The Dine Out Vancouver 2007 event is held from January 19th to February 4th. One can enjoy delectable three-course prix fixe (fixed price) menus at some of the hottest restaurants for $15, $25 or $35 per person. We went to only one event last year (see here). This year we planned for quite a few. This is our series on Dine Out Vancouver 2007.
The first restaurant we went to was the Herons Restaurant and Lounge. It is at the Fairmont Waterfront Hotel which is located just across the street from Canada Place.
Locating the place is easy but finding an affordable parking space is not. Count on paying something like $10. We booked for a table two weeks in advance for a 5:30pm seating.
We have never been here before. Herons is quite large with tall ceilings and windows all with a view … of the street! They opened at 5:30 pm for dinner. We were the first there.
Table setting were elegant. We noticed that even the table cloth is embroidered with the Fairmont Hotels logo. The service was prompt and attentive, despite the fact that we are one of those “water only” customer. I always hated to see the service change when we did not order drinks. This place is different.
We started off with the usual basket of bread. The butter was perfectly soft.
For appetizers, I ordered the Wild Mushroom Cappuccino. This is served in a unique dual plate — with one “cappuccino soup” and the other a brioche shaped like a spoon with warm mushroom salad.
The waiter came by and described in detail what is it that was served and told us how to eat them. We were to put the brioche spoon with the mushroom salad into the soup. This gives extra texture to the soup. The soup is foamy and had a hint of hazelnut. This is one of the best appetizers we had.
Suanne order the Butter Lettuce Salad with Oven Roasted Pears, Walnuts and Blue Cheese. It was a pretty ho-hum salad. The blue cheese tastes terrible. We are not a fan of blue cheese and as hard as we try to enjoy it, we just can’t understand why some people consider this a delicacy. We’ll stay away from blue cheese next time.
For the second course, I had the Roasted Strip Loin, Mushroom Ragout and Chestnut Bread Pudding. The bread pudding is flavourful, made from broiche and egg white. We were told that the Mushroom Ragout (pronounced ra-goo) took 30 hours of reduction of Veal stock and Chardonnay. The color of the ragout looked very appetizing with the mushrooms and asparagus.
The plates were hot when served and I mean really hot.
The AAA quality strip loin were a bit too tough and lean for us. Are strip loin supposed to be tough? I thought that they are one of the better cuts and tender.
Suanne ordered the Pan Seared Artic Char with Roasted Fingerling Potato, Briased Cabbage and Gribiche. This one looked so good when served. We moved the plate too fast and the decorations fell over.
Never heard of Char before today. Apparently, it is a kind of trout with a salmon-like pinkish flesh. The char is pan seared and then finished in the oven to lock in the juice. This gives the outside a hard crusty and chruncy texture.
The Char is topped with Creme Fraiche and Artic Char Caviar. The rich gravy us made of corn chowder with baby root vegetables and fennel. This dish was absolutely delicious.
We had no choice for dessert. The dessert today was the Chocolate Mint Dome with Crystallized Spearmint and Matcha (powdered green tea) Creme Glace. The Green Tea ice-cream was OK but the chocolate dome was something else.
The outside is a chocolate mouse with a chocolate cake base. Inside the dome is a creamy, minty filling with some black tasteless “thingy” — can’t figure out what it is exactly but perhaps is just some chocolate sprinkles to add texture. This is garnished with a crystalized spearmint.
We had a great time out. The service was top-notch. We were always addressed by our names which I felt was a good touch on their part. The waiter was really patient and offered to explain the food presented to us. This really help us appreciate the food better. The food was great for some part but admittedly is unexciting in others.
The total bill including tips came up to $85.
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thank you for sharing your experience with us – the food looks delicious and a deal for $35! I’m a bit confused though about the total, do they not charge tax for food in bc?
Yes, we do have to pay 6% GST for restaurant food in BC. I should have said that the total is $85 with both taxes and tips.
Chestnut Bread Pudding sounded good.
“We had no choice for appetizers. The appetizer today was the Chocolate Mint Dome with Crystallized Spearmint and Matcha (powdered green tea) Creme Glace. ” – Are you talking about appetizers or desserts?
As always, great photos! No photo of the waiter, though. (Just curious!)
$85 including tips was a real deal! Company paid lunches often came up to $150/pax.
Ooooh! I really like Herons.
I’ve been reading your Dine Out Vancouver 2007 posts in reverse order, but I’ve noticed a bit of a pattern. The service is always good, but the food is more ho-hum. I’ve found this to be a problem during Dine Out weeks in California as well. The suspicious part of me always wonders if the restaurants are using poorer quality ingredients or fixing their menus with simpler dishes to help compensate for revanue lost due to the prix fixe prices.
Another blogger’s experiences during San Diego’s Restaurant Week seem to confirm these suspicions:
Plates all looked great. Being a Vancouverite, I must say “JJ’s Fine Dining” is our little secret. A 3 Course meal for $23 is a steal… and coming from a chef i must say the food is hands down top notch. The food is prepared by students under supervision of Canadas best chefs. Food is great and cheap solely because the restaurant is restricted from making profit, due to school policy.
Replying on a blog commonly isnt my thing, but i’ve spent an hour on your site, so thanks for the great infos .