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JELBurnabySince September 28, 20063 Reviews
Average Rating
4.5 (4.3)
  • Food4.5 (4.7)
  • Service3.5 (3.3)
  • Ambiance4.5 (4.3)


Displaying 1 - 3 of 3 Reviews Found
Pear Tree, The4120 Hastings Street, Burnaby
So close to perfection
Submitted Sunday, November 5, 2006 - 6:36pm [Dine in]

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.

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Bearfoot Bistro4121 Village Green, Whistler
Best Meal of My Life?
Submitted Thursday, September 28, 2006 - 4:14pm [Dine in]

My wife and I celebrated our anniversary in Whistler in 2005 and chose Bearfoot Bistro for dinner. It was one of those rare dining experiences where everything comes together perfectly - you are at the apex of appetite just before you get over-hungry, the sun is just going down outside the window, the kitchen gets the food just right, the wine is paired to perfection, and the servers manage to find the exact balance between being attentative and ignoring you. I have referred to this meal to friends as quite possibly the finest dinner I have ever had.

The highs - The decor is simple but cosy, and I love the wine crate covers on the walls (mmm... Far Niente...). I started my 5 courses with a seafood dish paired with a wonderful riesling before moving onto an incredible foi gras matched with a sauterne that blew my socks off. All of this was just foreplay for the caribou, cleverly served with a port, of all things. One bite and sip convinced me that I had just eaten the finest combination of food and beverage in my life. My wife kept things more simple and went for a seafood starter before the lobster special, paired with a crisp white, which was also excellent. Service was outstanding. At one point, the waiter poured me a glass of wine that was not on the "by the glass" menu, simply because "it is the best pairing for your course".

The lows - none.

I have not been back yet, partly because it's in Whistler but partly because it was the kind of meal that you don't want to ruin the memory of with a potentially second-rate second visit. This is ridiculous of course, so I plan on returning in the spring for a vacation. Bring on the caribou and port!

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Hermitage1025 Robson Street, #115, Vancouver
Unique with authentic French cuisine
Submitted Thursday, September 28, 2006 - 3:56pm [Dine in]

Hermitage is in my top 10 restaurants in the city, mostly because I find it unique and consistently solid in terms of the food and the service. It is certainly in my top 5 for authentic French food.

The highs - The atmosphere is wonderful, like being in a warm French family's basement. Service was very good on the 5+ occasions I have been. Kir Royales are the best I have tasted anywhere (including Paris) because they appraently make their own cassis and get the mix perfect (unlike La Regalade's - a restaurant that I love otherwise). Steak tartar is amazing and served with perfect frites. Fish soup is wonderful and rich. The duck is simple and tasty. One of my most memorable dishes ever was a warm lentil salad here (unfortunately not on the regular menu).

The lows - none that I can really think of. I have always been treated well and have never had a disappointing dish. Perhaps a limited lower-end wine selection would trouble some.

Wonderful place. This one is on my regular yearly rotation, and sometimes gets a second or third visit when guests are in town.

Hermitage is in the Entertainment Book, and does not clip your card. A nice bonus.

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