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lmoteYaletown, VancouverSince December 16, 200711 Reviews
Average Rating
3 (3.2)
  • Food3 (3)
  • Service3.5 (3.4)
  • Ambiance3.5 (3.7)

Reviews

Displaying 1 - 11 of 11 Reviews Found
Provence Marinaside1177 Marinaside Cres, Vancouver
I love the view... but everything else is continental.
Submitted Friday, March 28, 2008 - 11:32am [Dine in]

Finally, a brunch that makes sense.

All it took really to bring this avid diner the “brunch of brunches” was to literally walk across the street? Some would say, “..no, it can’t be...” but I assure you, although incredibly simple, the edibles satisfied my Sunday morning craving.

Provence Marinaside, brought to you by chefs Jean-Francis and Alessandra Quaglia, lies at the bottom of Davie St, just around the corner from the Yaletown Urban Fare. The decor is a little “hotel-continental”, but it worked to predict the kind of simple “hotel-like” foods that would soon be streaming through the kitchen doors. It was bang on.

The abundance of choice, meat-lover and vegetarian options alike, was astounding! How did we find a menu to cater to all of us?

To our backs, the glorious views of False Creek, and in front of us, we found our table littered with polished cutlery and china; rich dark coffee; lamb sausages & pork sausages - a sampling was required; toast, egg entrees, and salad.

Our brunch was not over the top by any means, like strawberry and squid parfait, but it certainly hit the spot, and restored our faith in brunch. It’s a true story, simple, reasonable yet satisfying brunch does exist, especially in Yaletown - with a nice view.

www.poivremedia.ca

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Closed
Aurora Bistro2420 Main, Vancouver
Duck duck goose.
Submitted Friday, March 28, 2008 - 11:29am [Dine in]

The northern lights, also known as the Aurora Borealis reaches us at 49°N - but this ain’t no light show, this is brunch - and to us night hawks in the restaurant industry, a well made, creative and filling meal is the light on a Sunday morning - welcome to Aurora Bistro, happily situated at Main St. and 8th Ave. in Vancouver’s Mt. Pleasant district.

What better way to celebrate Easter without your family then freshly baked hot cross buns with bourbon butter, apple jelly and preserved lemon drizzle... delicious. Pair that hot-tottie with a bodem of freshly steeped dark coffee, and a mimosa.

The menu was creative, new age and west coast influenced. Smoked sablefish with potato hash and poached duck eggs; black truffle scrambled eggs; house cured duck bacon with onion relish and poached duck eggs - they love their duck here - every part of it.

I decided that due to my love for duck and poached eggs, why not bring them together to the happiest plate this brunch has ever seen.

We finished the meal with house-made 5 spice scented donuts, with a maple drizzle.

And now the fuel and energy to go on an Easter egg scavenger hunt existed.

www.poivremedia.ca

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Closed
Boneta12 Water Street, #115, Vancouver
La Isla Boneta
Submitted Friday, March 28, 2008 - 11:26am [Dine in]

Boneta is interesting; their menu is projected in white letters, on a large black screen directly above the kitchen pass; truly unique, but the menus are still circulating on paper throughout the restaurant. The decor itself is interesting. The restaurant has two tiers - tier one houses the bar, the kitchen and several stadium-like tables right at the pass. Tier two requires you to jump down a couple of steps, and stretches along the length of the windows facing West Cordova, channelling around the far corner, in an L-shape, past the inconspicuous wine cellar that we see part-owner and sommelier Neil Ingram (previously of Lumiere) entering in and out of throughout the evening. Art deco mirrors, mostly of square and rectangle shapes, with brass trim hang in abstract ways along the ceilings and walls, controlled by antique brass chains. It made the space seem bigger and more luxurious. Back to the dinner. The owners thought it a nice touch to bring a round of pink sparkling wine for us - and we happily accepted! To start, we had three small plate suggestions from our server, and a round of aperitif drinks. Jeremy, the Executive Chef, brought an amuse that was purposely constructed to resemble a “goldfish” - fingerling potato with tomato compote. The three small plates: bison carpaccio with warm mushrooms, arugula salad and poached quail eggs; tri-colour beet salad (white, red and pink swirl) with buffalo mozzarella and granny smith apple vinaigrette; tuna tartare with a luscious puddle of fig and foie gras. For our second course, a bottle of 2001 Louis Jadot, one of the “off list” suggestions made by Mr. Ingram. This was paired fabulously with my seared dorado, king crab risotto and roasted vegetables. The other girls had scallops, duck, and beef tenderloin dishes that went exquisitely with the aged Burgundy.

