After visiting the Pear Tree for the second time this past weekend and having a similarly happy experience to the first, I feel that I'm comfortable giving the place a rating.
The highs - the Pear Tree is certainly a fish out of water in Burnaby, with it's retro decor and downtown-worthy cuisine, but that's wonderful for locals. The atmosphere is unique, intimate, and more than pleasant. Food-wise, I've experienced practically everything on the sparse menu and everything is easy to get excited about. From the mouth-watering scallops to the excellent tenderloin, the kitchen manages to create simple yet stunning dishes. In particular, I must call out the lobster cappuccino - a mind-numbingly scrumptious appetizer of lobster chunks in a frothed cream sauce.
The lows - there are several rather minor quibbles that I have with the Pear Tree. For starters, I am not a fan of the sweet slice of bread that is individually served to each person before the meal. Besides beginning such a fine meal with a rather odd shock to the taste buds, there is the interminable wait for it to arrive, only after drinks and dinner have been ordered. The next thing is the menu. As I have said, everything there is wonderful, but it is rather limited. I'm not one to need 20 items to choose from, but unless one of the daily specials appeals, it would be hard to want to come back more than a couple of times a year. Service is hit-and-miss (mostly hit), and the wine slection, despite an impressive glass wine cabinet separating the dining area from the kitchen, is somewhat pedestrian.
Overall, the Pear Tree gets high marks from me for stellar food and a cool vibe. The lobster cappuccino alone has got me recommending this place to all of my foodie friends. If the wait staff could be slightly more attentative, the wine cellar comprised of a few more exotic bottles, and they can fix that bread, it would warrant 5 stars and several visits a year.