Raincity Grill is located in the heart of the West End next to English Bay and is dedicated to using local ingredients and produce to define its Pacific Northwest menu. They also have a takeout gourmet fish & chips window.
Yup! The title says all. The food is lame. Taste is so so. It's not the best or even top 10 food I ever had. I don't miss the taste. Actually, I don't remember the taste.
Seating is bad. They are cheap on seating arrangement. Some tables are cramped together in the corner or something. It's very uncomfortable. Making people sit in a cramped space, you call that fine dining? They have a lot to learn.
Service is ok. It's hard to get the waiter's attention. He disappeared for quite a while. Couldn't find him. Definitely not professional! Last time I checked, fine dining should include great and professional service.
The only thing that looks like fine dining is presentation. Yes, food is pretty to look at. And it stops there.
Eating "presentation" is getting old. It's being a while many restaurants are showing off nice food presentation to sell you fine dining price. It's like looking at a cute girl. Seriously, how long can you still think she is cute if she has lame personality? It's not the first time you see pretty food presentation. Your sense (eyes) are getting numb already. Your tummy tells you that you want really tasty food not mediocre taste.
First time and a great night out. Tried the stuff chicken legs as an appy. Very nice and moist with some root veggies. Had the roast pork on top of some rissotto. The pork was shredded sort of luck pulled pork. Very rich and goes will with the rice and some cabbage. Dessert was a poached pear and it was really good.
Excellent service with explanations of every dish. Nice unobtrusive kind of way. Value was pretty good for DOV and great locatin.
All summer long the Raincity Grill has had a $10 Fish & Chips take-out special of 2 large pieces of fresh halibut, home cut fries, homemade coleslaw and tartar sauce plus a bottle of water for only $10. Eat on the beach at English Bay or in the park, one of the best deals in town, don't tell too many people or they might put up the price.
I had brunch at Raincity Grill and I enjoyed my experience. First of all, they have a fantastic view of English Bay. I ordered the bacon eggs benedict and it was great. The hollandaise sauce was quite tasty and the eggs were cooked perfectly. The hashbrowns had a puree underneath them which was quite good and made ketchup unnecessary. For $13, I think the price is quite reasonable.
One thing to keep in mind is that this place is not kid friendly. With the stemware and white table cloths, that should be apparent but it would be nice if they had high chairs. I wouldn't take my daughter to a place like this for dinner but think brunch or lunch is open season for kids. Anyways, we were forced to hold her the entire time which is not that big of a deal but this is the first place I have been to in 6 months that didn't have a high chair.
I probably won't be back because of the lack of child friendliness but did enjoy my meal here.
I had a wonderful experience with this restaurant many years ago. Since then, they changed the chef and I decided to go back for a return visit to see how the food is now. I went there on a cold, rainy weekday evening. The service and ambiance were both very nice but the food was a step below that of my previous experience and the place was quite empty as well, which made me wonder if customers were not returning because of the decreased food quality compared to before. Don't get me wrong -- the food was not bad at all, just not as great as it used to be and at the menu prices, a bit overpriced.
After looking at some options for Dine Out Vancouver 2011, my wife and I decided to give Raincity Grill a try. She had been wanting to try it for a while.
When we arrived at 6pm on Saturday, the place was already buzzing with customers. The hostess was very friendly and took out coats at the door. We were seated by the railing, right by the bar, so it was interesting to overhear the conversations of the staff and bartender throughout the night.
The restaurant looks quite nice, and we were pleased that the music was set quite low, keeping the noise level to a bearable level (which most places don't care about these days).
As it was dine out, they had both a regular a la carte menu, as well as a $38 and $48 dine out menu. We decided to give the $38 menu a try.
My wife ordered the Squash soup, Mussels and Lingcod entree, and Apple Tart for dessert. I ordered the Terrine, Braised Beef, and Peach Cobbler. The squash soup was very creamy and tasty, but we found it a bit on the heavy side. Luckily the portion wasn't huge, so it didn't ruin our appetite for the next course. The terrine was very tasty, and spread on the lightly toasted bread it had a nice salty flavour mixed with a crisp texture. On to the entrees, the Mussels were amazing. Not over cooked, and very fresh. The Lingcod, however, was tasteless and very tiny. My braised beef was very moist and soft, and when mixed with the potato puree and kelp, it was quite tasty. On its own though, it was a bit on the salty side. The desserts were the stars of the meal. Both the apple tart, and the peach cobbler were delicious. Light, flaky and not too sweet, they were the perfect end to the meal.
Throughout the meal our server was very attentive and checked on us regularly. Our water was always topped up, and empty dishes were removed promptly. My only complaint would be I wasn't given a bread plate at the beginning of the meal. Not a huge deal.
