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Gambolling_GourmetNew WestminsterSince December 22, 200819 Reviews
Average Rating
3 (3.1)
  • Food3 (3.2)
  • Service3 (3.1)
  • Value3 (2.8)
  • Ambiance3 (3.2)


Displaying 1 - 19 of 19 Reviews Found
Crepe Des Amis810 Quayside Drive, #105, New Westminster
Crepe Not For Me
Submitted Sunday, January 11, 2015 - 12:36am [Dine in]

I've been to Crepe Des Ami two times. I usually like to go to a restaurant at least three times before I review it, but this was two total strikeouts in a row, so....

I love crepes, when they are made properly.

The first visit I had what they call The Annie, which is butter, lemon, and sugar. This was OK, with what I consider one rather glaring and major flaw: the sugar was not icing sugar (aka Caster sugar), but ordinary white sugar. This is really, really, really wrong. A butter, lemon, and sugar crepe needs to be subtle and delicate on the tongue. Ordinary white sugar ruins it; makes it crystaline crunchy and like eating a sugar cube.

The second time I went I had the Cannes crepe, which has spinach, tomatoes, mushrooms, and cheese -- I ordered without the tomatoes. This crepe was not properly cooked -- well, the crepe was properly cooked, but the filling as not properly cooked at all. It was warmish raw, with the cheese only slightly melted, the mushrooms dry, and the spinach almost cold.

There isn't really any ambience to speak of because it is in the boardwalk mall, and so of course it's a bit noisy, and just sit where you can tables -- but I gave it a three to keep it midrange.

The service staff were OK, doing their job and friendly enough.

Value OK. Even though I was disappointed with the product, I felt the prices were appropriate.

Last note. I knew what to expect in terms of the crepes being whole wheat rather than white flour, but really folks, all trendy vegan trendy veggie trendy healthy stuff aside, crepes, like croissants, should never be anything but white flour. Tsk-tsk.

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Wild Rice810 Quayside Drive, #122, New Westminster
Poor Service; Low Value
Submitted Sunday, January 11, 2015 - 12:28am [Dine in]

I've now been to Wild Rice four times. The first time I went was just a couple of months after they opened. I had a dish that is no longer on the menu; a kind of salad affair, that was OK tasting, but quite small on the portion size.

The second time I went I had the lamb potstickers, which were a disappointment. They seemed to me to be made out of the cheapest cuts of lamb and tasted gamey and somewhat bitter, or sour. Also, the portion was very small for the price.

The third time I went, I had the steamed veg side dish (was not overly hungry), which is so far my favourite dish in terms of flavour and portion size; however, it had only two types of veg in it, and both were green. So, while it tasted good, it was boring. I think it would be a really good idea to spiff it up a bit with a total of four or five, rather than just two, types of veg, and at least one other colour than green. Perhaps carrots and thin sliced beets.

The last time I went I had the green curry. It was very tasty, but I thought the portion was too small for the price.

Every time I went, I was outside on the patio, which I really like. It is comfortable, and very pleasant to watch the river flow and the people meander.

Service was consistent for all four visits, which is to say that it was rather slow, not very friendly, and not particularily interested in whether or not I enjoyed myself.

And I think the prices are consistently too high for what you receive, so low marks for value.

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Boathouse Restaurant, The900 Quayside Dr, New Westminster
I Am a Fan ... Converted.
Submitted Saturday, October 25, 2014 - 3:01pm [Dine in]

I first tried The Boathouse back in 2008, and was rather disappointed after 3 visits.

The first time I went I had a three different types of fish assortment dish, one of which was a small chunk of halibut that was terribly undercooked. It was like a cross between sushi and something seared ... but not seared enough at all; it was cold and mushy. Not nice. I was told "The cook likes to do it that way." Halibut does not work well as warm semi-sushi, in my opinion.

The second visit was OK. I don't remember what I ordered, but I do remember that the service was dreadful; very slow and inattentive.

The third visit I had a sort of paella thingy, which was dry, small, overpriced, and not very tasty, and a cup of chowder which was also rather blah and bland. Service was only just passable.

Anyway, I decided to give it another try in July of this year (2014), and I had the grilled swordfish, and heritage tomato salad. It was excellent; really very good.

