December usually brings a lot of eating opportunities thanks to the celebration of Christmas and my birthday. As part of my birthday celebration, Mr. took me out for dinner. It was an interesting ride to the restaurant because I didn’t know where we were going. We were on the north shore, driving through a residential area, to the middle of no area. I seriously thought we were going to stop by this Chinese chop-suey restaurant along the way (well, maybe not, Mr. knows my taste). In the end, we arrived at the Arms Reach Bistro in Deep Cove.
It’s a gorgeous restaurant. It’s small but well decorated and gives you a cozy feeling. Immediately I liked this place. And the food made me like this place even more.
The daily special included a Trio of Tapas, which we shared as appetizers. The three tapas were Pork Tenderloin with golden beet & sweet corn salsa, Braised Calamari in a spicy, smoked tomato lobster broth, and Prosciutto-wrapped Jumbo Prawns with basil salsa verde. The pork tenderloin was tender and juicy, and the spice rub worked lovely with the sweet corn and golden beet salsa. The prosciutto-wrapped prawns were cooked nicely, although I think bacon would have made a better wrap than prosciutto. Prosciutto was too thin and didn’t have enough fat. The salsa verde also didn’t work as well as I had expected.
But wow, that braised calamari was to die for! It was tender but with a nice texture and still gave you a nice chew (i.e. not mushy tender!). The broth was smoky with a bit of a kick and you can definitely taste the lobster flavour. We dipped our serving of fresh baguette in the broth, and asked our server to bring us some more. It was only the appetizers and it was off to a great start!
The entrees were also satisfying. I chose the Haida Gwaii Lingcod because I had been eating quite a bit of meat in the last little while. The lingcod was flaky and moist, with a very nice crust on the outside. I’m not a huge fan of risotto but I truly enjoyed this one. It’s creamy, on the sweet side because of the corn, but chorizo pieces added some smokiness and meat to the risotto. I also liked the variety of nicely grilled vegetables on the plate.
Mr. ordered the Slow Roasted Lamb Shoulder, which had a generous serving of meat! It was luscious and tender, and the oven roasted tomatoes had a bit of tartness that helped cut through the fatty part of the meat. The accompanying mashed potatoes was very creamy.
Lastly, Mr. surprised me by pre-ordering the dessert, so I didn’t even have to choose! Shortly after our entree plates were cleared, our server brought us the Chocolate Pot de Creme. The ice wine and sour cherry compote went very well with the pot de creme. It was rich but not very sweet. I found the shortbread cookie to be a bit too crumbly and not buttery enough. Nonetheless, the dessert was quite good.
Our server was friendly, helpful and attentive. It made the birthday celebration extra pleasant. I was quite surprised that on a Thursday evening the restaurant was not only packed, but there was also a queue in the lounge area waiting for tables. It seemed to be a popular spot for dinner dates and celebrating special occasions.
It was a winter evening so we didn’t have luxury to enjoy the spectacular water view that’s in arms’ reach (got it?). Judging on the quality of food we had this evening, I would definitely come back and I think this will make a great brunch/lunch spot in the summer.
Arms Reach Bistro
107c-4390 Gallant Ave, North Vancouver