Now down to value. We didn't think we got real value for the food we had. We've had similar meals in other downtown restaurants for around $25-30/person, so we thought $38 was a bit excessive, especially since Dine Out Vancouver is supposed to be a discounted menu. Top on parking, the dreaded HST, and a nice tip, it ended up costing us around $100. We also later found out they have a 3 course menu on a daily basis from 5pm - 6pm for only $30. I wasn't impressed.
Overall the food was good, the service was excellent, but it was over priced. It's unlikely we'd come back as there are plenty of equivalent or better restaurants downtown, for less money.
I only got take out from here once, their fish and chips. It was decent, but not the best (a lot better than what I had from the "best fish and chips at Mr.Pickwick's"). Fries were good, fish wasn't overdone, presented decently in the box. It was ten bucks so decent value I suppose.
But what bothered me the most were the workers. When asked a question they just gave me a weird look and completely ignored me cause I asked if they sold bottled water. Anyways, that would probably repel from going back to get food from there, especially since there are so many around the beach.
so this is my first dine out and my first raincity grill experience
With high expectations I arrived at the restaurant, already knowing what I wanted. I got to try a few of the dishes since I came with another person.
The bread was defrosted safeway bread I could not believe it! walking to the bathroom I saw fresh buns which looked like they were baked on premises, which I think the were not giving the the prix fixe customers. I was worried. It was terrible. But its just bread..
Trio of tartare: very nicely seasoned. The lighting did not make it possible to see which was which and they tasted the same, but they were delicious. More of an amuse bouche really but still wonderful.
Duck tortelini in duck broth: exquisite.
Lamb: it arrived looking like a lamburger. The attentive waiter explained that it had been taken off the bone, seasoned, reassembled, and then braised. It was delicious!!!
The sides were not very good though, I must say. The potato dish (scalloped and then made into square) had been cooked so much in advance it tasted bad. Then there were carrots, which were carrots. Still I loved the lamb
Salmon: served with leeks and parsnips, the salmon was a bit cold (had been cooked a few minutes too early) but not too dry. The person enjoyed it so thats all that matters, but personally I would have been disappointed with it. Leeks were boring but the parsnips were very nicely prepared.
Desert: pot a creme with wince gelee. Very nice.
In all I gave it three stars because it was clear that everything had been prepared early and therefore was a bit cold. Still , WONDERFUL service, setting, and the lamb and starters and desert were lovely.
This is a place I could easily frequent. The room is cozy and fresh, with a great feel so close the ocean. Our service was outstanding and truly flawless. The menu is exciting offering a bite size spoon menu as a fist bite course. We shared a grilled caesar salad, the lamb carpaccio spoons, and I had the sablefish. The entire meal was delicious; and at just over $120 for 2, with a cocktail each, the value was strong as well.
We visited the Rain City Grill one rainy evening. The staff was very friendly and gave us a great table with a view of English Bay even though we did not make reservations.
The Grilled Caesar Salad was very good and they have succeded in making something common unique. You can defintely taste the grill flavor in the Romaine.
I had the Local Wild Salmon with a tomato glaze and my girlfriend tried the Sablefish crispy skin. Both meals were prepered with very subtle flavors to emphasize the local, fresh ingredients. I liked the vegetable ragout with my Salmon but the Eggplant was a little boring but overall pretty good dish. The Sablefish was served on a bed of potatoes with a White wine reduction sauce with out of the shell mussels - my girlfriend enjoyed it. Overall the food was nice but Vancouver has many great restaurants so it was not phenomenal or unique.
The Chocolate Tower desert filled with caramel accompanied by smoked milk covered vanilla ice cream was absolutely incredible.
The server was very friendly, knowledgeable and professional but not pretentious.
Cost of meal for 2 with 2 glasses of wine, 1 desert and tip was about $160.
I was really looking forward to my birthday dinner at raincity grill, and our table with a view of the water and the immediate, perfect service was a wonderful start to the meal, as well as the grilled cesar salad, which at $9 was as deliciously pungent as expected. I should have probably stopped there.
Then came the main meal. I had the beef, which was served in some bizarre "mexican style" on a tortilla sandwich filled with ricotta cheese (??), over a bed of cooked cabbage and a strange chilli sauce. The beef was just OK, I've had better steak cooked on the BBQ. What was really strange was the overall melding of the flavors. It was like nothing really tasted good with anything else. The cabbage was bitter, not sweet, and was not complimented by the bitter chili sauce on the plate. And what fine restaurant uses cabbage as the vegetable side, anyway? And how is it mexican? Are they trying to do a mexican-inspired meal with 100-mile ingredients?
