Last week, a few of us were lucky enough to visit West Restaurant for the full Dine Out Vancouver experience presented by Tourism Vancouver and sponsored by American Express. West Restaurant on South Granville is part of Vancouver’s acclaimed Top Table Restaurant group with Chef Quang Dang (@chefquangdang) at the helm in the kitchen and David Wolowidnyk (@drinkfixer) at the bar. Both are masters in their respective worlds and boy, were we in for a treat.
West Restaurant offers a three-course prix fixe dinner in the $38 category, and we each picked our favourite for the appetizer, main and dessert courses (gluten free options available!). In addition to the Dine Out menu, our group started with a round of cocktails, added a mid-course, and finished off with a cheese platter and chocolate tasting. Four and a half hours later (yes, four and a half hours) our stomachs were full and satisfied and we were all falling into a wonderful food coma.
Of course, we took lots photos to document the meal. Dine Out Vancouver festival-goers can actually enter to win 1 of 10 $100 American Express gift cards by entering their #DineWithAmex tagged Instagram photos at www.dinewithamex.ca . You can follow the conversation with #DineWithAmex, @DineOutVan and @AmexCanada.
Here’s a look at our dinner for the evening:
First, to start the night off our taste buds were tingled with a salmon tataki amuse bouche from the kitchen.
Then for the appetizer…
Before table side service
After table side service
Caramelized parsnip soup
Smoked ham hock, parsley crème fraiche
Shaved endive and pear salad
Toasted almonds, preserved Okanagan cherry vinaigrette
Slow cooked hens egg
Roasted Cauliflower, thyme crumble, truffle emulsion
For the appetizer, by far my personal favourite was the slow cooked hens egg. Not only was the dish balanced and tasty but is a bit more adventurous than the soup and salad options.
Pacific ling cod seared a la plancha
Braised kale with preserved lemon, fingerling potatoes
Garlic scape salsa verde
Red wine and cinnamon braised beef flatiron
Crispy polenta, fraser valley carrots, Caper-raisin jus
House made Yukon gold potato gnocchi
Mushrooms in textures, sherry emulsion, parmesan
For the entrée, the beef flatiron was popular item at our table especially if you’re a fan of braised meats. If you’re more of a seafood lover, the ling cod was cooked wonderfully but a little under seasoned for my liking. Lastly, the gnocchi (vegetarian option) that was prepared so wonderfully that you didn’t miss any protein.
And the dessert…
Banana cake with lemon caramel parfait
Maple butterscotch marinated pineapple
Chocolate truffle cake
Coffee chocolate chip ice cream
Orange confit, cranberry ice cream
Although we were stuffed at this point, surprise, surprise we were able to find some room for dessert. My favourite of this round was the Banana Cake which more like a take on an ice cream sandwich than expected. Light, creamy and sweet — the perfect end to dinner.
While food quality and taste is a significant part of the dining experience, service and good company is equally important. The service at West was attentive and very professional. Their timings were spot on and their knowledge of the drink and food menus was certainly demonstrated. After commenting on the wine, our hosts shared with me the name and brand on Top Table stationary; it’s the small touches that count!
Don’t forget that the 11th Dine Out Vancouver Festival takes place between January 18 and February 3, 2013, so be sure to check it out. By supporting the festival, American Express Canada and Tourism Vancouver have helped Dine Out Vancouver become the largest food celebration of its kind in Canada!
This post is sponsored by American Express Canada.
Photos c/o FollowMeFoodie