Scout Photos: Goodbye January We’re So Bummed To See You Go…

February 2, 2010.
IMG_1760
Michael Eckford photobombs competing barman Geoff Robinson (who would ultimately win) at the Inniskillin icewine cocktail competition held at The Diamond on January 18th

It’s been a good and interesting month. It began with my friend Nathan, notorious dog gobbler and sous chef at Lumiere, inviting my wife and I to dine at the Relais Gourmand restaurant. Not since a lunch with the CCC folks at West a couple of months ago had I done a fine dining, multi-course affair with paired wines and petit fours or felt compelled to don a jacket while in a restaurant, so this was something of a special occasion. For certain, I’d been on a tear reviewing inexpensive restaurants for the newspaper, and felt like I’d paid enough dues in poutine, ramen, and burgers to warrant a little foray back into the world of refined excess. I don’t mean to say that I had deserved or earned it, but rather that I supped and drank heartily and naturally in good conscience.

This was my very first meal at Lumiere since it reopened in early December of 2008. I’d taken a peek at their opening party, dined a few times at DB Bistro next door, interviewed the new principal – international celebrity chef/restaurateur Daniel Boulud, and tasted a few doses from executive chef Dale Mackay at the amazing Senza Frontiere dinner and this past year’s Gold Medal Plates cooking competition, but I’d never actually sat in the room proper and had him and his crew unleash several courses upon me; service, wine, and all. I was pretty excited, as was Michelle. So excited, in fact, that neither of us ate any lunch in anticipation of the happy onslaught.

It’s a beautiful little restaurant, the kitchen still pristine and high tech. The dining room isn’t as gunmetal hard, sexy, and austere as Lumiere used to be when it was the playground of Iron Chef Rob Feenie, but I still love the new look. It feels more established, a lick more confident. The gently lit interior palette of butters and chocolates soothe, giving the atmosphere a softer and slightly more intimate feel. The chairs melt into the backside. The settings and service are immaculate. The music barely resonates.

It was packed, which is always nice to see no matter where you dine. The little four seat bar, however, was completely bereft of bums. It made me think of the old Lumiere Tasting Bar, which was one of my favourite spaces in the city (now the right flank of DB Bistro next door). I was a little sore knowing it wasn’t coming back, but that didn’t keep me from enjoying one of the best meals I’ve yet had this year.

Check for the photos of what we ate that night mixed in with the more interesting things we did, ate, and saw in the first month of the year…