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Closed
Elixir350 Davie Street, Vancouver
Better have breakfast at home.
Submitted Saturday, December 15, 2007 - 11:11pm [Dine in]

I chose the eggs benedict, and on our server’s suggestion, smoked salmon instead of ham; I have a stronge dislike for hollandaise on my eggs, so I requested that our server omit it from my dish. John ordered simple eggs over-easy, with sausage, roasted fingerling potatoes and multigrain toast.

After 25 minutes, I asked the server where our breakfast was. Countless tables around us were already chowing down, and we were getting impatient. The food arrives. Our breakfast made “hotel continental breakfast” look like the work of an Iron Chef. My poached eggs are poached hard, really hard, I observed this right away. The salmon on top of the toasted english muffin looked alright, but I wanted my eggs. The plate had a few fingerling potatoes and a thin slice each of honeydew melon and cantaloupe. At least the kitchen didn’t put hollandaise on top of my eggs, but there was definitely hollandaise on my fruit! John’s “over-easy eggs” arrive “over-poached in a bowl”, with sausage, potatoes and fruit. We have no problem “eating mistakes” if it’s still cooked properly. We could not eat this. The server is promptly summoned and is told about the mistakes and the ill-preparation of our simple dishes.

About 5 minutes goes by, and John’s correct dish arrives. The eggs are correctly cooked, but the same plate of sides is used again, instead of new hot sausages, fingerling potatoes and toast; in fact, the sausage that John already had sampled a bite of the first time, arrived with the remake!! My dish does not arrive. I don’t know if I was more distrought that the food was not brought together, or if it was the fact that I was starving and had no energy. At this point I would’ve eaten the tablecloth. When my dish does arrive 7 minutes later, there is hollandaise poured all over my plate, and regrettably, I cannot eat it. I call the manager over at this point, who is actually the maitre d’ with a business card. He offers to take care of the bill, as he should have.

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Pied-a-Terre3369 Cambie Street, Vancouver
Magnifique.
Submitted Saturday, December 15, 2007 - 11:04pm [Dine in]

This is going to be a very brief account of my evening at Pied-à-Terre, and as you continue reading, you’ll find out why. Upon arrival, I was immediately impressed. This was reminiscent of the bistros and street-side cafés I dined at in Paris.

Pied-à-Terre, the newest restaurant to join the Parkside and La Buca family in Vancouver. This was a “bistro typique” in the sense of simple decor, simple classic bistro menu, good lighting, great noise - everyone so close together, tables blending with each other’s conversations, etc.

The menu immediately made me feel at home; my favourite comfort or “soul food” is that of classic French bistro - duck leg in a bowl of juicy cassoulet beans; steak frites with herbed compound butter dripping down the sides of the meat; foie gras parfait - perfectly seasoned - served terrine style with stewed figs and a micro-green salad.

We place our order for a bottle of 2003 Crozes-Hermitage with the steak tartare ($10.5)and foie gras parfait ($12.5) to start. Both of these starters were recommended by a friend, so we were excited to savour the delights. The food is said to be so delicious here, and great price point. It was the truth so far.

Here is the problem: the manager comes over before the wine or appetizers arrive. The hood exhaust has shut down in the kitchen. Health laws state the if smoke during cooking cannot be sucked up an exhaust hood, one must cease cooking immediately. We change our wine to a half litre of Domaine de l'Auster Faugères 2003, Languedoc, and anxiously await the arrival of our cold appetizers. Let me tell you this; despite the lack of hot plates, the appetizers were incredible. Hands down the best terrine style foie gras I have ever consumed, and the most velvety steak tartare; perfect. The wine was amazingly paired.

I look forward to going back to Pied-à-Terre and sampling the other items I was unable to savour during the faulty exhaust hood incident!

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Bin 941 Tapas Parlour941 Davie St, Vancouver
Awesome, between 941 & 942.
Submitted Saturday, December 15, 2007 - 10:59pm [Dine in]

As our food arrived, we were so impressed that each course was so well-crafted. Everything tasted great. The Ahi Tuna dish was very creative: the spicy tuna tartare acted as the salsa, slices of sashimi grade black and blue tuna atop a delicious ponzu sauce, and finished with a warm noodle and mushroom salad. Umm Um! It was definitely my favourite dish. Next was the bison dish. The meat was paper thin, super rare, and had a sweet but spicy taste to it; Bin calls this the Yucatan spice rub. The bison was accompanied with a mango sauce and a room temperature jicama and cilantro salad. Very refreshing, and a great combination of flavours. The spin on a traditional bruscetta was housemade foccacia, topped with pesto, gorgonzola and a balsamic reduction. It was ok, but the presence of the blue-vein cheese was completely lost amongst the other strong flavours.