I have been back 5 times since then, and each time the food and the service have been first rate. Perhaps they made a major change in management or management operations, I don't know, but I have become a converted fan. And my server has been super: attentive, helpful, friendly. She does what I think all good servers should, which is to enhance the dining experience.

On the negative side, I think most dishes, and certainly the wines, are overpriced. The mark up on the wine seems to hover around the 100% area, which I think is far too high. The twenty ounce beer with a take-home glass is rather nice, although the brew options are very, very limited.

Anyway, as I say, overall I think it's a good dining experience, and I am a Fan. Now.

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Indian Star Restaurant & Sweets420 Sixth Street, New Westminster
Frequent Delivery Flyer
Submitted Saturday, May 3, 2014 - 1:54pm [Delivery]

I have not eaten in-house; I order delivery exclusively, and have been doing so for about a year or so.

Although I am a fan, I will agree with one of the older reviews that said "... after trying more that half of their menu, I feel that they don't have a lot of variety to offer. Most of the curries taste the same, they have like 2-3 signature curries that that use for most of their dishes." It is indeed a rather limited menu.

Nonetheless, that being said, I am a big fan of their food. I think the flavours are excellent -- my current favourite is Saag Alu (curried spinach with potatoes), and while the quantity overall is fairly good, I think the chicken dishes sometimes could use more chicken in 'em -- so to speak.

Delivery time is very good; almost always within 30 minutes, and the food is always really hot -- temp-wise, not spice-wise.

There has been one odd change lately in that the "plain basmati rice" used to be something rather special -- it was not just plain basmati rice, it was a really tasty yellow somewhat puffy rice (it actually looked more like arborio than basmati, but that's neither here nor there, in my opinion); moist and lovely subtle flavours, which was, in my experience, unique. Now it is indeed pretty much just plain basmati rice with some herbs added. I miss the other way they used to do it.

My final word is a caveat, of sorts, in that I do not have very much experience with Indian food, so I cannot vouch to authenticity, but I can vouch that I really like Indian Star's food, and order frequently.

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Fathom Seafood801 Quayside Drive, #116, New Westminster
Okay, Not Great
Submitted Tuesday, October 9, 2012 - 11:27pm [Take-out]

Fathom is not really an eat-in place, although there are a few tables. It's purpose is for takeout, especially for folks to takeout to eat on the patio which, when the weather is good, is a treat.

I've been to Fathom three times now. The first time I had halibut and chips, the second time I had cod and chips, and the third time I had the Boston chowder with the tea biscuit.

For both the halibut and cod meals, the fish was underdone, and was actually a wee bit cool and mushy in the center. I have the impression that that is the way the owner believes it should be done. I prefer my fish, in fish and chips, to be almost on the dry side, and lightly flakey. The chips were quite good -- crisp and flavourful, and the malt vinegar they supply on the sideboard somehow seems the best I've had.

The Boston chowder was excellent. It was a small portion, but it was really very tasty, rich, and thick. The biscuit was good too, but a tad too salty.

Had it not been for the good chips, tea biscuit, and excellent chowder, I'm afraid I would have posted a 2 for the food.

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Pizza Garden800 Carnarvon St, #255, New Westminster
Best Pizza in New West
Submitted Friday, October 5, 2012 - 4:30pm [Dine in]

I know that title sounds like hyperbole, but I am sincere that I think this is the best pizza I have yet had in New Westminster (and I've tried several over the last five years), and pretty much anywhere in the lower mainland. The only pizza I ever had that I might have liked more was Dids Pizza, near the old Yale hotel, in Vancouver. But that shut down back in the late 80s, or early 90s. Aldo's pizzas (Aldo's Pasta Bar), here in New West, are pretty darn good, but not quite as good as Pizza Garden.

Anyway, Pizza Garden has a really homemade thinish crust that tastes wonderful; so much better than the factory crusts that most takeout pizza comes with. And an excellent pomodoro tomato sauce. And the toppings are very high quality, fresh, and not overdone in quantity like most takeout pizzas. Some of the toppings are rather unusal, and offer a nice change from the same-old same-old, such as soppressatta; white truffle oil; homemade fennel sausage; arugula; capers, and more.

The delivery service is fast, almost always under 30 minutes (mind you, I order every weekend, so I have been marked as a "special" customer, so your mileage might vary), and the pizza is often so warm that I actually let it sit for about 5-10 minutes to be the right eating temperature.

