Friday, 12 October 2012


Tonight I headed out for dinner and drinks with two of the fittest ladies I know.  Lucky for me, they love eating as much as they love working out!

One of the ladies had heard that there was a great new restaurant in Gastown so we decided to check it out, and boy was her source right!  The restaurant itself was awesome.  Classic Gastown: brick walls, open wooden beams, wooden floors, gorgeous wooden tables, funky old school seats.  It was brilliant!  Plus, I loved all of the little details.  One whole side of the restaurant was lit by Thomas Edison style lightbulbs hung from antique pulleys.  It was hands down the greatest light fixture I've ever seen.  There was an open kitchen that was very well lit and provided great entertainment, but somehow none of the light from the kitchen spilled out into the rest of the restaurant.  You almost felt like you were watching a movie of people preparing food.  Plus, the shelves underneath the counter that they prepared food on was full of canning!  It made me want to run home and make some more spicey beans.  And the music was wonderful...everything from classic oldies to re-mixed "No diggity, No doubt" to today's music.  Needless to say, I was a fan of the on to the food!

Our first order of business was ordering cocktails.  It was quite the unique list...I loved it!  I ordered the Rickety Fence (Apple Cider, Lillet, Averna, Lime and Aromatic bitters)...delicious!!  My favourite part was the amazing antique glassware that our cocktails came out in.  We asked the server whether they truly were antique glasses or new ones that looked like old ones and he said that they were originals.  That the fellow who owns the restaurant (Josh I believe) goes to estate sales and enjoys antiquing.  He owns Diamond as well, and I guess between the two he's acquired quite the collection.  It definitely added some extra fun to our cocktails.  As for our server, he was absolutely lovely!  He was a lot of fun, extremely knowledgeable about the food, and attentive but not over-bearing.  I truly felt like they'd found him serving in a tux at a fancy restaurant and pulled him out of there, put him into a flannel shirt and popped a newsboy cap on him.  He definitely made our dining experience that extra bit wonderful.

As for the food, we ordered a bunch of dishes so we could all try a little bit of everything.  I'll let the pictures speak for themselves...the food was delicious! 

Crispy pork skin, spiced salt.  Very yummy but a bit more oily than crisp in my opinion.  They stuck to my teeth like crazy!  I prefer the pork skins at Bitter Tasting Room, but these were still nice.

 Applewood-smoked foie gras torchon, elderberries, spiced brioche.  Very good.  I'm not a big foie gras eater, so I don't have many experiences to compare it to, but my eating companions absolutely loved it! 

Aged ham plate, honey-whipped butter, mustard.  This was heaven on a plate!  The ham was delicious. 

Chewy beet salad, salted pears, goat milk ricotta, crispy milk.  This was good.  A little bit less flavourful than other beet salads that I've had, but it was good.

Olive oil-poached halibut, whey sauce, grilled leek, olive oil roasted potatoes, dill oil.  This was hands-down the best dish of the night for me.  The halibut was cooked to perfection.  It literally felt like it was melting in your mouth.  And those potatoes...I need to learn how to make those at home because they were amazing! 

Dry-aged  Angus beef ribeye, roasted potatoes, hay jus, arugula salad.  Extremely flavourful and scrumptious. 

Heirloom grapes in texture, grape sorbet, skyr (aerated Swiss yogurt), mint.  This was a flavour explosion like no other I've ever tasted.  It literally verged on a food orgasm!  The skyr is the white foam that the purple grape sorbet is sitting on.  It tasted like cheesy whipped cream, but so much lighter.  The grape sorbet was out of this world, and the concord grapes and mint powder on top just made everything explode in your mouth! 

64% single origin Maralumi chocolate sorbet, celery root, colee essence, walnuts.  This, I'm not going to lie, was not a favourite of mine.  My eating companions were not a fan of the celery root and chocolate flavours together.  For me it was more the fact that the sorbet tasted more coffee-ish than chocolate-ish.  Its saving grace was that it tasted better sandwiched by sips of delicious red wine.  A little disappointing to end on this plate, but overall a lovely evening and dinner.
Things to note: (1) As delicious as the plates are, they are not massive.  We were full by the end of our meal but not stuffed.  We concluded it was the perfect amount of food, but had we been quite hungry we would have needed a bit more to eat.  (2) I was expecting it to be quite an expensive meal but was pleasantly surprised.  Definitely not a cheap meal, but it was reasonable.  (3) They take reservations.  The restaurant was pretty much packed the whole time we were there, so I'd recommend making a reservation.  (4) The restaurant has only been open seven weeks, so get in there and start eating before people hear about it! 


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