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The Sandbar Seafood Restaurant, Dine Out 2022

Tonight I converged at Granville Island for the Dine Out Vancouver media preview. And as an added treat, got to experience my first Lyft ride, as they are one of the event’s sponsors.

From January 14 to the 31st, which also happens to be the duration of the event; Dine Out-ers can get 25% of 2 Lyft rides (up to $5 off each). You do so by booking your next ride and applying the promo code: “DINEOUT2022”.

This is a great bonus offer consider the event is about saving, after a more lavish season; and many of the menus have thoughtful wine and drink pairings worth trying.

I was joined by David of @pickydiners and Eileen at @misseileensoo. Our meal would be with Sandbar, the long standing seafood restaurant, located under the Granville Street Bridge. A multi floor, spacious restaurant that includes a wine cellar, a spectacular roof top patio (unfortunately not open this season), and live music nightly.

Between the three of us we were able to try every dish on their Dine Out menu, to be able to make your choice easier, when you visit for yourself. The menu is a listing of classics: recognizable names and familiar ingredients, prepared with the intention to cater to everyone, including vegetarians and vegans.

For appetizers Hoshi’s Nigiri included ebi, hamachi, sockeye, and tuna nigiri. Exactly as expected with soy sauce, wasabi, and chopsticks. Given their in house sushi bar, it is nice to have this option, however I would direct you to their chowder instead.

The Clam Chowder was housemade, prepared New England Style. Hearty with plenty of meaty seafood chunks, as they were not stingy on the clams. Although the soup was a little on the runny side, whereas I would have liked it thicker to match all the bits. Between the three, I gravitated to this one and was not disappointed.

The vegetarian option was a Beet & Arugula Salad with roasted red and golden beets, baby arugula, goat’s cheese, and candied pecans in a balsamic dressing. This was a refreshing start, with a slight sweetness to help jump start the stomach.

For entrees I really enjoyed the Pan Seared Arctic Char, served alongside crispy potato and brussel sprouts, dressed with a guaniciale and maple gastrique; and topped with sunflower seeds, a butter sauce, and a chive oil. The char was fragrant and smokey with a depth of flavour that matched. The plate as a whole was cohesive and well balanced, with a nice mix of textures. You definitely get your money’s worth with this one.

Your vegetarian option is the Truffle Mushroom Gnocchi with heirloom tomatoes, arugula, grana padano, and black truffle butter. The gnocchi was tender and plentiful. The truffle essence was mild, whereas I could have used bold, to better highlight the meaty sliced of salty mushrooms. And the tomatoes offered pops of freshness in between all the earthy flavours.

The Cioppino was your classic seafood offering. A pot of boiled mussels, scallops, jumbo prawns, and fresh fish; in a traditional zesty tomato broth. There were lots to pick through and plenty of sauce for dipping into. And our sever was kind enough to give us a stack of herbed focaccia toast, for us to soak up all the extra broth with.

There are only 2 options for dessert. The thick Belgian Chocolate Pudding was the richer of the two, topped with crunchy pistachio pralines and a lush toffee whipped cream.

The Coconut Tart served as the palate refresher between the two. It was topped with toasted coconut, vanilla custard, caramel sauce, and chantilly for a dessert that offered ways to edit each bite. The tart was coconut forward, similar to that of a macaroon. Its crust was buttery and smooth, reminding us that of an egg tart. And the caramel added additional sweetness for those who wanted it. Between the two, this is my pick.

In closing, Sandbar’s dine out menu is a great reason for Vancouverites to come down enjoy this unique space. The only restaurant that gives dinners a view of the city in the distance, a steel bridge, and a hanging boat. All of which is accompanied by classic and contemporary seafood dishes, and plenty of wine options. We especially recommend their Mission Hill ice wine Riesling with dessert.

The Sandbar Seafood Restaurant
1535 Johnston Street, Creekhouse #102, Vancouver, BC V6H 3R9
(604) 669-9030

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