May 16, 2009
We always love wining and dining around Vancouver, British Columbia, and inevitably start our culinary journey with lunch at Joe Fortes Seafood & Chop House, a long-running seafood restaurant just off Robson Street, the main artery in downtown.
But sad to report that my entrée, actually an appetizer dish called Joe’s Raw Plate and designed for sharing, was a muddled mess of tasteless pumpkin-seed vinaigrette (that looked more like a pesto sauce), overly sweet pomegranate molasses, and too many pickled onions. At least the fish itself, smoked salmon and albacore sashimi, were okay.
Still, you just gotta love the wine list here, which features an incredible selection of BC wines by the glass and by the bottle.
Triple Soy-Seared Tuna Tataki, an appetizer at the venerable Diva at the Met in the Metropolitan Hotel, was one of the most beautiful presentations we’ve ever seen. Its multiple layers included cucumbers, pickled shiitake salad, and soy “caviar,” while the dots on the plate included a kazu emulsion. This dish paired nicely with a cool glass of Blue Mountain Pinot Grigio.
More beautiful presentations, of a Nigiri Sushi Sampler plate, at Blue Water Cafe & Raw Bar in trendy Yaletown. Among the yummy nibbles: Unagi, scallop, salmon, halibut, tuna, mackerel, shrimp, and a California roll in a glorious egg wrap. I enjoyed sipping glasses of 8th Generation 2006 Riesling and See Ya Later Ranch Brut with this dish.
The just-opened Market in the glittery Shangri-La Hotel in downtown, the creation of Jean-Georges Vongerichten, was a delight. . .and packed. Definitely the “hot” reservation to have during the Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Festival. Here’s a lovely appetizer–Seared Scallops with Caramelized Cauliflower and Caper-Raisin Emulsion–the perfect fusion of sweet and salty.
Vancouver may be the city of cool restrooms (or washrooms, as the Canadians say). Market’s had black granite slabs for walls and square milky glass sinks with square fixtures.