Best Of January

  • Bao Bei neon in Chinatown
  • First off was an amuse bouche, an egg-centric trio (paired with Montaudaon Champagne) that saw diced egg with caviar and creme fraiche; scrambled egg with a loonie-sized shave of white truffle; and a quail's egg kicked with espelette and Hollandaise | Lum
  • Egg salt and pepper
  • The first course was a delightfully tart grapefruit cured piece of hamachi matching an '07 Riesling from Rippon in Central Otago. Dressing the fish was a little cucumber and radish, as well as a teaspoon of white sturgeon caviar | Lumiere
  • The winner, Geoff Robinson of The Diamond
  • Dungeness Crab | pumpernickel, shiso, orange, celery root | Lumiere
  • Mouse
  • Quebec Foie Gras Parfait | black truffle, turnip, pistachio, brioche | Lumiere
  • Granville St. | Vancouver, BC
  • Brioche smeared with foie gras | Lumiere
  • Keep those f@ckers out, goddamit!
  • Six Mushroom Ravioli | brussels sprouts, salsify, beaufort, porcini sauce | Lumiere
  • Inside the renovated Museum of Anthropology
  • Cornmeal Crusted Qualicum Bay Scallops | apple truffle coleslaw, brisket, parsnip puree, scallop jus | Lumiere
  • Inside the renovated Museum of Anthropology
  • Polderside Farm Duck | beets, black garlic, horseradish, duck jus (look at that skin!) | Lumiere
  • West Vancouver Community Center
  • Slow Baked Arctic Char | leek flan, black trumpet mushrooms, beurre rouge | Lumiere
  • We're big in Japan
  • Nicola Valley Venison Saddle | potato gallette, red cabbage, bitter chocolate sauce | Lumiere
  • West Vancouver Community Center
  • Duo Of AAA Prime Beef | red wine braised short rib, potato fondant | seared rib eye, romaine parcel | Lumiere
  • Inside the renovated Museum of Anthropology
  • Citrus Consomme | fromage blanc sorbet, lemon mousse, almond sablé, meyer lemon marmalade | Lumiere
  • Inside the renovated Museum of Anthropology
  • Hot & Cold Tiramisu Sundae with Chocolate Cremeux, Mascarpone Mousse, Ladyfingers, Coffee Ice Cream | Lumiere
  • MOA
  • Fini | Lumiere
  • MOA
  • Fresh madeleines | Lumiere
  • Pot pie | Salty Tongue
  • Vancouver Art Gallery:  A Modest Veil
  • The Corner Suite Bistro De Luxe
  • Tomato & Hendricks Gin Soup with Evoo, parm crisp and creme fraiche | The Cactus Club
  • PBR
  • Butternut squash stuffed ravioli with sauteed prawns | The Cactus Club
  • Sake-soy marinated Sablefish with fingerlings, asp, and shiitake in dashi broth
  • Exterior | The Corner Suite Bistro De Luxe
  • Duck and Chicken Presse and Foie Gras Chicken Boudin | The Cactus Club
  • Restaurateur James Iranzad in mid-chew at Bao Bei
  • A tiny portion of Rob's Hunter Chicken with four mushrooms, demi-glace, haricots vert, and herbed fingerlings | The Cactus Club
  • MOA
  • Slice of perfect Pernod peppercorn filet mignon with mash and veg | The Cactus Club
  • Delivery of dishes at the Art Institute's black box cooking competition
  • Judges grade plates at the Art Institute's black box cooking competition
  • A student's duck dish at the Art Institute's black box cooking competition
  • Lupo Restaurant | 869 Hamilton Street
  • Owner/chef Julio Gonzalez-Perini of Lupo looks up from his pans
  • Raviolo stuffed with spinach, ricotta, hazelnut and a free range egg at Lupo
  • MOA
  • Chicken Lupo at Lupo
  • MOA
  • The $9 spag pomo at Lupo (I'm in love)
  • MOA
  • Amuse at The Diamond
  • Judging the Inniskillin icewine cocktail comp at The Diamond
  • Judging the Inniskillin icewine cocktail comp at The Diamond
  • Judging the Inniskillin icewine cocktail comp at The Diamond
  • Shaun Layton competes at the Inniskillin icewine cocktail comp at The Diamond
  • Judging the Inniskillin icewine cocktail comp at The Diamond
  • Bobby Kay of Boneta competes at the Inniskillin icewine cocktail comp at The Diamond
  • Bobby Kay, shaking.
  • Lauren Mote of The Refinery competes at the Inniskillin icewine cocktail comp at The Diamond
  • MOA Performers
  • Geoff Robinson of The Diamond wins the Inniskillin icewine cocktail comp at The Diamond
  • Judging the Inniskillin icewine cocktail comp at The Diamond
  • Judging the Inniskillin icewine cocktail comp at The Diamond
  • Bryant and Bobby Kay
  • Diners feast at Bao Bei
  • Early favourite: wontons in spicy black bean broth at Bao Bei
  • Bao Bei
  • Owner Tannis Ling multitasks at Bao Bei
  • Co-owner barman Steve Da Cruz | The Corner Suite Bistro De Luxe
  • Tomato soup with tarragon creme fraiche
  • MOA
  • Kickass split pea and ham hock | The Corner Suite Bistro De Luxe
  • MOA
  • Arctic char with olive oil pommes puree, caper beurre noisette | The Corner Suite Bistro De Luxe
  • MOA
  • Granville Street
  • MOA totem
  • The Corner Suite Bistro De Luxe
  • Charlie's Restaurant and Bar
  • Interior booths at Charlie's Restaurant and Bar
  • The Cork & Fin
  • What a find! Too bad it doesn't work, though it makes for a sweet DJ booth, no?
  • Ryan and Roger on the lower level at Calabash
  • Ancient purple glass sidewalk skylights at Calabash
  • East Van sign by Ken Lum
  • Donuts | The Corner Suite Bistro De Luxe
  • Judas Goat (we're bummed it's delayed until March)
  • Judas Goat (we're bummed it's delayed until March)
  • Bao Bei
  • Justin Ault, owner of Hapa Izakaya | Scout Magazine
  • Rosy and Victoria doing menu inserts at the Yaletown location of Hapa Izakaya, just days before opening
  • MOA

