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Forage, Chaîne des Rôtisseurs

Tonight we were at the latest Chaîne des Rôtisseurs meet up, braving the weather and rain for a meal celebrating the season’s bounty; featuring BC products and BC wines at Forage.

As guests entered we were greeted with the customary glasses of sparkling wine. This was the 2019 La Frenz Aster Brut from Naramata Bench, with refills available for those who were able to finish their glass or failed it save any to pair with the first course.

As we mingled and caught up there were small bites passed around. A whole Bison meatball in a tomato ragu, topped with alpina cheese and baked basil. This was a hearty and filling bite. Meaty as expected, a tad dry in the middle, but helped by the generous amount of tangy sauce.

My favourites canapé was the spoon of Albacore tuna tartare topped with a sous vide quail egg yolk. This was delightfully fresh with an enjoyable creaminess to it, courtesy of the raw yolk.

The Corn bread bite was unexpected. It had an omelette like quality to it and wasn’t as crumbly as I knew corn bread to be. What stood out the most was the contrast of the sharp Vancouver Island cheddar and the spicy honey spread over top. Although I wish I had more of the latter as it was fairly dry morsel.

When time, guests were invited to their assigned seats for the customary cheers “vive la Chaîne“, and our meal service began.

Paired with our sparkling above was the Baked Pacific Oyster with bone Marrow Butter. This was a warm slurp and more saucy cream than seafood. The oyster felt lost, hidden underneath it all.

Next course we had more from the “Sea” with Citrus Cured Kuterra Salmon, Ikura, Basil, and Squid Ink Puff; in a Cilantro Chili Dressing. I made out the unique flavour of fish sauce, that made the dish popped. Overall was a bright and tangy start with lush and thick slices of salmon.

The wine pairing here was the 2022 Corcelettes “Oracle” Rosé from Keremeos, Similkameen. A refreshing bouquet with notes of apple and other orchard fruits.

Our next course came from the “Soil”. Kennebec Potato Gnocchi, Chilliwack Corn, Jalapeño, Tarragon, Brown Butter Crumb, and Neufchâtel Cheese. This was incredibly satisfying. Sweet with the corn and salty from the butter crumb. A great bite with chewy gnocchi as the base. I would order this one again.

This was paired with an acidic white in the 2021 Solvero Chardonnay from Summerland, in the Garnet Valley. The citrus notes lends itself to lightening the richness of the potato and cheese.

From the “Land” we had a Bison Striploin Steak with Haricots Verts, Bison Short rib and Tongue Croquette, Garlic Scape and Chimichurri. This was a well stacked plate, unlike other finer dining options with limited portions. Everything was delicious alone, yet also came together cohesively. The striploin was perfectly pink at its centre. It was nice to have it and more beef in the crispy croquette. Served alongside beans with a snap and a zesty and spicy chimmichuri for freshness.

For our wine pairing the group indulged in the 2018 Le Vieux Pin Artakama Syrah from Oliver, Black Sage Bench. This was the magnum sized bottle decanted for 2 hours prior to dinner. The richer red went well with the heavier plate.

And seeing as there was a bone marrow on each plate, I splurged on a bottle of Sherry so that my table mates could take part in the tradition of the bone marrow luge. Pouring a shot of Sherry into each person’s mouth by way of the bone, acting as a slide. It was a fun novelty experience, but it didn’t have the same umph as the bone marrow was used as a prop and thus scraped clean of its gristle.

Sadly there was no dessert wine to end on, but at least the dessert was a winner. The Neufchâtel Cheesecake is a 110° Baked Cheesecake with a Shortbread Crumble, Gin-Spiked BC Peaches, and Peach Sorbet. A delightful end and palate refresher with sweet peaches and an effervescent fizz from the sorbet, adding levity to the creamy cake base.

And thus our night ended on a high and I enjoyed every plate in this culinary celebration of the Autumn Harvest and BC Wines.

1300 Robson St, Vancouver, BC V6E 1C5

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