Dine Out Vancouver 2008 – Raincity Grill

The Art of The Upsell


Raincity Grill has become a fixture in the Vancouver West End, capturing the essence of Vancouver in food, wine and atmosphere. The menu focuses on seafood, game, poultry, and organic vegetables from British Columbia, Alberta, Washington State and Oregon. Raincity Grill was one of the first restaurants in the city to take advantage of local ingredients and produce and in doing so helped define Pacific Northwest cuisine.

They also mastered the art of the upsell when it came to Dine Our Vancouver. Not happy with the $35 limit placed a Dine Out menu, Raincity added a $45 menu of their own. To further extract maximum value from their diners, Raincity matched each course with some very fine (and very small portion) wines from their cellar. The end results: what should have been a $70 dinner for two turned into $135 once the upsell took place. I’m not complaining however. The price is still well worth it. Raincity ranks among my favorite restaurant in the whole city.

Smoked Trout and Spot Prawn Salad


My starter dish was a salad of smoked Langley trout and BC spot prawn, organic greens and sake emulsion. Light, refreshing and airy best describe this opener. Raincity paired with a Riesling from See Ya Later Ranch.

A Trio of Tartar


Albacore tuna, Langley trout, Steve’s salmon with crispy salad. This dish was very similar to the first dish but I liked it more. The oil and sea salt really kicked it up. It went very well with the Riesling.

Bayne Sound Scallops


Bayne sound scallop, stuffed leg of Maple Hills Farms chicken, mushroom and cauliflower cream. This is Raincity’s version of the surf and turf. The scallops were better than the ones from The Observatory. It was paired with a Pinot Gris from Inniskillin.

Steve’s Salmon


For the main course, Sarah ordered Steve’s Salmon with buttered leek, braised parsnip and maple glaze. She said it was the best salmon she has ever tried. it went really well with the Jackson-Tiggs Chardonnay.

Seared Breast of Duck


Seared breast of duck with North Arm Farms organic root vegetables, thyme gnocchi and duck glaze. Without a doubt this was one of the best duck dishes I’ve ever had. The Pinot Noir from Nk’Mip matched it perfectly.

Grilled Parsnip “Red Fife” Pound Cake


This dessert must have been custom made for Sarah. The cake was served with poached apple and honey bavarois. It wasn’t too sweet, which is the way Sarah likes her dessert.

Fireweed Honey Pot Au Crème


This looks like a creme burlee but it’s not. It was made from ice wine caramel and Aggissiz hazelnut biscotti. It was so sweet you can feel the sugar rushing to your head. I had it paired with an Inniskillin Icewine to make the sweet dessert even sweeter. It was an amazing way to finish off an amazing meal.

Raincity Grill needs to be added to your short list of must try Vancouver restaurants. Even with the upsell, you won’t be disappointed.

Raincity Grill on Urbanspoon

42 thoughts on “Dine Out Vancouver 2008 – Raincity Grill”

  1. I never took you for a wine connoisseur, John. 😆

    I’m curious what that dish is your trout and salad on. It looks like ice. ❓

    1. John, what gym do you belong to for when you want to work all that food off? 😈

      1. Kabatology says:

        I have always made thesame question

    2. Nascar says:

      The dishes look solid. The duck dish can easily qualify for some grade A medium rare beef dish. I think the small amounts are perfect where some restaurant overload dishes, and over satisfies dinners into not liking a dish just because it was too overwhelming.

  2. Ronald Su says:

    Another good local Vancouver dine out spot I should try. Aren’t you afraid of getting fat? haha

    1. Will says:

      He’s already getting fat 😈 soon he will have to make a fat loss blog 😛 j/k john.. don’t kill me.

  3. Al Young says:


    I am doing the San Francisco version of Dine Out Vancouver this month.


    Come on down and compare. Too bad it won’t be going on when you visit in April

  4. You discuss your love of food the way I reminisce about my admiration for blues and jazz. Wish I could eat more of the dishes you picture here, but I can still drool …

  5. not as extravagant as some of your other meals John, but still looks pretty good.

  6. Pyjammez says:

    The presentation of those meals is terrible! It’s like they’ve laid a bunch of plates out on a bench and taken turns at flicking food onto them from 3 metres away, allowing it to “splat” when it hits the plate and leave a trail of juice, oil or sauce behind it.

    1. It does look like someone gizzisagissize’d or whatever on the spot prawn salad plate doesn’t it. You sure it was ‘Hazel’nut john?

      I have to agree on presentation but perhaps thats because i’m no fan of tiny portions with sauce splashes to make it look like more. One of these times I’ll tell the waiter I ate the plate too, since they took the trouble of covering it in sauce for me.

  7. John, that doesn’t look delicious to me lols!

  8. Neil Duckett says:

    The Salmon looks a treat.

  9. Mike Huang says:

    Come on John…we both know you should be eating healthy 🙂 I mean a least think about your wife 🙂 Cooking at home is the best way to go, but occasional once a week or once every 2 weeks dining out is good.


  10. I don`t see “Fireweed Honey Pot Au Crème” so delicious 🙂

  11. Healthy Tips says:

    ahhh looks so delicious.. but is it healthy 😛

  12. buzz says:

    John, I warned you about this.. funny, you should even use my term, “the art of the upsell.” Hmmmm credit where credit is due?

    1. John Chow says:

      I believe there is a book call the art of the upsell. 🙂

  13. Drazen says:

    Hey John
    I have noticed that lately you’ve been writing more posts about food than about money making, why is that? I know it is hard to write something new and useful every day but better to write something good than to write about something that don’t have anything to do with your blog theme (money making). Don’t take me wrong, i love your blog, this is only my opinion.

  14. Thanks about Google Adssense Book

    Nice to meet you

  15. Calvin says:

    nice stuff! hope u enjoyed :mrgreen:

  16. C.D. Allen says:


    Have you ever gotten weird looks from other patrons in the resturant, when you take pictures of your food?

    I mean, have you ever thought about anyone EVER thinking, “Why the heck is he taking snapshots of his food?”

    1. John Chow says:

      I think I started some kind of trend in Vancouver. We were not the only table taking pictures of our food.

  17. Finger licking good! 🙂

  18. Jason says:

    John if your ever in Ohio let me know. I’ll take you out for an incredible steak and escargo. :mrgreen:

  19. BloggerBible says:

    If you ever come to Winnipeg John, I will show you some fabulous places to eat that will knock your socks off. 😆

  20. Everybody seems interested to treat John Chow. Anybody here wants to treat me? 😛

  21. Kabatology says:

    The first photo says it all – what we have here is an alcoholic. John please get HELP!!!

    1. Jason says:

      I can help. Help finish the bottle 😈

  22. Madmoney says:

    Hmm… Looks good.

  23. Will says:

    Those salmon balls look so gross to me lol. I like sushi, but can’t even stand looking at those…

  24. Sorry i cant drink. 😯

  25. cbhackguide says:

    wow…those fish look tasty…how much you spent for this? is it by sponsored?

    1. John paid $135 according to the post.

  26. The salmon looks d-lish. And who won the staredown, you OR the glass of wine? 😉

  27. David Chew says:

    The food looks good.

  28. That Salmon looks 😯 …. I want to eat it?

    It was so sweet you can feel the sugar rushing to your head

    What I would do to eat that! 😈

  29. anon says:


Comments are closed.