The final Dine Out ’09 was at the William Tell Restaurant. I have to say, I’m a little embarrassed to admit that I’ve been to seven DOVs this year, but I’m truly happy with what I chose this year. It was definitely a nice way to end my DOV adventure with a visit to the William Tell. I’ve heard good things about it from a friend who went there on a regular day, so I was expecting some great food from them and I expected to get some escargots! When we got to the restaurant, we learned that they also offered a regular 4-course tasting menu for $42.50, so a set of that was ordered as well so I can try everything.
The food there was great. It all started with an amuse bouche of Duck Breast Mousse in Endive. The tiny bit of mousse was creamy and balanced very well with the bitterness of the endive. Then the Bread, I like how we were given three choices. And of the three, I like the one with the poppy seeds. Now, the DOV menu. I ordered the suggested Pinot Noir but I found it a bit too thin. The Escargot Ragout was yummy. The escargots were big and the sauce was creamy, unfortunately the puff pastry was a bit hard at the bottom, not exactly as puffy as I would hope for. The Duck Duo was very tasty. I wish I could have more of the seared duck breast. Surprisingly the bean cassoulet was very good and I couldn’t stop eating it. Scallops were seared well and the mashed potato was heavenly – it’s so rich and creamy – probably the best I’ve ever had. The DOV dinner ended with the restaurant’s 40-year-old favourite – Meringue with Chocolate Glaze – and it’s a perfect way to end the meal. The meringue had the crunch to it and matched well with the ice cream and chocolate sauce. However, even with a sweet tooth, I thought the dessert was a bit too big. I wouldn’t mind if they served less of the meringue but more of the ice cream.
Onto the 4-course menu. The Chicken Liver Mousse was very smooth and worked perfectly with the toast. I could definitely taste the cauliflower in the Cauliflower Soup and it’s creamy. I was a little disappointed at the Lamb Sirloin because there was no sauce to it. While it’s good to taste its natural flavour, it turned out to be rather bland. The Chocolate Terrine was very interesting. It’s chocolate mousse in a hard chocolate cover. Perhaps the terrine was in the fridge for too long, it was so hard and I had to press really hard to get a piece of it. LOL I almost cracked the plate by doing that!!
I think our server was very attentive. I made the judgement not only based on his service to our table, but also by observing how he served other tables. One person at our neighbouring table was running late, and the server was very accommodating and kept trying to entertain the waiting guests. He didn’t seem impatient at all. Service during our dinner was good, and interesting too. The entrees were served with a dome lid. On a count of “1, 2, 3” (in French, too!) they opened the lids all at once – that required the effort of two servers. And for the cauliflower soup, it was served like what they did at C restaurant. First came with a bowl with only a piece of cauliflower in the middle, then the server brought the kettle and poured the soup. They did the same for the meringue. They poured the warm chocolate sauce at the table.
On the other hand, two things that I want to make a note of. One, the quality of the hostess. We entered the restaurant right behind another group. As that group entered the dining table, they were offered the option of coat check. When we were getting seated, we were never asked if we wanted to have our coats checked. As I walked by all those coats that the hostess had collected from other guests. Two, a possible incident of discrimination, or pure coincidence. I went for this dinner with my parents, so we’re talking about a family of three Chinese. As we arrived, the hostess led us to a dining room at the back of the restaurant. As soon as sat down, we realized the entire dining room was filled with Asians. The strangest part is, I remembered clearly that I saw no Asians when I walked through the main dining room before getting to this room. Possible segregation? I will leave it up to the readers to decide.
The restaurant sure is beautiful. Even in this small dining room, I felt like I was from a rich family, eating at a fancy European restaurant. The room was full of paintings on the wall and wine cabinets. The lights were dim and the room was decorated with wood furniture. It’s definitely a romantic restaurant and is good for a couple to celebrate special days such as anniversaries or birthdays.
The restaurant would have scored an even higher score, but I had to deduct points with the thought of a possible segregation.
The William Tell Restaurant
Price Range: $30-$50
765 Beatty Street, Vancouver