Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Vancouver the Last

I'm going to sum up the rest of our Vancouver trip very briefly, because it's been over a week now and nobody cares.

If you ever find yourself in Vancouver with 300 bucks to drop on a meal, I think you should drop it at Cioppino's. It's in Yaletown, which is the trendy yuppified-old-warehouses-turned-into-lofts district. But the food is amazing and they have a picture of Bill Clinton there to prove it. I'm not even sure what I mean by that. 

We split two appetizers, a pasta, a main and a dessert along with a very pleasant bottle of wine the waiter recommended when he saw me wrestling with the three-inch thick wine list. The courses were fantastic, each one better than the last.  

My half of the main course, perfectly medium rare lamb with curry foam

Before we drove home on Sunday, we went for brunch. Fraiche is a restaurant in West Vancouver, with an absolutely amazing view back over the city. Sitting there was definitely one of those moments where I felt ridiculously lucky to be me. I had the eggs benedict, all the while thinking "hey, screw you Bourdain for trying to ruin this for me."  

Doesn't even do it justice.
I'm not sure what the problem is with the formatting, but I'm too lazy to try and fix it. Good thing I am not a blogging professional. 

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Vancouver the second

We took our leave of Salt Tasting Room without a solid follow-on plan. The sun was out for probably the first time in a week (Juneuary! says the media) and we entertained the idea of a patio. But the first one we came across was way crowded, then the next one was not very well reviewed on Yelp. After walking the length of Gastown, we decided to double back and try to get in to one of the Chowhound recommended spots, The Pourhouse. Open Table claimed they had no seatings available, but we figured we could at least try to get in the bar.

Best decision ever. We walked in and the hostess showed us to a couch in the bar and said she would have a table for us shortly. This place is famous for drinks, and if the table of four women horizontal in their booth was any indication, the booze pours freely (did I mention it was all of 7:30 at this point? They asked me to join them, but I declined). The bartender came over to make friends and learn more about us so that he could make us the perfect drinks, and after a brief interview he said he knew just the thing and went off to mix. He made something bourbon based for Mo that I believe was called a Red Hook, and for me, a Clover Club cocktail. Do you know how delicious a Clover Club is? Too delicious. Gin, lemon juice, raspberry liqueur and an egg white. I decided it was in my best interest to stop at one.

Once seated, we had a seared tuna and artichoke salad that didn't work as well as I had hoped it might. Mo's entree was steelhead trout with sage and brown butter gnocchi, which was great. But it was completely overshadowed by my meal. I had braised beef, served on pureed celery root with some mushrooms, spinach and roasted tomatoes. But the kicker was the dollop of horseradish creme fraiche on top. That I have never thought of such a thing before is a travesty. It sounds like too much, right? Rich on richer? But it was amazing. I damn near licked that plate clean.

There were so many intriguing options on that menu that we had a hard time choosing, but we were both very satisfied with our choices. It's only too bad we weren't there in a larger group so that we might have been able to taste more. Of course, it would have only been sad to be there in a larger group that didn't believe in sharing. I am sure we'll go back next time we're in town, but it will be a challenge not to order that beef again.

Next time: Our Saturday night meal.

Me enjoying the view of my husband enjoying the view

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Vancouver, part one

Is a post about travel still interesting if there aren't any pictures? Let's find out. The hubs and I got sprung from lockup for the weekend and went on a romantic little getaway to Vancouver, BC. It was Mo's first time there, and the first time I had been since I turned 21 and no longer needed to go to Canada to drink in bars.

Since I had no idea where to go for grown-up activities, we based all of our dining decisions on the recommendations of the Chowhound boards. I find the postings there obnoxiously self-aggrandizing and repulsive 99% of the time, but I'm glad that I held my nose and went in, because we ate at four great restaurants over our three days there.

First up was Salt Tasting Room. It's a tiny little hole in the wall on Blood Alley in the Gastown section of town, which is not altogether as rough and tumble as it sounds (although we did see a real live meth head smoking her pipe on our way out - but then a Bentley drove by, so you see what I mean).

The concept at Salt is that you order three meats and cheeses off of a big chalkboard, and pair it with a wine flight if you want. Boy, did we want. So we ordered two flights and one plate. We were overwhelmed by choice (neither of us is a great decision maker) so we let them choose.

We ended up with a Pt. Reyes blue, a Leicester I think Lancashire and some locally made corned beef. Oh, the corned beef. It was so delicious - sliced so thin you could see through it - I wanted to have them load up my purse so I could snack on it the rest of the night. It came with a condiment called mostarda which I had never heard of before, but which apparently is quite trendy. It was overkill for the beef but was very good for covering up the socks taste of the Lancashire cheese. The wine flights were unremarkable, but well paired.

If I went back, I would be piggish about it and order two plates so I could sample more meats and cheeses. We were being conservative because we did not have a solid dinner plan and wanted to keep our options open. We were just underwhelmed enough with our first plate that we wanted to move on rather than order another plate, although this is not to say we didn't enjoy it. We just weren't in love enough to stay, having not played the field at all.

I'm going to drag this out, so that I have stuff to post about! Next up, our meal at The Pourhouse!

Oh look, I do have a picture!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Firstworld problems

I think that twitter is breaking my brain. No, I know that twitter is breaking my brain because the first time I wrote that, I wrote "brian." I'm totally obsessed and I get all pissed off and frustrated if the people I follow don't tweet enough. I'm all like HOW CAN IT BE POSSIBLE THAT NOT ONE OF THE 133 PEOPLE I FOLLOW HAS HAD SOMETHING TO SAY IN THE LAST TWO MINUTES?!?!?! I NEED TO FOLLOW MORE PEOPLE TO MAKE THE FLOW OF USELESS INFORMATION MORE CONSISTENT. It's really pretty sad and proves that the end is nigh, at least for intelligent thought.

I'm blaming twitter for my lack of blog posts. Twitter and a two-year old child. One for ruining my attention span and the other for driving me to drink away my free time. It's so much nicer to find a comfortable spot to pin blame rather than to confront myself over my total lack of self-discipline.

So welcome to my blog, where the only consistent theme seems to be the inconsistency of my posts. Now appearing biannually!

I just googled "biannually" to make sure that's what I meant.