The sixth Dine Out ’09 was at Water St. Cafe. It was a group dinner with 6 other coworkers and they asked the foodie, i.e. me to help pick a place. I chose this location because of its close proximity to our office and its menu was of decent value at $28. I didn’t regret recommending this place for dinner. However, having left the Foodservice Expo less than an hour before dinner wasn’t such a good idea. I was half full heading into dinner and wasn’t in the appetite for something big.
Overall, I was happy with the food quality, but for some reason I was expecting something better. There was nothing special about the Chowder – it’s good, but nothing special. But man, I’d order the Crab Cakes again! It’s light and it’s really good. It’s crunchy on the outside and moist inside. I didn’t care for the grain bedding, but it’s a dish that I really enjoyed. I also tried the Veal Scallopini. It’s good but the sauce was too thick and rich for my appetite that evening. I was too full to enjoy red meat. Oh the Gnocchi – that was one filling entree! The whole dish was full of gnocchi and my coworker only finished half of it. The Chocolate Cake was good and rich, like chocolate truffle, although I wish I ordered the tiramisu. I took one bite of the Tiramisu and I really liked it.
Although at times the server would disappear on us, I think the service quality was pretty good. One of my coworkers’ crab cakes got cold while waiting for service. She brought it to the server’s attention and the server gladly took it back. They were also very accommodating when two coworkers were just too full to order a full meal. They ended up sharing a salad and that’s all they ate. In addition, I really appreciate restaurants when they would split the bills for you without having to ask for it. In this case, they just split the bills for us and took care of each bill separately.
Although located in Gastown, it’s a small, cozy restaurant. It feels like a neighbourhood bistro, like Trafalgars. In the back you’ll see the open kitchen. It’s small but fits the neighbourhood cafe image. One thing I didn’t like about the configuration of the restaurant is the coffee/bar. It’s located underneath the staircase but right beside a couple of tables. Mine happend to be one of them. Whenever a customer ordered a coffee, the coffee machine just blasted some noise and it’s really disturbing. It’s very noticeable and definitely interrupting the conversations. There is a second floor with a private room and washrooms and it’ll be good for private celebration dinner.
Overall it was a good dinner with quality food and good service.
Water Street Cafe
Price Range: $20-$30
300 Water Street, Vancouver