Dine Out Vancouver 2008 – Unwine’d

Updated on 10th January 2011: This restaurant had been closed according to Urbanspoon.com.

Suanne and I sort of gate crashed into Joseph and Elizabeth’s Dine Out. When we found out that they are going to Unwine’d, we asked if we could tag along too. We met Joseph in the “chowtimes dinner” at Tong Kung about a couple of months ago.

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Unwine’d has strange name. It must have been a play on the words Wine and Unwind. It is described as a wine and tapas lounge, quite evidenced by the variety of casual table settings. The place is really dim and again both Suanne and I had so much trouble reading in the dark. I think we should just get ourselves one of those mini torchlights for the dine outs.

Hated the choice of music. The constant pounding was simply too much for Suanne and I. But we were not surprised with the choice of music as the place was teeming with a really young crowd.

We got ourselves a high tables with stools right in front of a TV and the bar. There was a Canucks game on the TV that night but I did not pay much attention to the game. It was simply too painful to watch … the Canucks had been losing an awful lot of games of late, including the one that night.

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Joseph and Elizabeth ran a bit late and for us, we were early. Got myself a Stella. The Stella Artois seems to be a popular “imported” beer in Vancouver — at least that is my perception. I said “imported” because I think it is brewed under license in BC. What I like about this Belgian lager is that it’s light.

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As an appetizer, the Lobster Butternut Bisque was a good start. Made from Atlantic lobster and butternut squash, it is lighter than I expected from a bisque. Despite that, it was flavorful and does leave a lasting after-taste for quite a while.

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The other appetizer we had was the Crab Cake. This one is much, much bigger than the two coin-sized ones that we had in Ouisi. It is packed densely with filling of dungeness crab, roasted chipotle aioli and a poached pear papaya, mango salsa. Really nice.

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The Mango Pecan Salad plating was nice. It’s a mix of organic greens, mango, mascarpone (a kind of cream cheese) and candied peacan — and dressed in balsamic vinaigrette. Balsamic vinaigrette is a common dressing used in Italian salads.

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Elizabeth had the Tenderloin Wellington. Basically, beef wellingtons are beef wrapped in puff pastries together with ingredients such as mushrooms, caramelized onions. It was served with seasonal vegetables and a blue cheese demi.

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I had the Ahi Tuna. I find that the sesame seeds overwhelmed the taste of the tuna. Otherwise, it would had been great. I know Arkensen and Nanzaro would love this.

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Since Suanne never did like raw stuff like sashimi, she had the Portabella Mushroom by herself. Portabella mushrooms are one of the tastiest mushrooms ever grown and to some people swears that it tastes like beef. Not only that, it is big and thick and does make a good dish.

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Elizabeth had Tiramisu for her dessert. The espresso, mascarpone cheese, marsala, cocoa and dark rum served with lady fingers dessert looks extremely creamy.

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Guess who had the Lime Cheesecake. It was rich and creamy but really, we could not detect much of lime. The best part of this is actually the smoked applewood cheddar by the side — it was great.

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I had the Panna Cotta, a very popular Italian dessert. It was smooth and had a somewhat like a marshmallow texture. The accompanying gingerbread biscotti was “chewy” … not good.

Suanne and I enjoyed the company of Joseph and Elizabeth. We do find that Joseph in particular is true-blue foodie. He sure knows a lot about food … not just eating but also making it. We sure have a lot to learn from him.

This is a $25 prix-fixe menu which according to Joseph was a pricier than last year’s Dine Out when it was just $15. At $15 it would had been a steal but even at $25, it was good value for money. The total bill between the four of us came up to just $130 including drinks, tips and taxes.

We had a great time … and thanks again, Joseph/Elizabeth for allowing us to gate-crash into your dine out!

Unwine'D Restaurant on Howe on Urbanspoon

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  1. See, I am just not comfortable in places like these. I’m more of a restaurant type of gal than a hot trendy nightspot person. If I go to a bar it’s usually for karaoke and in a sports pub, but I don’t go out dancing or anything like that.

    I LOVE the new look for your blog, by the way!!!

  2. Hi Ben and Suanne, it was fun having dinner with you that night. It was fascinating to learn about the best restaurant in the world (El Bulli) as you told us. I’ve now added that to my bucket list, together with The French Laundry and Perse. Wish we can have another Chowtimes Banquet ChowDown soon.

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