Thursday, 18 October 2012

My day of eating: Victoria, Joe Fortes and Don Francesco

Today was literally a day of eating.  How I managed to fit in a full day of work as well is beyond me.

It all started off with a birthday dim sum lunch at Victoria.  It consisted of the gorgeous (inside and out) birthday girl, two of my other closest girlfriends, and one of the cutest baby girls known to mankind!  Getting to share lunch with three of the loveliest ladies I could ever be lucky enough to call friends was a real treat.  I'll let the photos do the talking with regards to the food.  Thanks for the fabulous lunch ladies!

Steamed shrimp cannelloni.  If you look very closely, you may also see the birthday girl's stunning dress.  It's a favourite of mine!

Pan-fried squid.

Gai lan, spring rolls and shrimp dumplings.

Chicken chow mein.

One lonely steamed pork dumpling.  Have no fear, he was reunited with the rest of his dim sum friends in the birthday girl's belly shortly after this photo was taken!
My photo regret?  Not taking a photo of the baby girl's outfit.  She had ruffles on her bum!

After work, my day got even better.  My Dad happened to be in town so I was able to spend the evening visiting with him!  We started off with a drink at Joe Fortes and discovered they have happy hour!  Who knew?  As far as I could figure out, their cocktails and appies are 50% off, and they have $1 oysters until 6pm.  We most definitely couldn't resist some appies, so I had a few scrumptious oysters and we split a prawn cocktail.  The best part?  The teeny tiny tabasco they gave me for my oysters.  Now I can carry it around in my purse and will never be without hot sauce!
Who doesn't love a couple of oysters every once in a while?

 When they said prawns, they meant prawns.  There was nothing shrimpy about these shellfish.

The teeny tiny tobasco!
Our next order of business was dinner.  My Dad was in town for business which meant I had to share him with the fellow he works with over dinner.  However, since my Dad has worked with the same fellow since I was 7, it goes without saying that I've known this fellow for quite some time and it was really nice to see him and hear how he and his family are doing.  The fellow my Dad works with is Italian and his favourite restaurant in Vancouver is Don Francesco's so we headed there.
I'd never been to Don Francesco's before.  It's quite a bit more fancy than the restaurants I normally frequent, so when I first walked in in my black and white polka dot rain boots I started to think maybe I should have left my work shoes on and braved the rain.  However, it didn't take me long to realize that the people who work there were spectacular and the atmosphere was more about enjoying your fabulous food and drink than caring about what you were wearing.  And when I say fabulous, I mean fabulous.  It was hands down the best italian food I've ever had in Vancouver.  Hopefully the photos will convey the yumminess.
To start, my Dad and I split the Caprese Salad Con Fogliolini Verdi (Small bite size pieces of fresh mozzarella bocconcini with sliced tomato, fresh basil, extra virgin olive oil and garnished with small seasoned mesculin greens) and the entertaining Italian man at our table had the West Coast of Mexico Crab, Lobster and Avocado Salad Ensalada De Cangrejo, Langosta Y Aguacate (Avocado, crab, lobster meat, chopped shallots, extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice, touch of fresh mayonnaise).  Both were amazing and full of flavour.  I would warn you that if you're looking for a traditional crunchy salad, the crab and avocado salad may not be the one for you.  It is more of a melt in your mouth salad but the flavours are amazing.  Apologies for the lack of photos, I forgot to take them.
My out of this world Squash Agnolotti (Dumpling style pasta filled with squash, cheese, herbs, with a sauce of fresh tomato, onion, white wine, black truffle puree).  The flavours were unbelievable.  I really don't know how to describe it other than delicious!
My Dad's Gnocchi Al Pomodoro e Basilico (Tomato sauce, fresh basil, herbs). He absolutely loved this dish.  I managed to wrangle a taste from him and I would have to agree that it was scrumptious.  It literally melted in your mouth.  
The Italian man's Rack of Lamb with mushroom risotto and fresh vegetables.  From the moment we sat down, the Italian man couldn't say enough about the mushroom risotto and really wanted us to try it.  I enjoy risotto but, to be honest, I've never found it mind-blowing.  That was until I tried this mushroom risotto.  It was perfectly mouth wateringly good.  I'd highly recommend it.
For dessert, my Dad and the Italian man each had Tiramisu.  I'm not a huge fan of Tiramisu because I don't like coffee.  I did try a piece of my Dad's and it tasted good for Tiramisu.  On the other hand, my Dad loves Tiramisu and he gave this Tiramisu the highest compliment I've ever heard him give: "This tiramisu is the best Tiramisu I've ever had at a restaurant.  It's almost as good as your Mom's homemade Tiramisu."  Holy toledo!
Despite the fact that I hadn't been able to finish my meal, I knew that this was one of those restaurants that you just had to have dessert because you'd regret it if you didn't.  So, I took one for the team and ordered the Limoncello Parfait with fresh berries.  It was light, refreshing, and scrumdidliumptious!  The two triangles were almost like a cross between lemon cheesecake and lemon ice cream pie.  The flavours were heavenly and it was just what the doctor ordered because somehow I managed to polish the entire thing off!
As delicious as the food was, though, the best part of the dinner was getting to spend time with my Dad.  Thanks for the visit Dad! 
Things to note: After my day of marathon eating, I anticipate that my posts in the near future will be more related to recipes than to restaurants.  Stay tuned!

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