They keep a tight focus on specializing in pizzas, but they do have a couple of other dishes; a couple of salads, one called the Fior de Latte-Pomodoro, which while really good is, I think, a bit overpriced; chicken wings, and house-baked bread. And that brings me to my only complaint, in that I think the prices are just a wee tad too high.

The eat-in ambience is fairly poor because it is not an eat-in place -- they have a couple of tables, but its really a takeout/delivery joint. I did not want to bring down the overall review rating, so I chose Solid.

I highly recommend Pizza Garden for your next takeout pizza.

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Coast Mountain Pizza Company465 E Columbia St, New Westminster
Good Pastas, Excellent Pizza Toppings, Poor Crusts
Submitted Saturday, March 17, 2012 - 5:07pm [Take-out]

I've ordered from Coast Mountain on several occasions. Delivery times are typical, and the delivery driver is good: friendly, chatty.

I've ordered three different types of pizza: the deep-dish, the thin crust, and the flatbread. I think the toppings are really very good, thick cut mushrooms, very tasty meats, actual fresh and ripe tomatos, and so on. But I do not like the crusts at all, especially the deep-dish and the thin crust. In my opinion, the taste and texture of the crusts is far, far too commercial and mass produced -- very cardboardy. I would have gone for four stars on food quality except for the very poor crusts.

The flatbread pizzas have a slightly better crust, but are a bit small for the price. If you order a large flatbread pizza, you actually get two small ones.

I've also ordered a number of the pasta dishes. I like the pasta dishes a lot, and in particular the tomato sauce is one of the best I have ever had from a takeout-only pizza joint. My only compaint about the pasta is that there is only one kind of pasta available: penne. I always like a variety of pastas, fettucini (which is shown on the their online PDF menu, but is not available), linguini, and so on.

One of the things I like about this place is that they do not offer the same-old-same-old boring pasta dishes of just about every singly takeout place, such as dull lasagna and tired spaghetti, all with the same overcooked, under flavoured canned-like tomato sauce.

Another thing I actually kind of like, though I suspect many won't, is that for each individual item, all the prices are the same. For example, all large pizzas are one price; all small, another; all pasta dishes are one price; all flatbread pizzas are one price, and so on.

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Aldo's Pasta Bar441 Columbia St, New Westminster
Re-review of a Favourite Restaurant
Submitted Saturday, January 21, 2012 - 4:17pm [Dine in]

I have been a regular diner at Aldo's for about 5 years, and I am going to update my review.

DC and AB of Port Moody's review was well titled: "Hidden Gem". Aldo's is indeed just that.

After some hits and misses with servers over the last 5 years or so, Aldo hired a young italian guy about two years ago who has really helped to improve the overall atmosphere of this restaurant. He is a first-rate server, and provides an honest opinion on the daily specials.

Aldo's pasta is home-made, fresh, and always properly al dente - if you get the gnocchi on the day it is made, it is an especially fine treat. There are several dishes that are in my favourites list, in no specific order:

- Gnocchi with marinara sauce: Sometimes very good; sometimes truly superb.

- Gnocchi with putanesca sauce: I find this one just a tad too spicy-hot for my taste, but nonetheless, quite tasty.

- Linguinni with white or red clam sauce: Wonderful.

- Tortellini with calabrese sauce: Excellent (sometimes ravioli with calabrese is available as a special).

- Linguinni with pesto sauce: Very, very good.

- Steelhead fillet in white wine and lemon sauce: Exquisite (although the accompanying penne with bolognese sauce seemed a not particularily well suited side dish).

If you want a traditional italian style pizza, make a special order and have it with no cheese and only one or two strongly flavoured toppings such as garlic and chopped anchovies, or capers and black olives.

Aldo used to make a delicious zabaglione desert (warm, rich, and very filling), but, sadly, this has been removed from the menu; however, I have ordered this great desert and even though it is no longer on the menu, Aldo was willing to make it.

As for negatives, there are a few. Some dishes continue to be rather odd. The minestrone and the primavera sauce have water chestnuts and baby corn, which I think is not only odd, but a mistake. The baby corn in particular adds a strong, and to my taste, inappropriate and somewhat unpleasant tang to this otherwise good dish. I would have given the food a 5 rating, but for these oddities.

