Is "Feenies" a dud?
No, I don't think so. He really delivers on the menu promise.
The menu has changed since I was there last, no more sirloin steak burger with Fois Gras, but I think you can still get Fois Gras on the Poutine,
Lots of Duck Confit, braises, roasts, sounds warm and yummy for a wetcoast fall.go to http://www.feenies.com/
I say go for it
I would go to Feenies first for lunch, not brunch. I need a few breakfasty options at Brunch, and as far as I know Feenies only serves from their lunch menu. If that is not an issue, I can confidently recommend Feenies from a quality and creativity standpoint. Rob Feenies name is on the place, after all, and I personally have never had a bad experience there in multiple visits. My dining companions though, have said that they werent blown away. I had a new standard set for me for Salade Nicoise last year. No other version before or since compares. Interesting charcuterie choices as well.
I made a reservation for two at Feenie's, the last time I was in Vancouver. I had heard good things about the place. But, upon arrival, I was surprised by how cramped the space was. The table next to ours was practically on top of us. It also was quite loud in there. We ended up leaving.
I havent been to Feenie's for brunch in almost a year but it was great on my visit. Rob Feenie is a talented chef, it is to bad that a loud and cramped space made you leave. It is a bistro after all, hell, when i was in France they sat a gentleman at our table because there was an extra seat. Talk about up close and personal with your other diners.
After a very disappointing trek to Vij's (two hour line up by the time we arrived at 7:30 p.m. yesterday) Feenies turned out to be a more-than adequate alternative. We called ahead to see if any tables were still available and luckily there was one. My husband and I did not particularly enjoy the noise of the place (we were seated near the back at the table diagnal / opposite to the kitchen door) although the view of the kitchen was quite entertaining.
The food itself was quite good with a few exceptions. Before I go into the food aspect I have to give praise to the staff for the high level of service they provided. From the minute we entered until we left they provided a seamless, efficient and unobtrusive service. The waitress was fairly informative about the food and had even tried some of it herself and could therefore describe the food and provide an opinion on what to order! Wowee! We had only one complaint (and I will delve into that in more detail later) and not only did the waitress relay it to the head chef, but the chef himself came out to apologize and comped us two spectacular desserts! Someone who actually cares what their diners think?! MADness!
Lets back up and discuss the food! The bread...plain white bread and butter. But the butter was not rock hard - we could spread it WITHOUT destroying the bread! GENIUS! And the bread itself, simple white bread, was actually quite good. Good bread (IMHO) often signals a good meal to follow.
My hubbie ordered the soup of the day (roasted red pepper) and the prawns, which is apparently a very seasonal thing. I did not try them, but apparently the prawns were tasty. They came whole - head, eyes, legs...EVERYthing. The presentation was quite nice (they were all standing with "tentacles" - for lack of the appropriate term - up in a bowl). It was quite messy to eat, and the bowl of lemon water provided with the meal was actually quite helpful. Neither my husband nor I have ever eaten prawns whole, so there were parts we weren't sure were edible. Unfortunately the waitress was not a whole lot of help on that score, saying merely there were some people who ate everything.
Hubby was not all that impressed with the soup at first and had to salt it quite heavily as the flavour was somewhat weak. But with some salt the soup did improve.
I had the spinach, walnut, goats cheese and prosciutto salad. It was very good, but quite large and I felt compelled to eat the whole thing. I was not hugely hungry for the main after that, My only suggestion would be to reduce the size of the salad and charge less??? The presentation was interesting. The greens, walnuts, and goats cheese in a mound surrounded by prosciutto. The leaves were lightly coated with a light dressing and a light drizzle of what I think was maple dressing added just the right hit of sweet.
On to the mains: hubby ordered the arctic char with potatoes and this latter item came slightly undercooked. Hubby mentioned the potatoes being underdone to the waitress and this was our only major complaint. They more than made up for it with the desserts.
I ordered the beef dip sandwich with fries. Lets preface this by saying I don't think I have ever ordered sandwiches at a nice restaurant. I always figure I can make sandwiches myself at home. Well, I do not regret my choice one bit. That sandwich was delish (no wonder it is one of Feenie's favourites), with an almost crisp white bread, cheese, beef rib meat, beef dip...I was starting to feel full, but there was no way I was leaving any leftovers on the plate! It was way too delish. And the fries were nice too, including presentation. They came in a heated (pewter?) cup, which added a nice touch and served to keep the fries warm. Ketchup and a mayo dip arrived just after the fries, but they were good enough even without a dipping sauce. The beef dip itself I could have lived without - I didn't find it added a whole lot to an already great sandwich, but hey, that could just be me.
Chef's had full discretion for the choice of desserts and MAN DID HE DELIVER! A delicate, citrus-flavoured cheesecake with cookie (wafer) bottom and candied orange zest slivers to add a nice touch to the presentation. I was quite full by the time dessert came (and honestly would have skipped that course altogether if the chef had not so kindly offered them to us) but I ate it all! It went down well with a foamy creamy decaf latte. Just goes to show that St@rbucks is not the only place that can make a latte. hahaha!
My husband's dessert, I cannot for the life of me remember what it was called, but it was a very light and tropical tasting dessert, something like a cross between a pudding and jello. Sorry, I went back to see if I could find the menu online and no luck. Perhaps someone out there has tried this dessert and can clarify what it is?
Overall, here are my ratings:
Food: B+ (presentation: A; taste/flavours: B)
To those who read my long-winded findings, I do apologize for any typos and grammatical errors. It is now the wee hours of the morning here in Toronto and I just got home from my trip to Vancouver. WHAT AN AMAZING CITY - "Beautiful B.C." barely does it justice as a description!
p.s. the chef himself made a brief appearance to sign cookbooks for some of the other diners. I did not expect to see him at all, so that was a nice surprise.