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VANCOUVER - Trip report - mid-September short visit

Jen and Scott Lehr Nov 7, 2005 01:14 PM

We posted in late August to get recommendations for a short visit in September. Finally getting around to a report.

The first night we ate at the Banana Leaf - we each had a seafood curry - it was good, but not outstanding. But we were short on time and didn't want to walk far. Friendly service and nice atmosphere.

We dined at West on the big birthday evening - we chose West based on recommendations, and because they offered a vegetarian tasting menu. The meal and service both were excellent. We had the tasting menu with wine pairings - beware: the wine pairings are full glasses, not the usual 1-2 oz. pour. We left the restaurant a little snockered. This was the menu with pairings -- all delicious:

Multicolored beetroot salad with warm marcella goat cheese, candied walnuts and sherry vinaigrette; Chateau de Sancerre 03, Sancerre (the goat cheese on the salad was warm - mmmmm.....)

Risotto of British Columbia chanterelle and Pemberton sweet corn; Willm Pinot Blanc "reserve" 02, Alsace (this course had us swooning)....

Potato and leek ravioli with black winter truffle buerre blanc and shaved parmesan; Cedar Creek Chardonnay 02, Okanagan Valley (Black winter truffle buerre blanc - need I say more? Decadent and wonderful)

Selection of cheese with raisin walnut bread; Taylor 10 year old tawny (the port was such a nice match to the excellent cheese selection and bread)

Dark chocolate kumquat millefeuille; vanilla ice cream truffle; Venturi Schulze Brandenburg No. 3 2003, Vancouver Island (yummmmmm)

Petit Fours

The experience was awesome but very spendy - we left with our wallets much, much lighter. The atmosphere was busy, lots of personal attention given to each table. Very impressive.

The next night we went to Bin 945 (I hope I got the # right - I'm doing this from memory) - this was actually more our style of place - casual, nice lighting, cozy............the food and wine were absolutely perfect for our mood - very reasonable prices as well. We started with crab cakes with a chipotle sauce over greens - spicy and good - lots of fresh crab...........had the prawn and scallop skewers (wonderful) and the spinach salad with crispy calamari and cucumber vinaigrette - this was a very pleasant surprise! The crispy calamari was some of the best calamari we've ever tasted. Two of the dishes were garnished with some sort of caviar - we have never been caviar fans - but this particular caviar had a very mild flavor and slight crunch. We're going to be much more brave about caviar in the future.......for our last course we had the garlic mashed potatoes - what a treat!

We had an outstanding visit and can't wait to return! Everyone was so friendly and the city is beautiful.

Thanks for the recommendations.

  1. m
    Mooshmouse Nov 8, 2005 08:25 PM

    If you enjoyed your dining experience at Bin 941/942, you should be sure to check out Cru on your next visit to Vancouver. The vibe is halfway between West and the Bins, more subdued yet still relaxed and casual, and the food is fabulous. In fact, I've had some of my best meals at Cru sitting right at the bar.

    Website is noted below FYI.


    Link: http://www.cru.ca/

    1. t
      Tha Groovin' Gourmet Nov 8, 2005 03:53 AM

      Thanks for the report...glad to hear of another impressive outing to West.

      Yes...it is spendy. After the exchange rate it wound up being the most expensive meal (and best) I have shared with my wife, and worth every penny from either side of the border.

      That warm Marcella goat cheese is incredible, isn't it?

      And I really wanted that risotto and the leek ravioli, but I was talked into the other tasting menu.

      1. r
        roxie Nov 8, 2005 03:18 AM

        We so loved the bin we hit it twice and ong to go back. We ate at Bishop's for our upscale meal and were underwhelmed. We are heading to BC again this Spring and look forward to more meals at the bin.

        BTW~We also really liked Vij's.

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