The overall atmosphere is, hmm, well, kind of plain, but not unpleasant. The music playing in the background is rather trite and cliche, but not bad. The room is often a bit too cold in the winter, and the red wine is often a bit too warm in the summer.

Lastly, I think the prices, especially for the wine (bottles are often marked up to more than 100% over liquor store prices, and by the glass is sometimes as much as $13), are a tad too high for the value, but not exceptionally so.

All-in-all, Aldo's is definitely one of my favourite New Westminster restaurants, and it is just around the corner from where I live. I drop in at least twice a month.

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La Grotta Del Formaggio1791 Commercial Drive, Vancouver
Long Live La Grotta
Submitted Sunday, October 17, 2010 - 12:23pm [Dine in]

I'm not going to comment on the sandwiches, because that has been well and effectively covered by everyone else. I'd like to comment on everything else this wonderful deli has to offer.

I've been a regular though infrequent visitor to La Grotta for over 20 years. They offer some of the best pastas, olive oils, vinegars, and general italian condiments (including good italian tuna, and a great range of anchovies, which can be hard to find) in the city. And the authentic deli ambience is wonderful -- although yes, it can be confusing and sometimes rather hectic and time consuming to get your goodies.

I don't think the prices are exceptionally high or low; fairly average I think, so I give that 3 stars.

One of the regular behind-the-counter ladies, who has been there ever since I first visited back in the early 80s, is always a great help when I have recipe questions when cooking up a real italian feast. Some of the younger staff are sometimes a bit frazzled though.

Wonderful place; wonderful people; wonderful food. Long live La Grotta!

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Les Faux Bourgeois Bistro663 E 15th Ave, Vancouver
Superb Yet Simple French Food
Submitted Monday, May 10, 2010 - 11:01am [Dine in]

For starters I had the Coquille St. Jacques which I found was rather plain and somewhat dull: good scallops; uninteresting sauce. My dinner partner had the Escargots de Bourgogne, which were very good: succulent, with a complex interesting sauce.

For wine with starters we had the Sancerre, Sauvignon Blanc 08, which was fine.

For mains I had the Bourguignon d'Agneau which was nothing short of superb: rich, filling, very satisfying. My partner had the Filet de Boeuf Grille, which was very, very good.

An earlier review complained about the steaks being tough. I suspect they ordered the Le Steak Frites, which is a hanger steak, a cut of meat that is neither known as nor intended to be a tender cut of meat.

For wine with mains we had a Chateauneuf du Pape 06, which was actually a bit of a disappointment -- I should have ordered the Chateau Gigondas, which would have been a much better match with the lamb and the steak.

And that brings me to my only real niggle about the restaurant. The wine menu is poorly constructed in that it frequently confuses a wine type, sometimes its locale, with the wine's vintner or the winery. For example, under the column listing the vinter or winery it listed Chateauneuf du Pape, which is a locale, not a vintner. There were several instances of this error. This is a lazy trend I've come across in several restaurants recently, wherein the restauranter, or perhaps the individual in charge of designing the menu, appears to not always understand the difference between a wine type or locale and the wine's vintner or winery. This adds unnecessary time and effort having the waiter bring several bottles of wine to the table so I could find out who the vintner is.

Some of the wine prices are amazingly reasonable. Tip: try the Chateau Gigondas.

All in all, I highly recommend this restaurant for a fine french meal in a charming atmosphere. Comfortable and delicious.

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Taverna Greka Waterfront Restaurant326 Columbia Street, New Westminster
Downward Spiral
Submitted Saturday, September 19, 2009 - 3:26pm [Dine in]

In an exact opposite from the previous reviewer, for me, each time I went here was worse than the time before -- in all respects, except the view.

I liked the food, although it seems to me that the kalimari is octopus, not squid. And I did quite enjoy the lamb -- though I must say I've yet to have bad lamb at any Greek restaurant.

The service was lousy; polite, but lousy. There really is no other word for it. The first time I went the server took forever, I mean over 20 minutes to come to the table to take my drink order, longer to take my food order, and even longer to take my second drink order.

The last time I went I felt like I was pushed off into some invisible corner and simply forgotten about. Very discouraging.

The value is much like most Greek restaurants, but reduced due to such poor service.

The riverside seating area is really lovely, and the view most pleasant.

