Found this place somewhat by accident after trying to find a new restaurant that did a tasting menu. There were some mixed reviews - but we've learned to ignore those made during Dine Out Vancouver.
Found the place without a problem - easy parking on Commercial. The restaurant itself is nice - very much a wine bar/bistro type feel. We were sat immediately, after being given a choice of tables. There was the smell of bacon in the air - worked for us!
On the menu there was only a 4 course tasting menu, plus regular items. I thought I had seen references to a 5 course, so when the host/waiter/owner (??) came over we asked if it was possible to expand on what was in the menu. Not only was it not a problem, but he seemed to be pretty enthusiastic about doing it! We elected to also do wine pairing with each course.
First up was a very nice Tuna Crudo served with grapefuit and cress. Was a very nice way to begin - the fish was fresh and the flavours went well with each other and the wine. Second course was something the chef brought out that he said they were looking to put on the regular menu - a very nice lamb tartare. Served with shaved mushrooms, radish and onion. Was expecting it to be quite 'lamby' for lack of a better word, but it was really quite delicate. The meat was perhaps ground a little too fine, but overall fantastic. Was paired with a beer that actually worked!
The two 'main' dishes were spectacular. First was a beautiful rabbit dish ... served creatively with garden vegetable - charred lettuce, carrot, beets and a turnip (?) purée. The rabbit was outstanding and cooked perfectly. I think it was paired with a Gruner that went well with the dish. Had a couple of clams with it that were good but probably unnecessary. The other was dry aged beef, cooked about a medium rare, served wiith a black trumpet mushroom risotto. The beef was good, but I think I dreamt about that risotto - I could have had a bowl full. Was paired with Note Bene cabernet which was perfect with the dish.
We wern't quite ready for dessert yet so asked for a cheese/charcuterie course with they happily accommodated. We were served about four types of cheese, some prosciutto and salami. Was thinking we might have started with this, but was actually a nice course before dessert. Had a little more Note Bene with the cheese with no complaints.
Dessert was another stand-out. A very rich hand made ice cream (either vanilla or almond) served with creamy chocolate chunks that had been frozen in liquid nitrogen. Wow. Somewhat of a fudgecicle effect and it was out of this world. Paired with a very nice 10 year tawny port.
Overall was really impressed - the food was fantastic, and the service was great too. Each course was perfectly timed - we wern't rushed, nor we're we ever sitting there wondering when the next plates were coming. Was also great to have the chef come out to describe the dishes and ask us for feedback. The only complaint from the table was it was maybe a little light on quantity - but honestly I thought it was perfect, if I'm having 5 or 6 courses I don't want a massive pile of food on the plate.
Value was pretty decent - ended up being a little over $100 pp before tip. Given that the meal ended up at 6 courses with wine I was happy. Will definately return - this restaurant would be one I'd be happy to have a casual night out or a blow out meal.