Friday, 27 January 2012

O'douls Restaurant and Bar

Our Dine Out experience number two today was much better than last week's, we went to O'douls at 1300 Robson Street, in the edge of downtown Vancouver's shopping district. I've only been to O'douls once before with my parents for breakfast, but I don't think I appreciated the experience back then.

Chicken & pork dish

The ambiance in the restaurant really reminded me of  the Galileo Museum in Florence. The ceiling was decorated with the four points of a compass coupled with a Renaissance inspired map painted over the heads of diners. Tonight's dinner felt rather rushed, and I think it was because our server was a bit too spot on on collecting empty plates.

Pumpkin gnocci with blue cheese

The $28 per person food was a different matter, we were offered a complimentary chicken and pork appetizer, served on a traditional Chinese soup spoon with a spot of tomato sauce on top. Next, I had the pumpkin gnocci with blue cheese, served with 'pickled' walnuts and sage brown butter as the first course. I thought the gnocci was a bit bland, somebody pass me the salt? The plate was also served with blue cheese, which I didn't think was compatible with the gnocci. It was just missing the strong aroma like blue cheese should have. I think I would have been better off with the other option, beets with goat cheese. 

elk carpaccio

Michael had the Canadian Rangeland Elk Carpaccio, with celeriac and caper remoulade, smoked chocolate and shaved parmesan. He said that tasting Elk for the first time was different in a good way, though he wouldn't put it as the same category with beef. It tasted good and he's willing to give elk a second try if he gets the chance. He also said the plate was well decorated and proportioned, and the blend of different ingredients mixed well together.

Wild salmon with herb gnocci

For the entree, I had the Pacific Provider Wild Pink Salmon with herb gnocci, wilted kale, smoked pork hock broth. I know, gnocci again. I tried not to pay too much attention to it. The gnocci agian was bland but this time I had the pork broth, which was very flavourful and went nicely together with the gnocci, giving the moisture to wash everything down. As for the salmon, I gotta say I usually don't like cooked salmon, but this one was spot on. It was very tasty, a combination of juices and the crispy skin on top, heaven when mixed with the pork broth. 

Angus beef with mashed potato

Michael had the Curry-spiced Certified Angus Beef Flank Steak with mashed potato and cumin roti, cucumber and cilantro salad. He said the beef was very flavorful, tender and he could really taste the spices. It arrived perfectly cooked to medium rare, sliced roast-styled into six or seven pieces. The mashed potatos had the taste, but lacked a crispy oven-cooked texture that he had expected. He also left the roti behind, so I gave it a bite, I've had better rotis.

For dessert, we both had the Okanagan Apple Creme Brulee, it came with a wafer looking biscuit, which tricked us - it was hard. I normally love cinnamon but that biscuit was too dry, the taste stuck onto the apples provided for garnish though. Even though they were just apple slices, the taste really improved with a thin cinnamon coating. The creme brulee itself? Top notch. It's one of my all time favourite desserts. 

Creme brulee

I think this week's experience with O'douls could pass for a A-. Next week is also the last week of Vancouver Dine Out, and I'm still in search for that "knock my socks off" feeling. I have one more Dine out to go with Michael, and also next week I am also going to another Dine out with a fellow gal pal of mine - the Yew at the Four Seasons Hotel on 791 West Georgia Street. I read they have poutine and I am REALLY excited. I don't know maybe its the inner-Montrealian of me coming out. But stay tuned!

Follow me on Twitter!

O'Doul's on Urbanspoon

Saturday, 21 January 2012

Five Sails Restaurant

So last night was the first day of Dine Out Vancouver 2012. I've been looking forward to it because I am anxiously hoping to get my socks knocked off this year. For Dine Out's first night, Jan. 20, we went to Five Sails at 999 Canada Place at the Pan Pacific Hotel.

Beef carpaccio with anchovy puree

For $38.00 Michael and I had a three course meal. To start, we both got a complimentary appy, a beef carpaccio with anchovy puree and radish for garnish. It was something light and not too heavy, a good choice to start off our appetite with something like this.

Lobster bisque cappuccino
For actual appetizers, we both had the Lobster Bisque "cappuccino" with fresh Atlantic lobster. This appetizer was a delight. It looked like something I had seen from Iron Chef America that Bobby Flay had made. The plus side was, this bisque really did look like a convincing cappuccino with foam on the top and everything. The bisque was packed with flavour, like O-M-G, it struck every direction in my taste buds.  Did I mention it tasted fabulous? The lobstery goodness was spot on, with generous amounts of lobster bits inside, but also not overwhelming. Definitely a highlight in the meal. I'm still thinking about the taste as I write this, and that bisque-y goodness has my mouth watering all over again! 

Napoleon black truffle infused homemade pasta

For entrees, I had the napoleon of black truffle infused homemade pasta, with sauteed vegetables, and herb butter emulsion. In my opinion, the pasta reminded me of a naked lasagna, but looked nothing like the napoleon dessert, with just the layers of the pasta stacked against one another without the cheese. For those who don't know me, I despise mushrooms, and hate them with a passion. I also rarely eat beef, so the only option I had was the pasta in this case - with was ironically packed with mushrooms - my shroom phobia started kicking in. But since I had a good experience with truffles at The Market by Jean George at the Shangri-la Hotel, I thought I would take a leap of faith with these ones. And to my surprise, it wasn't that bad! The sight of the mushrooms did freak me out a little bit though. The taste was masked through the dish's infused butter that I forgot I was eating mushrooms, but the overall entree experience was 'meh' at best. 

