Review From The House
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Supping in Vancouver: CHOW
Supping in Vancouver: CHOW
3121 Granville Street
Last night I had tickets to see Mourning Dove, the opening play in the season for Pacific Theatre, on 12th just east of Granville. So in continuing my exploration of restaurants close to that venue and to the Stanley Industral Alliance Stage, I used the convenient Open Table reservation system to learn about CHOW, on Granville near 15th.
Another fine restaurant that opened about a year and a half ago, this one featuring the culinary talent of chef, J.C. Poirier, CHOW focuses on "seasonal organic West Coast cuisine."
We arrived a little before our reservation time but were seated immediately at a little table for two against the wall. My initial thought was that the table was rather small for comfort but the plates in fact fitted comfortably in the space and it was actually great to be able to talk quietly and easily despite the background chatter from the other tables. David appeared promptly to provide water and take our wine order. I had a glass of the 2007 Gewurtzraminer from Orofino Vineyards in BC's Similkameen valley. My companion chose the Joie Riesling. David, our server, took me down to the kitchen to introduce me to chef Poirier, shown here standing behind the immaculate counter top.
David returned to explain that after the first page titled Snacks, the menu was structured with smaller plates and main course dishes listed together by type of protein. On the Fish and Shellfish page, the starter BC Albacore tuna tartare on avocado carpaccio with green papaya and grapefruit salad, cilantro, and taro chips, caught my eye. Cilantro is on my list of least favorite things and I was a bit concerned that it would might spoil the dish for me. Anyway I decided to try it.
For the main courses he ordered grilled Vancouver Island Scallops, and I, Ms predictable, chose the Polderside Farm roasted duck breast. l seldom cook duck for myself so I tend to order it when dining out.
While we were chatting, two plates arrived with a delicately presented golden beet salad amuse-bouche , as well as a platter of bread.
Shortly thereafter, the tuna tartare arrived. There was some fresh cilantro decorating the round of tuna but my companion who enjoys the herb, took the cilantro to munch on. The tuna itself on a green base of avocado was absolutely delicious. I was a bit confused by the term avocado carpaccio as I thought carpaccio always referred to raw meat, or rarely thinly sliced raw fish. And the avocado was really more like a sauce. Meant to ask about that but then the main courses arrived and I tucked into the perfectly done duck breast with delight. The duck was served on a bed of red quinoa, and with a truly yummy condiment of golden raisins, apple and onion.
We finished our meal with perfect timing so we could take a leisurely stroll a few blocks over to Pacific Theatre. Another excellent dining experience.
I noted that before 6 pm the restaurant offers a before theatre three course fixed-price menu which looks like excellent value. Three courses are usually a bit much for me. I think it would be a great idea for places to offer a 2 course fixed price menu so you can have either an appetizer or a dessert with your main course. I wonder if any restaurants around here do offer that? If you know of one or more who do, add a comment below.