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C restaurant - over rated or what?


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The Only used to cook decent fish at a reasonable price.

It's not rocket science, but nowadays you have to go to Chinese and Japanese restaurants to eat good seafood at a moderate price. Lots of local product diversity there, ie, whatever is in season. It may not be strikingly innovative, and I can't comment about the ethical bent, but the standards are high, the clientele discriminating, the service quick, the choices varied and the dishes as a result reliably fresh, properly cooked (if cooking is required), invariably tasty, fairly priced and generously portioned or you can be sure that the restaurant will not survive long in a very competitive environment.

It's curious thing why non-ethnic restaurants should operate any differently, but perhaps here on the coast we are either so used to getting our seafood from the source - ie, for free or nearly free - in which case we prefer to do it ourselves and not order it at a restaurant except on the rare special occasion when we take guests from out of town to C hoping it will be a singular experience, or don't know any better and follow other people's recommendations to eat there.

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Hi Ducky, I fail to grasp the relevance of the Bourdain witticism. Using that logic you should shuffle down to the lower east side, find a hooker & get her to whip you up some eggs for dinner!!....you could well find yourself leaving satisfied though :blink: Kidding aside, having an interesting menu(that engage's my mind, am i an alien in this respect???) does not necessarily mean well executed food, but such is life...you win some...you lose some. I fully understand your argument & cannot comment myself about the food at C, i just believe that the heart is in the right place & if not for them some local products may never be revealed to the public. The problem is more widespread than C restaurant.........& it involves Vancouver's dining population to an extent. You can lament about not having simple food served, but you need pristine ingredients(& yep they cost money) & a receptive audience.

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So what are the locally available fin fish you would like to see on menus? Let's see, I'll start. We have any or all of these on the regular menu or daily feature sheets at work.

Halibut (and cheeks, of course)

Salmon (spring, white spring, sockeye)

Albacore Tuna (smoked and not)

Ling Cod

Petrale Sole

Rockfish (many varieties)

Skate (uhh.. eww)

Sablefish (smoked and not)

Much of this fish comes in whole/cleaned and is processed in house. We offer four or five different fresh fish everyday, simply prepared (usually pan roasted or grilled with some salt and herbs) and served with local vegetables and some steamed rice.

Is this not easy to find in Vancover? I find that really difficult to believe.

What other local varities of fin fish is available, and what would you like to see?

-- Matt.

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Hey folks,

Though this is an interesting conversation - I'd like to ask that we keep it focused on C - it's menu, service, etc. If somebody would like to start another topic about issues concerning restaurants in general in Vancouver, please do so.



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Let's bring this conversation forward and slide back to discussing "C". firstly I would like to say something about portion size- I really have a hard time with this, is it a person can not just order another dish or can not a group of people share a whole bunch of dishes and explore different things. I agree this would be an expensive venture but that is the main point of my side of things. It cost a lot of money to developed and create food on this level and as usual many people will not venture out and be daring and try that path not normally taken. Yes-there is big risk and many things could be a hit and miss, the whole idea in a restaurant like "c" is this is why it is here- it is not going to tow party lines and venture down that easy road to please the masses. It is like that way outside jazz player playing stuff like Miles Davis did in the sixties and yes people at first thought he was a flake and many just did not understand.

A slight comparison is with classical music- I have not the palate and do not necessarily get into it but I do not criticize the music because I do not like it. This is where critics over the years have really dissed "c"- if the reviewer does not like what they have they will slam the restaurant and yes "c" is a very expensive restaurant by Vancouver standards but in the real world "c" is cheap. They are pricing things according to what it cost and can not charge what they need to charge so they have to adjust the portion size so they can control the unit price. Go out in the Vancouver market and buy all the ingredients and do an a menu exclusively seafood and you will see what things cost. Go out and buy all those expensive plates and flowers and linen and incorporate that into your cost you will be delighted to see " c" is not that bad.

It has it's place in the city and is working towards always moving forward in the creative side of food presentation and it is not always about just a dinner out to fill your belly but create dialog about what it is doing- the fact that "c" is always in one form or another in the media- this is a good thing because press is good press and it is better then no press at all.


Cook To Live; Live To Cook
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Hi Ducky,  I fail to grasp the relevance of the Bourdain witticism. Using that logic you should shuffle down to the lower east side, find a hooker & get her to whip you up some eggs for dinner!!...

The relevance of the Boudrain wittiscism is that surely the principal point of any meal out is to have one's appetite slaked. Just like the principal point of any sex is to have one's desires satisfied.

That is not to say you cannot dress things up with whistles and bells, and snorkels and flippers.

But all the whistles and bells in the world will not compensate for an appetite that is unsatisfied. Just like all the snorkels and flippers will never really replace a seriously passionate bonk.

So, when you get a restaurant that charges you hooker prices, at a very minimum you should have your appetite slaked. Surely! Can you really argue against this?

So, to get back to Boudrain, I think the point was that after eating a number of finely presented and fussy and prissy little dishes, they concluded that the Chef didn't understand anything about the slaking of appetites ( ie. he hadn't been properly f___ed in his life). That is close to how we felt after our last dinner at C - although this sentiment may do a disservice to the owners of C.

I hope this explanation helps.

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Ducky, Thanks for the comical explanation. I certainly dine with the understanding that i will be able to approach the next day sated & ready for my next meal. I have a good relationship with my appetite although frequently i find when i dine well my appetite can just go off the charts( i believe Lorna has this capacity too :wink:) In such instances i tend to buy more. It is certainly reasonable to expect a degree of value for your hard earned coin, but you know that ingredients, labour, PR, fancy retarded washrooms all cost money- & by walking thro' the door you have accepted this. Unscrupulous restos can pile your plate with carbs & certainly you will be sated- & so primarily YOU will be happy, i guess. I have dropped money in places like Arzak, Berasetegui, Gagnaire, Roellinger....etc. It's only money & i know that it will find it's way to deserving hands(farmers,fishers...etc...), restos like this are necessary, such activities, done well, are valid & i would hate to see such opportunities for an alternative lifestyle that enriches our society disappear. I feel that you have focussed on this failing of C not to fill you up, however food is far more interesting than that, & that other people would be interested to hear a little more of your thoughts concerning the meal- afterall you are supposed to be a resto(i dont think you are a food critic- but that's OK it's the nature of the market here)critic & if only you could get beyond that issue i may get a better idea of what didnt fill you up.


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  • 2 weeks later...

Yes it was a ridiculous explanation of mine. You are quite right to point this out. And I am happy to let sleeping dogs lie on this issue.

I have made a note to never again post here when I have been seriously into the cups.

There is though, this "sacred cow" syndrome in the Vancouver food scene that I take some issue with.

I appreciate the role that "C" plays in this scene. C is important. C is cool. We all worship at the temple of C. etc etc. And "C" is of course just one example.

But when you actually go to "C" (three times in a row in our case ) and leave each time feeling hungry, and then when you get the bill, feeling like you have just been worked over by "the gimp" -- something is wrong.

And my point is simple. We may quibble about the food and the presentation - but if you are not even well fed after $120 per person - something has gone adrift. Something fundamental.

Call me old-fashioned.

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