Submitted Sunday, April 2, 2006 - 2:12pm [Dine in]
We have enjoyed few meals at the Crocodile. It's brasserie look is welcoming and the service is impeccable.
We were impressed by the quality of the food although it is more a traditional, classical cuisine. This classicism is perhaps what seduces number of patrons but the Alsacian food tradition -hearty food- made me wonder for more delicate and subtle tastes.
The wine list is fine and this is the perfect spot for a business lunch between civilized people.
The Crocodile will never disappoint and still is reasonably priced.
Vancouver is blessed to have such a classic.
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Submitted Sunday, April 2, 2006 - 1:55pm [Dine in]
Le Gavroche serves good food with a French flair. Compared to what used to be L'Emotion in West vancouver, it is not the same refinement but offers a great basis to taste what Le Gavroche has to offer: its incredible wine list.
Not only it features the first growth that one would expect -and at the price one would expect- but it also features a wealth of excellent wines, from excellent vintage at very reasonable prices, considering the rarity of some.
I recall a Lafaurie-Peyragey 1988 Sauternes that was a treat. Many "enlightened" restaurants should understand that it is easy to offer Lafite, Mouton, Latour, Margaux and other expensive giants. But a proper wine list also offers the in-between choice, the choice and price that will lead you one day to the finest. What good is it to serve a Maucaillou at $250 a bottle? Le Gavroche has understood this perfectly and priced its wine intelligently.
Kudos and thank you!
Submitted Sunday, April 2, 2006 - 1:40pm [Dine in]
Beach House is a solid restaurant enjoying a great location: its patio offers a gorgeous view on Stanley Park, the West end and the cruise ships. The restaurant is well distributed and the view enjoyable from many spots.
The service has always been very pleasant and regulars always recognize familiar faces such as the wins brothers.
The food is generally tasty but not to a fine dining experience. it is solid, good ingredients prepared in a classic way. Some favorites of mine are the Lobster when they have it, the tenderloin, the fish and chips. Desserts are a treat and the trio of creme brulees are putting "Apres" to shame.
Beach House is a no surprise. classic spot that will not disappoint. The decor is wood panels and the staff always accommodating.
Submitted Sunday, April 2, 2006 - 12:46pm [Dine in]
My first experience at Lumiere was very good: the reputation was well deserved and I was looking forward to my second time. Sadly Lumiere came up short.
The Foie Gras terrine on the A la Carte was in fact a mousse of foie gras AND chicken liver! This is a total rip-off. Could you imagine offering a glass of Chateau Lafite just to be served in the end a mix of Mouton Cadet with a drop of the great wine?
Talking about wine list, propping up Canada's icewines by only offering unknown low rated Chateau Roumieu Sauternes is pathetic!- it's a Barsac by the way, adjescent to Climens-
Then the main course -a la carte- was a half lobster. Sure it tasted good but the beast was the size of a tiger prawn. When proper sized Lobsters could be purchased fresh for $21, it surely made this half expensive.
Dessert was impeccable.
Service was impeccable.
I was still hungry. My partner enjoyed a fine meal -deer- and was fine.
Coats were cramped in an undersized closet.
I learned later than Feenie was golfing in California...
I emailed the restaurant and to this date awaits any acknowledgement of this correspondence. That is unacceptable for a restaurant of Lumiere's reputation, a Relais et Chateaux! As for Feenie: no it's not all about marketing, Sir.
Therefore I shall not return to Lumiere: I'd rather drive up to Whistler and treat myself with the Bearfoot Bistro's Melissa Craig cuisine. It is as expensive but it is the real thing.
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Submitted Sunday, April 2, 2006 - 12:28pm [Dine in]
Et apres? one might ask...
Here was our experience:
The contemporary decor was nice but slightly cold. The wine list is very nice and features many west coast wines. The appetizers were exceedingly beautifully presented. Tuna 3 ways was very good but unfocussed: too many tastes in every direction. The chesnuts soup was gorgeous.