  • jeannie

    Andrew:
    I heard you interviewed on CBC – on the Coast last week and you listed some great picks for restaurants in Vancouver. I checked with CBC and they don’t have a transcript. Would you post the list for me and others to learn from. thanks, Jeannie

  • Scout Magazine

    Hi Jeannie, thanks for listening (and now, reading). I can’t recall all of the restaurants that I recommended, but I do remember saying that Chambar was my “go to” place, ditto Boneta in Gastown. I’ve also been enjoying Bao Bei in Chinatown quite a bit.

The scout Community

49th Parallel Coffee Roasters Abigail’s Party Acorn Alibi Room Araxi Ask For Luigi Bambudda Bao Bei Chinese Brasserie Beach House Bearfoot Bistro Beaucoup Bakery & Cafe Bel Café Bestie Beta5 Chocolates Biltmore Cabaret Bishop’s Bistro Pastis Bitter Tasting Room Bittered Sling Blacktail Florist Blue Water Cafe + Raw Bar Bottleneck Bufala Burdock & Co. Butter On The Endive Cadeaux Bakery Café Medina Caffè Artigiano Campagnolo Campagnolo ROMA Cannibal Cafe Chambar Chewies Oyster Bar Chez Christophe Chocolaterie Patisserie  Chicha Chocolate Arts Cibo Trattoria Cinara CinCin Ristorante Cioppino’s Mediterranean Grill Commune Cafe Cuchillo Culinary Capers Catering Curious Oyster Catering Co. District Brasserie Diva At The Met Doi Chaang Coffee Co. Earnest Ice Cream East Of Main Cafe Edible Canada El Matador Espana Exile Bistro Farm 2 Fork Fish Counter Forage Greenhorn Espresso Bar Hapa Izakaya Hart House Harvest Community Foods Hawksworth Restaurant Heirloom Vegetarian Homer Street Cafe & Bar Irish Heather Joy Road Catering Juice Truck Keefer Bar Krokodile Pear L’Abattoir La Buca La Mezcaleria La Pentola La Quercia La Taqueria Pinche Taco Shop Lazy Gourmet Les Amis du Fromage Little District Local Philosophy Catering Lolita’s South Of The Border Cantina Los Cuervos Taqueria & Cantina Lukes General Store Lupo Restaurant Maenam Mamie Taylor’s MARKET by Jean-Georges Matchstick Coffee Roasters Meat & Bread Miku Restaurant Milano Coffee Minami Miradoro Mogiana Coffee Nicli Antica Pizzeria Notturno Nuba Oakwood Canadian Bistro Oyama Sausage Co. Oyster Seafood & Raw Bar Pallet Coffee Roasters Parker, The Pat’s Pub & BrewHouse Pidgin Pink Elephant Thai Pizza Fabrika Pizzeria Farina Pointe Restaurant at the Wickaninnish Inn Pourhouse Prado Cafe Railtown Cafe Rainier Provisions Re-Up BBQ Revolver Coffee Rocky Mountain Flatbread Co. Salt Tasting Room Salty Tongue Café Savoury Chef Settlement Building Shameful Tiki Room Shebeen Whisk(e)y House Shelter Sidecut | Four Seasons Whistler Siena Six Acres Spotted Bear Tableau Bar Bistro Tacofino Tapenade Bistro Tavola Terra Breads Thierry Thomas Haas Chocolates & Patisserie Timbertrain Coffee Roasters Truffles Fine Foods Two Rivers Specialty Meats Urban Digs Farm Uva Wine Bar Via Tevere Pizzeria Napoletana West Restaurant Wildebeest Wolf In The Fog YEW seafood + bar

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Lorem Ipsum is simply dummy text of the printing and typesetting industry. Lorem Ipsum has been the industry's standard dummy text ever since the 1500s, when an unknown printer took a galley of type and scrambled it to make a type specimen book. It has survived not only five centuries, but also the leap into electronic typesetting, remaining essentially unchanged. It was .