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

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