Then the main courses: Caribou was good but again unfocussed, too many tastes, almost conflicting. Same went with the duck, served lukewarm by the way.
Dessert: a tad too big after big portions, the mango pinapple was looking fancy but failed to impress: conflicting tastes again and a hair inside the mango crust did it for us. We did not raised the issue because we had enough by now.
My dessert was OK creams, but inconsistant textures. The chocolate one tasted great.
During our meal, the chef was constantly pacing the room, and clearly did not cook our dishes. Never once did he inquire on our experience during the meal... Only when we were at the door on our way out did a smile popped on his face. Then he returned to fix the computer that refused credit cards that evening...
What a contrast after the warmth and the professionalism of the Bearfoot Bistro chef who was directing her kitchen symphony!
As for Apres: The concept is good, the decor modern, the ingredients of good quality and clearly the chef has abilities but the pretention ruined it: perhaps it is time for the chef to be in the kitchen and focus!
Submitted Sunday, April 2, 2006 - 12:06pm [Dine in]
Mistral presents hearty French cuisine from Chef Benoit's Provence -the creator of the defunct L'Emotion restaurant-. It is a simplier food than in the fine dining Emotion but the touch and focus remains, with great products and a flare of a true professional who knows his art.
The spinach soup, the butternut squach soup are fantastic. The "charcuterie" plate is very French bistro. I enjoy the Duck, the Entrecote and the desserts. A good wine selection, although more French wine would please me, complements this real French bistro experience. The place is busy and the welcoming smile of Minna benoit is a treat.
The service is prompt, personal yet discreet. At a fraction of the cost of its expensive neighbor, Mistral is one of my favorite spots for simple yet subtle, focussed real french receipes.
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Submitted Sunday, April 2, 2006 - 11:55am [Dine in]
Those who have enjoyed the superb food served at L'Emotion under chef Benoit are orphaned!
When the Benoits sold to Manfred Wimmer, the quality went slightly down but still remained an amazing deal. It was worth the trip and the ambiance was pleasant, perhaps more relaxed than originally.
Manfred sold last december and went back to Shanghai. the fellow who bought it kept the name and present Portuguese food.
Although regulars, it took the waitress insistance for this fellow to introduce himself and in 5 minutes spell clearly that this place was becoming an ordinary one.
I heard horror stories since and staff has quit.
Submitted Sunday, April 2, 2006 - 11:49am [Dine in]
The favorite bistro where socialites and realtors meet and chat about the latest craze, new car or whatever... OK fine for a while and unless you are one of them, good luck!
The food is really what annoyed me there: it was huge portion for sure of greasy, heavy rustic cooking. Nothing exceptional. That is not French cuisine served in refined bistros. the fact this kind of food can attract rave reviews is beyond comprehension to this Frenchman!
If quantity is what you want and rubbing shoulder with those who can't make the difference, that's your spot. if you want real taste, go elsewhere!
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Submitted Sunday, April 2, 2006 - 11:41am [Dine in]
Finally a simple bistro, warm and welcoming, in West Vancouver, not the greasy favorite joint for socialites...
Simple steack frite or a nice fish dish, nice appetizers such as a tuna pan seared, good atmosphere. The two partners/owners are making sure you enjoy your stay. The decor is tasty. I recommend it highly!
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Submitted Sunday, April 2, 2006 - 11:36am [Dine in]
Chef Melissa Craig is 26 and is in full mastery of her art.
I had the foie gras -the real thing, not the mousse of duck and chicken liver Lumiere dares to serve as terrine!- and it was served 3 ways, each amazing, subtle and perfectly done. The Kobe beef was exceptional, the wine match impeccable and dessert was delicious and yet the perfect size.
Of course this kind of diner doesn't come cheap; but we will return since it is is worth spending your hard earned dollars where it is worth the experience!
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