In this post, I am back with my food blogger friends, and we have chosen, yet another restaurant we all haven’t tried, and all wanted to, for our latest meet up. Dinner with the prospect of pooling our opinions together, and conversing over something we all have in common.
We had trouble making reservations online, only to discover an empty dining room before us when we arrived. On this nice day and with their water side view, the patio was fully seated. But we got enough natural light and waves in the distance, from our corner table surrounded by glass.
The restaurant is modern, black and white with splashes of greenery. Checkered floors, black chairs and white tables. All set before a handsome half round bar, facing well stocked liquor shelves. Awe inspiring and a great place to drink.
We arrived in time for happy hour, so indulged in a few of their smaller plates for less. It was $5 for the “Triple cooked fries” now, or you can also have them as a side to mussels or steak during dinner. The fries were steamed, blanched, and the fried. Tasty with the garlic aioli, but also hard to mess up.
The $10 “Seared Humbolt squid with puttanesca would be what I recommend. Two pieces for $3 less than on the normal menu. The texture of the spongy squid was the highlight. I wanted more of it, than the sauce of garlic, tomatoes, anchovies, olives, and olive oil. The olives overwhelmed the dish, I would have left them out all together.
With the $10 happy hour “Roasted cauliflower” you save $2. Firm cauliflower florets well seasoned and flavoured with lemon, almonds, and salsa verda. And overpowering with dill. Overall fine, but we all have had cauliflower we liked better elsewhere.
You save $4 on their “Short rib croquette” between 4-6pm. Breaded and fried ovals with Romesco sauce, parsley, and pickled shallots. Although I didn’t taste any of the above. Instead, this dish was incredibly bland. You got some flavour from the sauce the croquette sat in, but even that needed more seasonings. It was just tangy, where I wanted to taste the flavour of the meat itself.
For drinks they had a $4 “Aperol spritz”, with Segura Viudas, orange slices, and soda. A classic.
I tried their “Celeri fizz” out of curiosity. I am always interested in discovering another savoury cocktail to add to my list, this was not it. Sipsmith gin, pressed celery juice, berentzen apple liquer, and lemon. It was bland and drank more like celery water than a cocktail. I was not impressed, and our waiter was kind enough to take it off the bill for me.
Instead, I switched to Thursday’s drink promotion. 1/2 off select bottles of wine, $75 and under. The “La Stella Pinot Grigio 2017 BC” was “like a Chardonnay but not too oaky”, according to David of @pickydiner fame; whom I shared the bottle with.
Areta of @foodgressing popularity enjoyed her mocktail. “Les Mocktails” with earl grey tea, lemon, egg white, and demerara syrups. It gave her the sensation of drinking a cocktail with the coupe and foam top.
Now past 6pm, we ordered the following off their regular menu. The “Steelhead crudo with dill creme fraiche” was my favourite dish of the night. It is pretty start forward, but deliciously done. The texture of the fish was silken and perfectly buttery. Soaked in olive oil and salt it was simple and refined.
The hand chopped “Beef tartare” was citrusy and salty, flavoured with truffle, Parmesan, and parsley. It was served with potato chips, but I would have liked a more dense base with the heavier tartare.
The side order of “Brussel sprouts with pork belly and Parmesan” was okay. It had a good garlicky flavour, but I wanted it crispier. And it would have been more enjoyable if the sprouts were smaller; or simply cut in half, for easier eating.
The “Grilled pork saddle” was pretty good too. Fatty and charred, with sprout leaf slaw, and mustard seed jus. Sharing it 6 ways was enough of a taste, it would have gotten old fast as a single serving.
The “Whole deboned trout” came butterflied, whereas I read it as head to tail, served on a plate. It was browned in butter, served with green beans and almonds. A solid dish with tender fish, and crispy beans, all deliciously flavoured with butter.
The “House made fettuccine” is a safe order. Dry pasta noodles flavoured with preserved lemon, tarragon, and leeks. Served with plenty of calms. All together a fresh and lemony dish that left you feeling light.
The “Short rib polenta” was a much better interpretation than what was in the croquette. Tender meat that fell off the bone. Deep and dark with a spiced wine jus. A specific flavour that I was not a fan of. I did however like its drippings mixed in with the silken polenta paste.
The “Veal chop” in browned butter, with arugula, cherry tomato, and lemon was also bland. It was a meaty offering, great texture with a bit of fat; it just needed some sauce.
Would I come back? – Yes.
Would I line up for it? – No.
Would I recommend it? – No.
Would I suggest this to someone visiting from out of town? – No.
Everything was just okay, so we didn’t look into dessert. It was a lovely dinner with good friends, in a beautifully done restaurant with a gorgeous view. However there was nothing different or outstanding about their food menu to bring us directly back again for dinner. Instead I work suggest this as a watering hole. A first stop on a bar crawl. Don’t deny your cravings.
550 Denman St, Vancouver, BC V6G 3H1