After a couple of beers and a couple of plates, we were satisfied. This sure beats the Pizza Uno down the street at Granville, although for a buck-a-slice, I have been spotted standing in line too.

A few nights later, I returned for a cocktail session with a friend. We were presented with a red pepper and fennel soup amuse-bouche to warm us up. We ordered the signature Flank Steak Frites ($15) to share. Once again, here returns the mountain of frites, as seen from a mile away, obstructing the view of everything in its path; hilarious. After enjoying the steak and a bottle of wine, I put my “twice in 4 days” Bin experience into the archives.

Whether the Bin line of restaurants are a hidden gem or out in the open in Vancouver, everyone should know about them. A great concept, great food, and my only complaint is that frites should be removed as a course line, so that patrons like us can eat what we really came for.

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George1137 Hamilton Street, Vancouver
The place were cocktails take centre stage.
Submitted Saturday, December 15, 2007 - 10:57pm [Dine in]

Even though I knew that Nick Devine was no longer Bar Manager and mixologist extraordinaire at this venue (now he’s at the Cascade Room on Main St.), the bartenders still had their island of ingredients behind the counter, mixing, muddling and shaking - really paying homage to the “Devine cocktail list” still in rotation - that was an accidental play on words but really illustrates the uniqueness of Devine’s cocktails.

Melissa started with the Honey Mule ($10), a blend of ginger beer, honey infused vodka, bitters and lime juice. I started with the Ginger Mango Batida ($12), a muddled mixture of mango puree, fresh ginger, lime juice and Brazilian Cachaca - a spirit distilled from sugar cane syrup. Our very energetic server, Brittany, suggests a plate of vegetable spring rolls ($10) as a munchie with our drinks. The spring rolls came with three dipping sauces - spicy aioli, soy ginger and house-made plum. Simply delicious we thought.

Our next cocktails were slightly more elegant. Melissa had the Jade Down ($8), a blend of cucumber, kiwi fruit, honey and vodka. I had a similar cocktail called the English Martini ($8). It starts with cucumber infused gin, which is a classic pairing, with pressed apple juice, Pimm’s No. 1 and fresh mint. This was my kind of drink.

We quickly paid the bill and grabbed a taxi, and bolted up to Cambie St. at 17th to make our 9 pm reservation at Pied-à-Terre.

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Rocky Mountain Flatbread Co.1876 West 1st Avenue, Vancouver
Overall, we were pleased!
Submitted Saturday, December 15, 2007 - 10:55pm [Dine in]

The short excursion to Burrard and 1st st. was completely worth it. It was a chilly afternoon, and John and I were severely underdressed for the weather. We needed food, hot good food, and we needed it now.

We pop into Rocky Mountain Flatbread Co., of which we have both heard a lot about. We take a seat near the kitchen, in fact almost next to the wood-burning oven to get nice and toasty again.

The servers are pleasant and knowledgeable, and appease John and I by giving us some background information on the company.

We order our lunch. John and I both start with a salad. Mixed greens with a nice vinaigrette for both, and the addition of avocado to mine.

As we wait for our entrees, we cannot help by find ourselves looking around at the “kid-friendly” decor, not pretentious at all, it’s like you’re at a mountain lodge daycare actually. Interesting anecdotes fill the walls. Old Haida sayings, food sayings and sayings about the importance of living a “green” lifestyle - fresh organic, locally grown meats and vegetables, fair trade products, etc.

My chicken noodle soup arrives, with real chicken breast, a flavourful broth, big noodles, and a ton of parsley. It really hit the spot. Not too big, not to salty, just perfect for me. John’s chicken melt sandwich, one of their signature lunch items, is spicy, juicy, flavourful and filling. It comes with lots of chicken, spicy sauce, lots of cheese and lovely fresh bread.

To conclude the meal, just because it was cold outside, we shared a chocolate caramel brownie, with whipped cream and ice cream, a kid-favourite in all of us, with a couple of espressos.

We ate for under $35, now that’s a great lunch. Great food, service and price. My only qualm would be reserving a table for a Monday night dinner, and upon arrival, learning that it’s “make your own pizza” night for children. Not the ideal date spot I guess.

