Dine Out Vancouver – Le Gavroche

legavroche.jpgTonight we went to the first of our eight Dine Out Vancouver reservations. Le Gavroche is a French restaurant located in downtown Vancouver. I didn’t know the restaurant uses to be a house and because of that, we drove right past it while looking for it.

The refurbished Victorian house has three floors and an attic, the restaurant dining area takes up the first two floors. If you want to get a feel for what it’s like to dine at someone’s house and then have to pay for it, Le Gavroche is a good place to start.

Le Gavroche has won many awards for its dining experience, including “The most romantic restaurant in Vancouver” by the Vancouver Sun, and “Best of Award of Excellence” by Wine Spectator Magazine. Le Gavroche is known for its great wine pairing and I was looking forward to sampling the wines they’ve paired for the Dine Out Vancouver Menu.

Duck Liver Pate With Onion Marmalade


This was Sarah’s first course. Because it’s a French restaurant, you would expect some Foie Gras but since the menu was only $35 per person ($55 with the wine pairing) duck liver will have to do. The dish was actually quite good, much better than my starter dish.

Roasted Tomato Bisque With Grilled Diver Scallop


My starter dish was paired with a glass of Gewurztraminer Oak Bay 2005 – an OK choice for a bisque. You may notice there is no “s” at the end of Scallop. Sure enough, the dish came with one small diver scallop. It’s took me a while to find it.

Wild Salmon With Sauce Vierge


Sarah had the salmon for the main course. It was cook just right – tender and flaky, but not dry. The sauce used also compliment the dish quite well. Le Gavroche has a way of mixing oils together to give the dish a really exotic flavor.

Roasted Free Range Chicken


My main course was the roasted free-range chicken with capers, garlic, tomatoes and basil. It was paired with a glass of Pinot Noir Tinhorn Creek 2004. Sarah and I much prefer the chicken over the salmon. The dish was done perfectly, the skin was full of flavor and the meat was very tender. My only gripe was the chicken was very small. I guess they don’t grow too big when they are free in the range.

Belgian Chocolate Mousse


This is a great way to finish off a dinner, a mouse made from Belgian chocolate. Sweet! Too sweet for Sarah. I ate most of it.

Creme Brulee


I love Creme Brulee and Le Gavroche made a good one. It was paired with a Guail Gate Late Optima 2005. Truth be told, it went better with the coffee. The wines Le Gavroche paired with my dishes were OK but I expected more from a restaurant known for its great wine pairings. I will let it go because the Dine Out price might have placed limits on the type of wines Le Gavroche could pair.

Dinner for the four of us came to $200 with tips. I was the only one who ordered the wine pairing. Overall, I rate Le Gavroche three stars out of five.

Le Gavroche on Urbanspoon

23 thoughts on “Dine Out Vancouver – Le Gavroche”

  1. Tyler says:

    The chicken looks quite yummy and the starters are so-so, but then again I’m not really into bisque.

    I like the presentation of the food.

  2. Heywood says:

    I think there should be a new rule that every blog owner must post at least one of their meals each week. Who’s with me?! John, you’re a pioneer my friend.

    1. Aris says:

      That’s a good idea. Our local paper has a restaurant corner and each week the readers may submit their experience and their rating for any restaurant. You may find the framed copy of these reviews in the wall behind the counter of these restaurants. Someone also came up with a business idea selling those solid wood frame that you also get the offer in the mail, for example when they see your name in the new company list from your county register or in the paper. I saw few of these wood framed food reviews in the restaurants here. I bet if the bloggers follow John’s path like what you’ve suggested, we would start to see the copy of blogger’s review on the wall. So next time if someone spot John’s picture on the wall of Le Gavroche or other restaurants he has reported here, please come to share with us. πŸ™‚

    2. Tyler says:

      I don’t remember the last time I ate fancy. Must of been when I went on my Alaskian Cruise aboard the Serenade of the Seas. Sure you get food included but we opted one night for a Murder Mystery Dinner and the food was the best yet. The presenation of the food was also insane. It did cost extra but it was total worth it.

    3. Gdog says:

      I’m all about the food posts…and I post all the time about food! keep them coming!

