Got my hair done, and when it is short and your stylist curls it, so it is the only time it will look this good, you need to go out to showcase it. And coincidentally @pickydiner had the same idea and mind set. Individually we got primped and together we met up at CinCin for their $30 three course menu. (He starting before me.) Coincidentally running every including today (Wednesday), Thursday, and Saturday, on from now until February 4th. So you only have one week left to take advantage of this deal before they switch into their Dine Out 2021 menu.
Once a restaurant I deemed only for special occasions, now offering everyday dining prices, which was ideal for an impromptu meal as such.
We sat at the bar, because that is the best place to post up when you want to drink, and have the bar managers adjacent to suggest and craft the perfect cocktail for you. Plus great lighting.
The meal began with a complimentary serving of focaccia and potato bread, served with an olive tapenade swimming in quality olive oil. Delicately brined, delicious olives that would make an appearance in my meal again, and just as good then.
The amuse bouche was a shot’s worth of butternut squash soup. Four sips of rich cream, done in all the right ways. A great treat to set the tone of service and caliber to continue.
The following are the cocktails we enjoyed. Keep in mind, we did order them and had them spaced out throughout our multiple course meal.
The Luna Ross’s was a warming cocktail with red wine qualities. Made with Jim Beam bourbon, and Campari, Elisir Gambrinus, lemon, and orange.
The Yamabushi caught my eye as a spicy margarita with Japanese influences. Yuzu, cazadores blanco tequila, grand marnier, and a sprinkle of togarashi over top. It was a refreshing citrus cooler, but didn’t have the savoury umami flavour of the togarashi, as I had hoped.
And taking advantage of our seating, we then begin requesting cocktails not on the menu. Drinks from the vast repertoire of our skilled bartenders. This one was once on CinCin’s bar menu, but has since been retired. They couldn’t recall the name, but did regale us with a story. This was a mix bag: sweet from the egg whites, noteworthy for the liquorice notes, finished off with floral tendencies. It basically tasted as pretty as it looks with lemon juice, gin, egg whites, pineapple, and Liquore Strega. The latter is an Italian spirit with a fun story. The tale goes that a man finds a witch caught in a trap in a forest , he sets her free, and this spirit’s recipe is her gift to him.
We followed that up with a similar cocktail in look. This was the “In Bloom”, the most popular cocktail in the now shuttered West Restaurant. A gin sour with elderflower and cardamom. The pronounced ginger flavour in this made it a great digestive.
And then came the night cap with the popular combination of espresso and Kaluha. A towering glass poured to have a gradient of whites to grey, then brown. Though be sure to drink it quick as the colours do end up merging.
As for food, here is what I ordered, and I want to note how quickly it came out. My first course was the squid, chosen over the Caesar salad, meatballs, and beef carpaccio. A grilled humboldt flying squid with arugula, chili, lemon, and olive oil. This was a beautiful piece of seafood, grill fire forward, but not much flavour otherwise. I would have liked a dipping sauce, some tang to help highlight, even the olive mix over the steak would have been nice here.
When faced between the choices of salmon, veal osso bucco, saffron risotto, or handmade rigatoni pasta; I went for the wood grilled sirloin of beef. It came highly recommend by @pickydiner who only just finished his portion mere minutes before I had arrived. It was a beautiful thick cut, the perfect portion size to satiate you, but also leaving you wanting more. It was prepared the ideal medium rare, a clean slice with a little sawing motion necessary. Similarly it was tender with substantial chewing needed, furthered along by the jelly-like fat that coated it and a smear in the buttery smooth polenta.
For dessert @pickydiner waited for me so we could try both the tiramisu and their doughnuts together. The zeppole is an Italian doughnut with a chocolate caramel sauce for dipping. The dough practically melts in your mouth with how airy and light it is. The dip, a liquid coating that drips, so dig in aplenty.
Truth be told, I am not a fan of tiramisu for its texture or unanimous lack of crunch and chew. But the flavour from the espresso and rum-soaked ladyfingers with coffee mascarpone cream was delicious. I wanted it as a cocktail. Or for this type of texture I rather have panda cotta.
Lastly, our meal ended with another little surprise: a one bit of their made in house guava jelly and lemon madeleine. The cakey madeleine refreshed with citrus and was the texture I wanted from a cake. But the guava was the highlight. A perfect chewy and fragrant drop, that I wish I had a whole bag of, to take home with me.
In short, I highly recommend this prix fixe menu. It is only available for the next week: Sunday, Wednesday, and Thursday. Just before they switch into their Dine Out Vancouver 2021 menu. But if this is any indication of what they will be offering from their choose your own, three course meal they are certainly worth checking out then as well.
CinCin Ristorante + Bar
1154 Robson St, Vancouver, BC V6E 1B2