I met chef Dino Renaerts a while back at the Wine Australia event. He whipped up a few hors d’oeuvre for us to pair with the wines, and they were delicious. So when I found out his restaurant Beachside Forno is participating in Dine Out for the first time this year, for only $18, it was an offer I couldn’t refuse.
The restaurant is in West Vancouver, right by Ambleside Park. It’s only minutes from Downtown and there’s free parking. I for one am starting to get sick of paying 10 bucks for parking every time I go out to eat.
The interior layout is very open; and there is a nice ambience without being overly dark. It’s classy without being pretentious—a cute little place to bring a date without breaking your wallet.
What went in
I had the Beef Carpaccio to start. The dish tasted much more appetizing than it looked. And for a no-non-sense guy like me, that’s just perfect. For those of you that aren’t in the “know’, beef carpaccio is thinly sliced raw beef. Texture wise it’s similar to a lean prosciutto, taste wise it’s like a rare steak. It was served with truffle aioli (think truffle infused mayo), shaved pecorino (it’s like a wetter and more flavourful parmigiano), flat bread that has been seasoned with this delicious garlic flavoured crust, and random leafy things on top. Rich, savoury, and raw, they all appealed greatly to my manliness; heck the flatbread alone I could munch on for the whole meal. But everything was piled on, with no real design. Whatever, it’s tasty. I also tried out the Manhattan Chowder. There was a lot of meaty goodness in it—solid soup.
For the main, I ordered the Mac and Cheese. When you think macaroni and cheese, you think elbow macaronis. I realize penne is technically a type of macaroni, but it’s still pretty confusing to see a plate of mac and cheese show up looking like this.
This dish was a little disappointing. The sauce was great but there was way too little of it. As a result the pasta became bland. I liked the addition of ham, but it didn’t come close to making up for the lack of seasoning. The Beer Battered Fish and Chips was awesome. The chips were seasoned with paprika and other good stuff, and they were fried just right. The fish… oh the fish was just about perfect. The batter is crispy, with just a hint of sweetness. If only it was made with cod… but that’s just a personal preference.
The cheese cake looks a bit like a bun, or a boob, depending on the angle. I couldn’t remember the last time I had a plain cheesecake, but it was very pleasing. And the strawberry compote it came with added some tartness and freshness to the whole thing. I also tried the coffee and doughnuts. Other than a slight choking incident with the sugar coating, I had no complaints. What can I say, I’m just not as good at swallowing as some people are.
What came out
Even with a couple of drinks, the total was just under $60. Not too bad for a three-course meal for two. The portions were man-sized; great considering they were likely cut down for Dine Out.
Our server was peppy, helpful, and efficient. The only turn off was that she never refilled my water once during dinner. I didn’t finish it until close to the end so it wasn’t a big deal.
Not without its faults, Beachside Forno is a solid little place that mixes the familiar with the strange. Once they add a few more things to the menu, I’d gladly try it out again.
(Max Score: 10; Base Score: 5)
What went in (+/-2, 0) = 1.5
What came out (+/-1, 0) = 0.5
Service (+/-1, 0) = 0.5
Mr.’s Bonus (+/-1) = 0
Total Score – 7.5/10
1362 Marine Drive