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Posts Tagged ‘Duck Confit’

While we were in the Okanagan, of course Hester Creek wasn’t the only winery we visited. On this trip, we ventured out to Summerland, specifically the Bottleneck Drive area, and we discovered Evolve Cellars.

Evolve Cellars was open in 2015 and above the tasting room is e, its dining room. Simple decor – white wall, white table cloth, with big window panes overlooking a gorgeous view of its vineyard and Lake Okanagan. Bryan, Kathryn, Mr. and I made a lunch reservation prior to getting there, and we’re patting our back for making a good choice.

View of Evolve Cellars

Food

e’s lunch menu is quite interesting. I like that they incorporate their wine into many of the dishes. We shared a few appies, including the Seared Scallops. There was nice caramelization on one side of the scallops, the scallops were cooked to the right temperature, tender and sweet. The roasted corn salsa gave it some smokey flavours and crunch. For us, they were served on a spoon and it made a perfect bite (Mr. really liked it, because he always wants “a bit of everything in each bite”).

Seared Scallops

The Bruschetta was probably my least favourite appetizer. Don’t get me wrong, it was quite good.

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Last year, Beach Bay Cafe popped up in the space where Raincity Grill used to be. Since then, they’ve made some slight adjustments on the menu direction, as well as found a new executive chef, so with their Dine Out participation, I decided to give it a try.

Food

To start, Mr. ordered the Seafood Chowder. It’s creamy, wasn’t super thick, yet loaded with lots of ingredients. Every spoonful there were chunks of potato and carrot and seafood such as shrimp, mussels and squid. There’s smokiness and savoury flavours coming from the bacon as well as crispy leeks. I had a few spoons and I quite liked it; Mr. had most of it and thought it’s a bit too salty for him.

seafood chowder

For an extra $4, I had 1/2 Dozen Oysters for appetizer. The night’s feature was Little Wing oysters; they were not too big in size, but had a deep cup shell. The flesh tasted clean and crisp with a hint of sweetness. I’ve never had this kind before and thought they were pretty good. The oysters were paired with an apple mignonette, which was on the sweet side, so you had to add a squeeze of lemon juice to bring a bit more acidity.

half dozen west coast oyster

I’ve ordered mostly seafood dishes during Dine Out, so I switched things up with an order of the Confit Duck Leg. Wow loved the crispy skin on the duck leg! (more…)

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While we were in Toronto, our friend BD and JG took us to a Middle Eastern restaurant called Fat Pasha. Looking at its website, it has some interesting items, including meat options for the carnivore in Mr. and I, and many vegetarian options for BD and JG.

Food

We ordered a bunch of things to share, plus a couple meat dishes that Mr. and I got to enjoy all by ourselves.

First of all, a Salatim Platter. You can order 3 things for $14, or 5 for $23 or 7 for $32. We chose the Beetroot Relish, Cranberry Bean and Chopped Eggplant. We ate with our eyes first as the platter had such beautiful colour combination and it’s quite pretty to look at. The beetroot relish had a nice pink hue, a little bit acidic, quite refreshing on the palate. The cranberry bean was slightly spiced, but you can still taste the tartness in cranberry. The chopped eggplant was meaty, had the most savoury mouthfeel to it. I liked the addition of chopped nuts and oil drizzle and a dash of sea salt on top of the spread, to add some texture and depth of flavours. The accompanying pita bread was hot to the touch, seasoned and we kept on ordering more to finish the spread.

Salatim Platter

The Chopped Liver and Onions was a tasty take on liver mousse. When the plate arrived, we had to mix in the liver with onions and a hard boiled egg. It came with slices of grilled bread and pickled horseradish. I’m usually not a horseradish fan but this was quite mild and the peppery note really helped with the liver taste. This was quite a generous portion of liver mousse and Mr. and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Chopped Liver and Onions

The Fried Crushed Potatoes was really good! It didn’t feel like a side at all. (more…)

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A spa date with CC took me to North Vancouver and she suggested to try this restaurant called Tour de Feast. It’s located in a business complex next to an industrial complex. It’s not easy to spot in the dark and the interior basically looked like a cafe.

Food

Taken a look at the menu and I was caught off guard by how fancy the menu was. Not a big menu, but with items that you would find at fine dining restaurants. The day’s special was a surf and turf with steak and sockeye salmon; I didn’t go for that because my mood didn’t call for it.