I may return, but not for a while.

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Papa Dave's Pizza820 20th Street, New Westminster
Good, Not great
Submitted Saturday, September 19, 2009 - 3:18pm [Dine in]

Based on the rave reviews below I ordered a couple of Papa Dave's pizzas. I'm afraid I was not overly impressed.

The toppings were good, but a little bit on the thin side. The crust reminded me too much of one of the chain pizza joints -- the one where the crust has too much sugar and salt in the dough and is always very greasy.

The delivery was very, very fast, and very enthusiastic and polite, so I tipped quite well -- mind you I always tip delivery drivers at least 25% if they show up on time. After all, they sure don't get paid well at all, at all.

I may order again, but overall I am not too impressed. The value was I think perhaps a little bit better than average.

I am still hoping for, shall I say, a more sophisticated, or at least more authentic pizza joint to come to New West.

I've never eaten in, so to speak, so I gave it a three middle of the road for ambience -- I didn't want to unfairly skew my overall rating downward.

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Met Bar & Grill, The411 Columbia Street, New Westminster
Mixed Offerings; Improving
Submitted Saturday, September 19, 2009 - 3:10pm [Dine in]

I've been to the Met several times over the last three years; close to home, reasonable prices.

The first few times I went to the Met they had very good fish and chips with a large salad, and dreadful, awful burgers -- beef burgers tasted like cardboard; chicken burgers were like Shake 'n' Bake.

They've undergone a fairly recent management change and it really shows. The burgers are really good now -- big, juicy, very tasty, and the menu undergoes frequent changes on a semi-weekly (I think) basis, with some interesting experiments in uniqueness -- not always successful, but usually at least good and certainly interesting.

The service has always been variable, even from the servers who recognize me (slightly) and who have been there ever since I first went. There has been one server recently who is superb, but she's only in occasionally and I suspect will move on to something more suiting her professional skills.

Prices are good, better than several other pubs in town (I think).

I don't like the ambience much. I know it's a pub, but there could be some improvements I think.

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Laguna Blu810 Quayside Drive, #200, New Westminster
Submitted Saturday, September 19, 2009 - 3:03pm [Dine in]

I did not enjoy my one visit to this place. I usually try to do at least three visits to a restaurant before I pass judgement on it, but the food and service were poor enough that I simply did not look forward in any way to returning.

The food was a mix of very overcooked side dishes, and very undercooked main dishes. And the service was really quite, quite poor. I sat at the table for almosy 20 minutesa before anyone arrived to take my order, and the place was only about one quarter full. When they did arrive, the server was rushed, rude, and forgetful, bringing a drink I did not order, and then not returning for 15 minutes to take my food order.

I thought the ambience was OK, not great, and a bit loud, but reasonably comfortable.

This place is shut down now for the quay overhauil. I don't know if it is going to reopen.

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La Spaghetteria232 Sixth Street, New Westminster
Enjoyable Time
Submitted Saturday, September 19, 2009 - 2:56pm [Dine in]

Unlike many reviewers here, I feel the food is really quite good, especially for the price. The pasta is usually homemade, which is always a good thing. I've had about 7 or 8 different dishes. My favourite "sauce" is the garlic and olive oil. Not very many places seem to do that one, and here it is quite good. The homemade starter bread with olive oil and balsamic vinegar is good.

Yes, the service is sometimes really rather odd, but more entertainingly quirky than unpleasant. And I like the way the owner hovers about, cooks on the outdoor open grill, and takes an interest in his customers.

I love the old house. And I am usually seated at a nice table with a good view of most of the place so I can partake of my hobby of people watching.

I quite like this place and will be back.

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Keg Steakhouse & Bar, The800 Columbia Street, New Westminster
Submitted Saturday, September 19, 2009 - 2:50pm [Dine in]

I have been here quite often; it's close, and I'd rather not trundle off a long way just to have a steak.

I'm a big fan of the Keg escargot, and the Mushrooms Neptune. The escargot is very consistent here, but the Mushrooms Neptune has varied from hardly any topping at all, to far too much. The main course, usually either the prime rib, a new york steak, or a fliet mignon, has ranged from good (never great) to downright terrible. One time I got a new york steak that was quite, quite raw in the middle (not blur rare, but literally cold and raw), and was so gristley I could not eat it. I sent it back and was not offered a replacement for free, and the only reflection on the bill was that the starter was free. Bad mojo that. I've tried lobster once each at three different Kegs, and it has been consistently dreadful, so I will not try it here.