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Hamilton Street Grill1009 Hamilton Street, Vancouver
Order pizza next time?
Submitted Saturday, December 15, 2007 - 10:53pm [Dine in]

For main courses, I order the Pacific Halibut ($26) and John orders the 16 oz Ribeye Steak ($34). The entrees arrive, and at first they look lovely. The portions are monstrous. We haven’t experienced such large plates in a long time. As we start to chow down, I have second thoughts about the halibut. It’s overcooked, and served with mashed potatoes that taste bland and out of a box. I don’t expect every meal I consume to knock my socks off, but the basics should be there. The dish has nothing special happening. The vegetables are usual backyard barbecue accompaniments; grilled zucchini and grilled bell peppers. It just seems so “80’s”. The plate is finished with freshly chopped parsley and olive oil. The amount of parsley was overkill. John’s steak was medium rare in some parts and rare in others. Ribeye steaks are difficult to keep the same colour because of different thicknesses throughout the steak. The steak was truly under-seasoned, and the Kennebec frites were over salted. John enjoyed his steak overall, he’ll never complain about a grilled ribeye and frites at a restaurant with “grill” in the title.

Overall, the service was great, no complaints there. The food was moderately enjoyable, but not very creative. This truly is a “grill”, so don’t expect to be blown away by baked, seared or poached items.

I don’t think I am picky, I just know what tastes great. I think all chefs should strive to create something special. It doesn’t always have to be surprise ingredients in a terrine du foie gras, but even a little bit of the chef’s passion will translate on to the plate, but we didn’t see it here.

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Hapa Izakaya1479 Robson St, Vancouver
... where appetizers rule!
Submitted Saturday, December 15, 2007 - 10:50pm [Dine in]

I have been trying to find this particular restaurant (but obviously not looking that hard...) for about 3 weeks. Making my way up Georgia St to Denman, turning left, walking along, seeing several “--- Izakaya” restaurants, not one I passed by was the one I wanted. I was under strict instructions to find Hapa Izakaya.

Finally, I found it. Just near Broughton and Robson St, it’s hard to really notice it’s there. The facade is all black, exterior and interior, dim lights, and high posters on the windows facing the streets, so you would never see anyone dining on the inside while standing on the sidewalk.

It was a completely different atmosphere inside then we had originally expected. An open kitchen, servers dressed in all black, wearing black flip-flops, and yapping back and forth to one another in Japanese. You were immediately welcomed by a slew of staff, having your choice of seating arrangements - at the sushi bar on pillows or chairs, or at a table. Frankly, we like to be close to kitchen, it’s where all the action is for us.

This menu really showcases the kitchens’ flare for appetizers, or Japanese tapas as it is sometimes called. We ordered drinks, followed by a number different appetizers, all of which were amazing. Try the sablefish, the fried chicken and gyozas - they’re all really delicious.

The entrees on the other hand, not so amazing. We should’ve known, as no one else was ordering them! Both John and I had the Udon noodles, John’s with chicken and I had the noodles with vegetables and tofu. The tofu in my dish was crumbled and mixed into the sauce, which was just as unappetizing as it sounds.

I concluded that this was a great place for sharing tapas and meeting friends, but stick to page one of the menu, otherwise you’ll be ordering imperfect filler-food.

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New management
Hell's Kitchen2041 West 4th Ave, Vancouver
A hell of a brunch.
Submitted Saturday, December 15, 2007 - 10:46pm [Dine in]

It’s a different world over in Kits Beach - t-shirts, shorts, patios and skateboards, but 10 minutes east in downtown Vancouver, heat lamps are blazing, people are bundled in big coats, and huddled in the small shred of sunlight while having their “brunch”.

Hell’s Kitchen is located in the Kits Beach area, but more centrally located on 4th st. and Yew, it is known as the spot for a quick brunch, or pizza later in the day; I suppose, like always, we would be the judge of that.

I had the eggs benedict, no surprise really, with over-salted-out-of-the-bag tater-tots, and the hollandaise on the side. It was ok, certainly better then my previous brunch experience at Elixir, but nothing really that special. John had steak and eggs. Accompanied by over-salted potato-like side dish, the same as I had, toast, “dijon aioli” which was actually just straight dijon mustard in a ramekin, and a slightly over-cooked steak.

The servers are somewhat negligible to customer needs, and seem to spend most of the time chatting and staring at their tables, rather then using their customer service skills. Sometimes it seems that at low-key dining places like Hell’s Kitchen, the staff do the typical “ring in the order” and do not go back to the table until “the food goes with you”. This is not a great routine to get into. We wanted more coffee, more water, in fact it took 20 minutes to be greeted after ice-less water was brought to the table.

Maybe dinner is executed better.

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