Lobster and pork belly

As for Michael, he had the duo of butter poached 1/2 fresh Atlantic lobster with orange & tangerine scented butter emulsion, a crisp Kurobuta pork belly berry gastrique, roasted squash puree and shiitake mushrooms. He said the pork was very tasty, the lobster was lobster, but his favourite part was the squash puree used as a lobster dip. Coming from a guy that loves meat and rarely eats veggies, that squash puree must've been really good. The actual amount  of food didn't fill him up, but he said that the dish was very well decorated and presented. Simple yet classy. 

Crisp phyllo pastry with chilled lemon cream

Last but not least, the dessert - pretty mediocre, but pretty. Michael isn't a dessert fan and I'm not a huge fan of fruits, unfortunately. I had the crisp phyllo pastry with chilled lemon cream, salted caramel sauce, roasted pear and golden pineapple warm sour cherries. In my opinion, I would have been perfectly happy with just the phyllo and the cream nothing more. I simply just ignored the pear and berry garnish. YUCK! 

Pavlova with fruits

Michael's dessert was interesting, it looked really funky, but other than that he thought it tasted okay. Overall I think this Dine Out experience was a fair pass, if I were to grade it I would give it a B-. I wouldn't say it knocked my socks off like how I hoped, but Michael and I do have two more Dine Out experiences coming up. 

This coming week, I am also going to a Dine Out, not with my boyfriend, but with my best friend. Since it is frowned upon for me to talk about food adventures that I didn't share with Michael, I would like to give a shout out to my bestie! We are going to Italian Kitchen on Burrard Street to pay homage to a special Italian someone. I know we will have a fabulous time there because she and I always have a great time wherever we go, even if it's just to watch paint dry.

Stay tuned for next week's Dine Out!

Follow me on Twitter!

Five Sails on Urbanspoon

Friday, 13 January 2012

George's Taverna

Our day ran short today because I had school and I have a pretty pathetic Friday school schedule. So Michael and I weren't expecting much from a meal today. We decided to eat at George's Taverna at 130-3760 Moncton Street in Steveston Village, one of the local takeout restaurants.

George's Clubhouse

The restaurant can be seen in parts in the show one of my favourite shows, Once Upon a Time, you can spot it if you look close enough. This place is one of our favourite casual dining places to go when we're hungry. Michael has been going to this place since his high school days and introduced me to the place a few years ago. They serve traditional Greek style food  like pita wraps, souvlaki, and saganaki! Who doesn't like fried cheese?

Fries with honey mustard

I usually get the chicken donair but today I was really hungry. So we both ordered the Georges Clubhouse, $9.45, a mix of pork, bacon, cheese, lettuce and tomatoes squished between two slices of pita bread. The dishes also come with sides of fries, which are absolutely to die for. They are lightly salted and seasoned with spices and goes perfecto with their house-made honey mustard - what is suppose to meant for chicken strips but we dip it in fries. It's like a taste of mustard heaven.

Calamari with tzatziki sauce

To end up off with this hearty meal we even shared an appetizer of  crispy calamari for $8.95 with fabulous tzatziki sauce.

Oh, and everything here is served in extra large portions. If you ever visit, you can also eat knowing all the cooks have been with the restaurant for years. The staff's ability to be consistent in both taste and presentation is definitely one of their strengths.

Follow me on Twitter!

George's Taverna on Urbanspoon

Friday, 6 January 2012

Steveston Seafood House

Me and Michael were suppose to go to a restaurant I had been wanting to try for awhile in Vancouver. But we got lazy and decided to stay local.

We ended up going to Steveston Seafood House on 3951 Moncton St in Steveston Village. This place is one Michael's favorite places to eat. They offer fish steak instead of the more usual fried fish. Tonight we ordered our regular, we started off with the Appetizer Platter for $11.25 per person, it served  prawns, scallops, smoked salmon, crab cakes, shrimp, calamari and fresh shucked oysters.

Appetizer Platter

The marinara sauce on the side went lovely together with the prawns and  cakes.  For our entree I got my usual Seafood Penne in a creamy tomato sauce, a medley of halibut, salmon, scallops, and prawns, for $20. The large plate was too much for me to eat, I did the best I could. Michael had the Misoyaki Sablefish for $25. He said that it was little salty for his liking, but other then that he had a blast eating at the restaurant. He always does.

Seafood Penne

Steveston Seafood's environment is pretty ordinary with a few fishing and boat decorations. This restaurant is not a place where I would bring a lot of our young friends to, but it seems to draw many of the senior locals around the area. With the total coming to $91.22 including tip I would say this dinner was a fair success! I know for sure Michael would want to return to this restaurant pretty soon.

Misoyaki Sablefish

On a side note, Vancouver Dine Out 2012 is coming soon. Michael and especially myself are looking forward to this culinary adventure. I am extremely looking forward to it because, out of all the times I have been to dine out I have never experienced a restaurant that knocked my socks and left me feeling WOW! and each year I always look forward to finding this experience. Hopefully this year I will get what I want from one of these restaurants. Fingers crossed.

Follow me on Twitter!

Steveston Seafood House on Urbanspoon