The tortilla wasn't bad but I don't understand why they didn't use a mexican cheese like queso or something like that. It didn't really match with the steak OR the cabbage on the side. At $32 it is one of the more expensive entrees I have ordered in this city and it just wasn't that good.
Although our service was fantastic, and overall we enjoyed the dining experience, I am so dumbfounded by my meal. I might give it another chance (if someone else is paying) but most likely I won't go back.
Having been to this restaurant a year ago and having a wonderful experience then, I was looking forward to a great dinner again. Sadly, not to happen. The service was good, prompt and courteous and the waiter definitely knew his wines. The problem was with the food itself. An order of Prawn Linguine had overcooked pasta and very weak tasting sauce. The Lamb Cheeks were not tender and poorly seasoned. The chicken was well cooked but small, and the accompanying sauces were somewhat bland. The portions for all dishes were definitely on the small side. Given the prices, the plates could have been more substantial. The desert was very good, but again very small given the price. The plating was very well done, creative and pleasing to the eye. Given the lack of actual food on the plate, they had lots of room to work with.
Appart from the location, which is always great, regardless of the weather, I cannot see any reason to return here. There are much better fine dinning values in Vancouver.
My brother and I took our father and his girlfriend for Christmas Eve dinner. Upon arriving at the restaurant, we were greeted by the host while I discreetly slipped him my credit card so that my father wouldn't steal the bill like he usually does. We were seated at our reserved table promptly and the server, Kyle, greeted us and took our drink orders. He was personable and attentive.
I had the venison carpaccio and the roast game hen. My brother and father both had the scallop starter followed by the roast tenderloin. My father's girlfriend had the winter squash soup and the lamb shoulder. On top of the overall under-seasoned and inconsistency of every dish, the portions were miniscule compared to that of other restaurants in the same category.
The sourdough mini rolls tasted of cardboard, as if it was left out for too long. The butter was still cold so it couldn't be spread over the rolls with ease.
The plates were hot but the rims were all dirty.
The wine glasses were too small for the half glasses we ordered.
Scallop Appetizer ($16): The scallops were sweet but definitely not fresh due to the obvious lack of characteristic brine and mineral delicacy found in fresh specimens. The risotto was so overcooked that each grain of the arborio were "exploded" as if it was the consistency of congee.
Winter Squash Soup ($9.50): The only decent dish out of the lot.
Venison Carpaccio ($14): Tasted so gamey that I suspect the meat was a bit too ripe. The watercress on the same plate was completely void of the usual sharp peppery tang.
Beef Tenderloin ($36): The tiny medallion of beef had beautiful fat marbling and flavour but the muscle itself had next to none. The savoury foam accompaniment was pretentious. The waiter introduced the green on the dish as black kale (lacinato kale) when in fact it was curly green English kale. It was so over-buttered that it didn't taste at all like a vegetable. My father's root veg were barely seared on the outside and still crispy in the middle while my brother's root veg were so cooked that they were an even shade of brown with a mushy consistency. The confit potatoes tasted like they were boiled then quickly seared in the pan with minimal duck fat, if at all.
Roast Game Hen ($26): I expected at least half a hen but there were only 2 breasts. The meat didn't seem roasted like the menu had mentioned, but rather seared on the top side only and then quickly popped into the oven to be finished off. The polenta had the consistency and flavour of processed eggs and completely lacking in texture and richness. The dish was too sweet overall and the pears didn't help.
Lamb Shoulder ($27): Overcooked and too mushy. It didn't combine well with the lentils which has quite a creamy consistency. There was absolutely no sharpness brought to the dish to cut the richness of the lamb.
We didn't stay around for dessert and asked for the bill immediately after our plates had been cleared. The host that I had given my credit card to did not inform our server at all about the situation and I had to tell him in front of our entire party to ask the host for my credit card. The host didn't step up to apologize but instead slipped out of the restaurant as we were paying our bill.
Incidentally, my experiences at C were just as, if not more, underwhelming. I will not be returning.
I came here for a b-day dinner last night. The restaurant itself is quite small and was 75% full. The view is no doubt magnificent looking out at English Bay, but unfortunately, our table was by the door.
We ordered the highly recommended grilled caesar salad and for entrees, our party ordered the Ahi Tuna, Halibut, Salmon, Lamb and Duck. All dishes were displayed beautifully and colorfully and we were all impressed. Taste wise, the fish dishes were reported to be good but the lamb and duck were disappointing. We were also disappointed with the lack of menu selections.
Service was a bit slow but our server was very professional and nice. No complaints there.
Would I come back? Maybe if they increase their menu items.
