Chef Fowke (log)

Chef/Owner/Teacher

Website: Chef Fowke dot com

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Maybe it's a little too early to ask this, but do you accept group bookings over 15 people? Is there an area in the restaurant ideal for group dining? I tend to have group dinners that are work related for 15 to 30 people and I'm always looking for new restaurants to try...

ahh where's the button for the fries?

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Maybe it's a little too early to ask this, but do you accept group bookings over 15 people? Is there an area in the restaurant ideal for group dining?  I tend to have group dinners that are work related for 15 to 30 people and I'm always looking for new restaurants to try...

I would like to keep this link pure ~ lets just talk about possible local foods and methods on this link ~ we have room for groups up to 40, please PM me for details.

Chef/Owner/Teacher

Website: Chef Fowke dot com

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I would like to keep this link pure ~ lets just talk about possible local foods and methods on this link ~ we have room for groups up to 40, please PM me for details.

Local salsify and stinging nettles are prime right now. Any uses for these?

-- Matt.

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I would like to keep this link pure ~ lets just talk about possible local foods and methods on this link ~ we have room for groups up to 40, please PM me for details.

Local salsify and stinging nettles are prime right now. Any uses for these?

-- Matt.

I am always EXCITED by reservations and parties...

But NETTLES and SALSIFY....

YUMMY.

My first purchase was smoked steelhead trout caviar...so good!

(follow the links at waiterblog for photos)

If you can source the products locally I would love to see them, bring them by and we can 'play' with them.

Chef/Owner/Teacher

Website: Chef Fowke dot com

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I am always EXCITED by reservations and parties...

But NETTLES and SALSIFY....

YUMMY.

My first purchase was smoked steelhead trout caviar...so good!

(follow the links at waiterblog for photos)

If you can source the products locally I would love to see them, bring them by and we can 'play' with them.

The stinging nettles and oyster root are from our friendly herb/salad guy, Gavin. I processed the nettles yesterday (you *must* blanch these ... like fiddleheads, they are toxic) and will probably used for nettle puree. A couple of yukon golds, some cream and butter. Very, very nice. Think spinach, but stronger and more 'mineral' flavour. As for the salsify, hopefully they will be dealt with by the time I get back from my weekend. :laugh:

Around the corner? Cobble hill asparagus, and Glenora farms maple syrup, site of Feast of Fields 2005.

Chef, spring has sprung! We are seeing a return of our favourite flowers; calendula, bachelor's buttons, and violas. I can't wait!

Are you too late for local kiwi? I think production has about stopped on the island. Your sources on the mainland must be far and away more abundant than our's here.

-- Matt.

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Great pictures! The food looks amazing and I'm liking how the room is unfolding! It's like watching "opening soon" but from the eyes of the chef and owner.

I'm digging the cool "flavour injectors" that seem to be poppiing up (noticed first at Nu and now here at Rare). Mmmmm flavour injector.

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

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I'm digging the cool "flavour injectors" that seem to be poppiing up (noticed first at Nu and now here at Rare).  Mmmmm flavour injector.

Will wonders never cease. I was curious about the flavor injector, thinking it was some deviation from that Ronco syringe but they appear to be the same disposable pipets I used to use in the lab. We weren't pipetting flavors though…

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I'm digging the cool "flavour injectors" that seem to be poppiing up (noticed first at Nu and now here at Rare).  Mmmmm flavour injector.

Will wonders never cease. I was curious about the flavor injector, thinking it was some deviation from that Ronco syringe but they appear to be the same disposable pipets I used to use in the lab. We weren't pipetting flavors though…

The injectors are 'old school' El Bulli ~ but are still fun to work with. Both Quang and I collect cook books as a hobby. I cannot wait to try out all the different techniques I have read about for years ~ at the end of the day, success will be based off of a consistent execution of excellence, not the gimmicks. The gimmicks are fun...

Side note: The salmon was both wild and fresh from a test fishery! The flavour was a 10/10 ~ and I cannot begin to describe how much I LOVED the smoked steelhead trout roe...I wanted to put it on my cereal this morning, have it for a sandwich at lunch and in a pasta for dinner!!!

Chef/Owner/Teacher

Website: Chef Fowke dot com

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[un]fortunately I will not be able to make my reservation at RARE One for the opening night because I'll be up at Whistler with some friends. I've cancelled so my opentable reservation, so if anyone's interested, quickly get it! :wink:

EDIT: Yes I meant unfortunately :smile:

Edited by kontemporary (log)

One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.

Virginia Woolf

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Fortunately I will not be able to make my reservation at RARE One for the opening night because I'll be up at Whistler with some friends. I've cancelled so my opentable reservation, so if anyone's interested, quickly get it! :wink:

That is really too bad!

Firstly, I am assuming you meant 'unfortunately'...

We were going to grat your table, celebrate with a bottle of champagne, etc ~ seriously! I was looking forward to the occasion.

(PM, we will make other arrangements for you when you are available)

Here is the tasting menu we will be offering on Wednesday...

Yellowfin tuna ○ citrus poached

Israeli cous cous ○ avocado mousse

Cauliflower soup ○ truffle

lobster salad ○ smoked steelhead caviar

B.C. honey mussels ○ curried

gai lan ○ crisp baguette ○ coconut

Essence of pear seltzer

Squab ○ pan roasted

braised fennel ○ dates ○ brown butter verjus

Smoked sablefish ○ milk poached

Quadra island clam ○ fiddle head ragout

Wild spring salmon ○ unilateral cooked

sauté of watermelon and radish ○ hedgehog mushrooms ○ fennel broth

Panna cotti foam ○ toasted organic pecans

blood orange ○ buttermilk profiterole

Chef/Owner/Teacher

Website: Chef Fowke dot com

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