Unlike some reviewers here I've had nothing but really, really good servers. And although I never seem to get the same person more than once, and am never remembered by any of the staff (tsk, tsk), I always tip well in the hope of some future remembrance. Ha, ha. Naive old me.

Keg's are, I feel, somewhat overpriced. and considering how inconsistent this one is I feel it is definitely a little overpriced.

Also unlike many folks here I quite like the ambience and atmosphere, so long as I get one of the slightly more isolated tables.

I am generally a Keg fan, so I will be back.

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Drink Urban Lounge609 Columbia St, New Westminster
Mixed Blessings
Submitted Saturday, September 19, 2009 - 2:38pm [Dine in]

While it is nice to have this oddly named nonpub lounge close to home, there are some mixed blessings. According to my server on my first visit Drink Urban Lounge was not going to be a sports bar; however, it seems to have somewhat turned into a sports bar after all. The second and third times I was there, all the screens were showing some kind of sports event. Blah.

I went twice for food, once for drinks only. I had the chicken burger and the beef burger, and both were rather ordinary but with a nice salad with a tasty dressing. The food is served on a rather irritating rectangular plate.

The service was excellent on my first visit (the night after opening night), and I tipped 25% as I was quite satisfied. But on my second visit the service was terrible -- same server, different mood I guess.

On a third visit (for after dinner drinks only) my friend asked how old the Balvenie scotch was (they have a small number of very good single malts) and the young server (not the same as previous two visits) said "Oh, we just opened it today". Heh, heh. OK. Also, I ordered a Long Island Iced Tea and it was a mix -- quite, quite dreadful.

There are several different seating arrangements, and a couple of them, such as the odd chairs by the odd fireplace, are very uncomfortable. The middle-line chairs are cozy, but again, a rather strange arrangement running down the middle of the place.

On my first visit there was an aggressively active army of fruit flies, but I've noticed that in several places along Columbia. Perhaps it's the type of trees on the street, or the close proximity of the river. Anyway, it was extremely annoying, and the door was left open.

I may be back there with a friend for after dinner drinks, but not for the food.

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IHOP - International House of Pancakes514 8th Avenue, New Westminster
Not So Good
Submitted Monday, December 22, 2008 - 5:00pm [Dine in]

I went for breakfast, knowing full well that we're not talking gourmet here, but assuming the breakfast would be large and palatable. Well, it wasn't.

I ordered the nutella crepe with eggs, bacon, and sausage. The bacon was dull and plain, the sausages truly awful, the crepe okay, but too too sweet, and the eggs were eggs.

Service was okay, and the, er, ambience was as to be expected.

I will not go back.

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Piatos Mediterranean Grill26A Fourth Street, New Westminster
Not There Yet.
Submitted Monday, December 22, 2008 - 4:08pm [Dine in]

I think Piatos may have some potential, but it's certainly not there yet. I've been twice, with mixed results.

The decor is a cozy thematic dark brown. The dining chairs are comfortable, but there are also low couches and easy chairs which I cannot imagine as being comfortable for dining. The cutlery, plates, and other table items are anemic, and rather dreadful. On both visits there was wildly inappropriate music playing too loudly, and the meal was introduced by a tiny side salad on a tea saucer-sized plate, but with a nice dressing that shared table space when the salad escaped the tiny plate.

On my first visit the waitress, wearing very strong perfume and street clothes, was "only helping out" and clearly did not know the food or wine menu. For a main course I ordered the grilled halibut, with a glass of the house white. The fish was really very good, was cooked to perfection, and combined perfectly with the wine. The side dish was an appropriate mix of fresh and flavourful grilled veg.

On my second visit the waiter was more suitable and more prepared; however, the food was not. I started with a black tiger shrimp cocktail with plain-and-dull sauce, and sad, wilted, not at all fresh shrimp. For a main course I ordered the grilled pork, and it was very poor - overcooked, chewy, dull flavour, and a very inappropriate and rather bland topping. The pork came with exactly the same grilled veg as the first visit fish.

The location is perfect for me and I'm hoping things improve at Piatos. I'll probably return in about six months to see how things have come along.

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