So for appetizer I ordered the Octopus 2 Ways. First, the tentacles were braised to absolute tenderness it could be considered borderline mushy. Haha the suction cups just fell right off as you took bites. The flavour was quite nice; it could be even better if using a bit of heat. Then, there was an octopus rillette. It’s similar to crab cake except it’s mostly dough with some pieces of octopus inside. It’s pretty good but quite filling. I think we were off to a good start.

Octopus 2 Ways

With entree, I chose one of my favourite dishes, Duck Confit Cassoulet. The duck leg looked HUGE!! (more…)

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For a triple-date night, we went for Dine Out at Chicha, a Peruvian-inspired eatery in the Mount Pleasant area. There were lots of options on the $28 menu, with some interesting combination of ingredients. I was intrigued.

Food

Because of its “tapa-style” menu, instead of 3 courses, you actually get 4 plates at Chicha. Definitely a bonus, I’d say. To start, I ordered myself a Chilcano (left), a ginger-beer based cocktail. It had some nice acidity to it, with a bit of heat from the ginger root. Mr. ordered the Inka Cola, a Peruvian soda which we were told “taste like cream soda.” And it did taste just like cream soda, not much fizz, and a bit sweeter than the actual cream soda we’re used to.

ChilcanoInka Kola

And then the feast began! First, my Aji Amarillo Local Seafood Chowder was pretty good. I was expecting a bit of heat with the aji amarillo chili pepper, but rather on the mild side for me. In addition to fish pieces, there were squid in the chowder, tender and not like chewing bubble gum, which I thought was different from most other ones.

Aji Amarillo Local Seafood Chowder

Mr. had the Palitos de Yuca, which was basically cassava root fries. They were a lot starchier than potato fries, and had a harder exterior too. The Peruvian Huancaina sauce was spicy, creamy, reminded me of a curry mayo. This was quite filling as an appy. While it’s good, I think we prefer regular potato fries.

Palitas de Yuca

Each of us received two entrees, i.e. 4 for us! Each of the Pan Con Chicharron Sliders had a hearty slice of pork belly, and the fatty part just melts in your mouth!
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Weather has been so nice it’s to resist from going outside for lunch. Of course that also screams food truck season. Trying to hit up food trucks that I have yet to check out, I got to the end of the line up at Fat Duck Mobile Truck. It was located at the corner of West Cordova and Howe on a Thursday afternoon.

Duck Confit Sandwich, Philly style

Food

Their menu is pretty small, just 4 items — but small menu means a better focus on the food, so they would be closer to perfection. The Duck Confit “Philly” Style sandwich caught my eyes right away and I ordered it without any hesitation.

And it was really good! (more…)

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For every Dine Out, in addition to the new restaurants that pop up throughout the year, my family and I also have a wishlist of restaurants that we would look for. It has been a few years since we wanted to go to The Observatory on Grouse Mountain, but every time the menu just wasn’t very interesting to us. Finally this year’s menu seemed to have something for everyone so we booked it as part of our Chinese New Year celebration.

The Observatory

Food

I should give a caveat that The Observatory isn’t a typical Westcoast restaurant. There are elements of molecular gastronomy that you will see below. But before I even talk about the actual menu, I must compliment on the Epi French Bread (Pain d’Epi) that they offer each table. First of all, it’s free; secondly, it’s of generous amount; and thirdly, it’s hot and tastes good. It came with a compound butter with some smokey and apricot flavours topped with some sea salt. It was some really good-tasting bread, crunchy but not jaw-breaking, and we finished it rather quickly.

Bread

Because there were 3 of us, we got all three appetizers. The Duck Confit wasn’t a whole duck leg; it was shredded duck meat in a ring mold along with some micro green salad. The grapefruit gel was basically the dressing, adding a bit of sweetness, bitterness and tartness to the salad.

Duck Confit

The Roasted Heirloom Beets was just too pretty to eat. The two preparations (crispy and soft roasted) really showcased the beets and its natural sweetness was very pronounced. The ricotta cheese cake replaced the usual goat cheese but still brought in some creaminess to the salad.

Roasted Heirloom Beets

The Black Cod Brandade was quite good (what is brandade?). (more…)

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