Sunday, June 15, 2014


while i was on a trip to Vancouver and Seattle i decided to slip in a fine dining experience because i love me some pretentious eats. i am not afraid to eat solo but this was the first time i'd dined on a full tasting menu by myself. 'twas pretty not funny to get the email reservation confirmation stating that they were looking forward to serving my "party of one." i'd say that's a little lacking in the party department. an insecure person might take offense to that but i just thought of it as an oxymoron. i could hear the servers asking the tables surrounding me what brought them to Canlis that evening. common responses were "it's our 10th anniversary" or "it's his 50th birthday!" my response: "i really like food!"

aside from masterful food, service was above and beyond. for example, you've got no option to park your car on your own. there is a valet service that greets you from the moment you enter their space. they take your car but don't give you a ticket or ask your name. when you've finished dinner and step outside your car is magically ready and waiting for you. they must write down what you're wearing, the make/model of your car and then find out what table you're sitting at. when you're done they reverse the process with fine orchestration and voila your car is sitting pretty.

the meal was a little over two hours, seven official courses (not including amuse bouche, bread service, mignardise and the take home treat), and $300 out of my wallet. well worth my time and money if you ask me. and if for nothing else, it's worth checking out solely for the beautiful view.

the amazing view from any seat in the restaurant. a beautiful way to spend an evening.

amuse bouche. mushroom tart with pickled onion, rice crisp with egg yolk and wasabi tobiko, tater tot

escarole, olives and anchovies
acidic. tart. salty. a wonderful surprise.

bread service. fennel sourdough.

artichoke, nastrium, radishes and quail egg
artichokes done three ways. poached, fried, pureed. a nice nod to spring with the fresh vegetables.

fluke, strawberries, pickled green strawberries, nori, fresh wasabi
lightly sweet and quite refreshing. the cured fish was seasoned just right. i sort of lurved this dish. i wasn't expecting so much strawberry but it was awesome to pair it with a fish like this. 

black cod, garbanzo beans, tarragon, tapioca
i think the fish was sous vide based on the texture. it was a good piece of fish and the consumme was just the right consistency. the tapioca in it added some interesting texture. surprisingly though, the crisp on top was my favorite part of the dish. 

wagyu beef, potatoes
i asked if i could supplement the squab for the wagyu, which they agreed to for a $25 supplement. i didn't realize they were going to give me a standard size NY strip! this was enormous and a meal in itself. i was only able to eat a little over a third of it. unfortunately it wasn't as marbled as other wagyu varieties i've had. maybe i'm just being snobby but i've definitely had better. 

strawberry, fromage blanc, buckwheat wafer
loved this! more strawberry, yes, but who doesn't like strawberries? the cheese was subtle and the sorbet tart. a good cheese couse that also served as a palate cleanser. 

chocolate ganache, apple and brown butter
you know what i didn't like about this? the apples. i could've done without poached fruit. replace the fruit with honeycomb and we would have had the ultimate winner of a dessert. the ganache with an almost shortbread bottom was my favorite part. it was rich without overdoing it and the ice cream helped cut through some of that lusciousness. 

lemon poppy seed pomegranate, pistachio cherry

a take-away. this was awesome! i ate this three days later and it was stellar! it was coffee creme filled with cherries and an almond paste. such a good way to remind me of my awesome meal at Canlis! 

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