    4. Jane says:

      We’ve been toying with that also, but for some reason Careers and food are not always on the same page…unless you have a breakfast, lunch, or dinner meeting/ interview. Hmmmmm, I’m liking the idea more and more.

  3. The salmon is my preferred dish and the rest isn’t really my thing, although I am sure I would have liked the chicken as well.

    I don’t think I have ever personally seen someone snapping pictures of their food in a restaurant but I love it.

  4. Nomar says:

    That looks like a great dinir, and it is not as expensive as your king dinirs

  5. scott conrad says:

    Seems ok. The plate presentation could have been a bit better on the soup and on the brulee. The rim on the brulee looks a bit disgusting and the soup looks like it was sloshed around quite a bit on the way to your table…or it had been sitting there for at least 2-3 minutes before being brought out to you.


  6. Carl says:

    I’ve always said that you can never really pass judgment on a restaurant based on the Dine Out menu. They are very limited with what they can do, and more often than not, you’ll get something that is not even on their normal menu. There are a few exceptions, but those are the restaurants that get booked within the first day or so.

    It is still useful to experience the restaurant itself, the decor, service, etc. But to get the full experience, I think you have to go on a regular day.

    I’ve been to many Dine Out restaurants, and it has ranged from “pretty crappy” to “not bad”. The only time I was convinced to go back to a restaurant was when we went to The Cannery. And since then, it has become one of my favourite restaurants in Vancouver. And wouldn’t you know it – they actually used dishes from their normal menu for dine out that year (but not the years after, and it was noticeable)

  7. Scott Howard says:

    That liver looks very gross to me but I have always loved duck meat. When I lived in Schweinfurt, Germany I would go to a Chinese restaurant(of all place) and order fried duck. hhhmmmmm hhhhhmmmm

  8. HMTKSteve says:

    I used to frequent a club/bar that was inside of an older victorian mansion in Massachusetts. I can’t remember the name of the place but it was real neat in that it was like having a big party at someone’s house!

    I wonder if they are still around?

  9. Marc says:

    I always love to plug places that I like on my blog. Restaurants, Inns/B&B, etc… I love the pictures with the reviews. That Belgian chocolate mousse looks to die for.

  10. Ryan says:

    If it tastes as good as it looks then it sounds like you got a pretty good meal.

  11. Leftblank says:

    I can’t get into people eating liver, but the other things look pretty neat, especially the dessert, I love chocolate, especially Belgium, luckily I’m close to it πŸ˜‰

    1. Jane says:

      I feel the same way, but for some reason, I can’t get passed chicken liver…mmmmmmm (boiled in a soup is the best)

  12. Alex Becker says:

    Yes so it seem the dine out experience might be cheap but the restaurants give you less expensive food.

  13. Christoph says:

    I am glad you guys get out of the house to those nice dinner places with Sarah’s parents probably taking care of the little one.


    1. John Chow says:

      Sarah’s parents came with us. We left Sally at my parent’s place.

  14. Kiley says:

    Do you ever eat at normal restaurants?

  15. Michael Kwan says:

    Kiley: John had lunch with me and 8 other people (including his daughter) today. We had pho, so that’s not only “normal”, it’s very economical.

    I was thinking of going to Le Gavroche, because I generally like fine French dining (who doesn’t?), but this looks rather… unimpressive. I’m willing to overlook not-so-nice presentation if the food is top-notch, which doesn’t appear to be the case here. The same could be said about Rare Restaurant, which I went to a few days ago. The presentation was good, the appy and dessert were good, but the main was disappointing. I’ve got pictures, if anyone is interested.

  16. Judith says:

    There is a fine line between good presentation and food that looks machine made. If I err, it will be on the side of food that looks like a human had something to do with it.
    The plating chef probably wiped that soup plate fastidiously before it left the kitchen, but how does a waiter carry it to the table with no motion? I am just more forgiving than that, but then all my favorite restaurants are more dive than diva.
    When I cook for money I’m very aware of presentation, but I’m no waiter, and that soup might look even less perfect if I carried it to the table. That said, I really don’t care for unrelated garnishes. I think it’s nicer if the garnish informs the diner of the dish in some way.

  17. Jane says:

    I’m originally from Santa Barbara, California and there are many of these house or apartment styled restaurants that are amazing. I had the same trouble of passing them each time I went to a new restaurant πŸ™‚

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