The Raincity Grill is a great restaurant for a nice, relaxed summer evening on the patio. The menu is chocked full of fresh local ingredients, and they have a very extensive (and expensive) wine menu.
I found the food menu slightly boring and actually had a bit of a hard time deciding what to have.
We shared an appetizer of Albacore Tuna with a Wheatgerm Salad wrapped in Eggplant which was very tasty. For my main course, I had Halibut with fennel, potatoes and peas. My meal was cooked to perfection and tasted great, although, there was nothing super exciting about it.
For dessert I had their chocolate mousse and it was excellent, I don't usually order dessert but I am certainly glad I did.
It was a lovely evening and I will go back for sure.
We have eaten at the Raincity several times over the last ten years, and have noticed a progressive deterioration over that period. Last night the deterioration crossed the tipping point - like the Canucks, its time for the Raincity Grill to be reworked from the top down.
The menu could only be described as pedestrian - yes, you are trying for a < 100 mile menu, but this does not excuse such a limited and poverty-stricken set of choices. Appetizers - my wife had the Kushi oysters - they were presented with no imagination and they just weren't that good. I ordered the terrine and was informed that they had none, also the original squash soup was out. The waiter recommended a Caeser salad - really? I had the replacement soup, the mint pea soup, it was OK.
We looked at the 4-5 choices for mains, decided that none of them held any interest for us (steak, halibut, pink salmon, yawn...) so we drank up and left.
The ambiance in the place was, to be frank, depressing. The staff were simply going throught the motions, competently, but with no heart at all. The room simply felt dead. It felt like going to see a team, formerly with great ambition and promise, that had simply allowed themselves to descend into irrelevance.
Somebody save this place - it used to be a place worth taking an out of town visitor. Until it saves itself, stay away.
Went for brunch on a saturday. It's located on Denman overlooking English Bay.
The room is quite small and sort of old-fashioned. I think it may need some renovations soon.
Food is on the light taste side, with minimal use of oil, salt and sugar, the complimentary croissant and scones are great.
Service was good, professional and courteous.
It was my birthday on the weekend, and my friends treated me to a dinner at the Raincity Grill. After reading strong reviews for this restaurant and having recently completed reading "The 100 mile diet", Raincity's fresh local ingredients were a real draw.
When we first arrived, we were very impressed by the room and the kitchen. While waiting for our table to be made up, we got a chance to glare into the kitchen which seemed very clean, calm, and professional. A very good sign. The service from the front of house was also exemplary and unpretencious.
The menu was pretty exciting with local ingredients. After reading the 100 mile diet, I had to have the 100 mile tasting menu and I wasn't let down. The flavours were excellent and tasted very fresh. I believe there were 6 courses in all, with the exception of the appetizer and dessert, I couldn't have ordered better dishes off the regular menu. The chicken and duck were cooked perfectly, and the sides were also delicious.
The appetizer and the dessert were okay, but in the spirit of 100 miles, admirable. The only thing I noticed was that there was obviously a limited amount of ingredients (i had marscope mash potatoes on three occasions during the meal).
The rest of the party was also very impressed with the meal. Due to the passion that was evident in the food, the great location and service, we'll be back and will recommend it to all of our friends.
As part of a weekend-long birthday celebration, we had dinner here on a Friday evening. We weren't dressed up to the nines like some of the other customers, but nevertheless, the staff was friendly and hospitable.
The wine list was extensive and had a great selection from local areas. The appetizers were large in proportion -- one single ravioli pasta blanketed all the different kinds of mushrooms, and the cream sauce was perfect (not super heavy or oily). I also enjoyed the main course, which was the wild salmon. I'm usually pretty picky with how fish is cooked, but I had no complaints here. The herbs and light sauce made it even more flavourful.
After that, we ended the dinner with two wonderful desserts -- a chocolate cake with a wine-doused pear slice, and a sweet honey custard.
Although it was a little dark inside, Raincity Grill is a place I would definitely recommend, especially if to celebrate a special occasion.
We arrived and tucked in for what looked to be a great place. Warm reception and friendly service to start. However, once we got our appetizers, our waiter chose to ignore us and attend to a table of persistent wine drinkers. The waiter stood and talked to this table for at least 10 minutes at a time - not once, but several times throughout the evening. The food was quite good, but there were long periods of time when no one attended to us or took our plates away.
Another table complained to the guy who appeared to be the Manager - he told them he would take care of it. Not sure what he meant, but the reality was that we waited far longer than they did for service.
If you have several hours to spend for dinner and don't mind waiting for service, try this place.
This was my first visit to Raincity Grill, but because Vancouver is a very competitive restaurant market, I'll be going somewhere with more attentive service next time.
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