The Wine Keeps Getting More Expensive!
I know many of you just had dinner so I figure this would be a great time to post my newest Dine Out Vancouver experience. It will make you either more hungry or more upset because your dinner may not be as good as the one I had. You can blame my evil side for posting the dinner right after dinnertime. 😀
Raincity Grill is a restaurant I have wanted to dine at for a long time. I had extremely high expectation for Raincity Grill because Harry Kambolis owns it. Mr. Kambolis is also the owner of the awarding winning C and Nu restaurant. Raincity Grill was one of the first restaurants in Vancouver to take advantage of local ingredients and produce and in doing so helped define Pacific Northwest cuisine. Open since 1992, Raincity Grill has become a fixture in the West End, capturing the essence of Vancouver in food, wine and atmosphere. The restaurant offers a great view of English Bay but as luck would have it, a fog had descended to block our view of the water.
Raincity offered two Dine Out menus, the normal three-course $35 menu and a special four-course $45 coastal seafood-tasting menu. As tempted as I was to try the four-course menu, we stuck with the normal three-course offering so we can better compare all the restaurants in our Dine Out list. Raincity had the most expensive wine pairing yet: $32.50 on top of the $35.00 Dine Out price. The price is justified because Raincity has one of the best Sommelier in the city.
Organic Mushroom Ravioli
This was Sarah’s starter, an organic mushroom “ravioli” with purple kale, garlic cream. Sarah absolutely loved this dish. We’re not exactly sure why the chef called it a ravioli (other than the pasta sheet) however. If you love mushrooms, you would have found heaven with this dish.
Smoked Skeena River Salmon
For my starter, I had smoked salmon with side striped shrimp and celery root salad. It was paired with a glass of Chenin Blanc from Inniskillin. This was one of the best smoked salmon I ever had and the wire matched perfectly with it. The presentation, with its all glass plate, was also nicely done.
My main course was the beef striploin, cooked medium rare, with sunroot bread pudding, roasted beets, and wild mushroom jus. The Sommelier paired it with a glass of Inniskillin, Cabernet Sauvignon. When you bite into this striploin, the first word out of your mouth will be, “Wow!” Then when you try it with the wine, you’ll get another wow out of your mouth. My only problem with the dish was the portion – just three small pieces of meat that can be consumed in 10 bites. The veggies on the side took up more space than the beef. The presentation was fantastic however. The chef made the striploin look bigger than it really is.
Wild Skeena River Salmon
Once again, Sarah stuck with the fish for her main course. The wild salmon was cooked with confit potato, cipollini onion caramel and green beans. This was as perfect a salmon dish as you’re ever going to get. Normally, I like my salmon smoked or raw, but the cooked version Raincity did was just exceptional.
Bittersweet Chocolate Terrine
My dessert had a misleading name – there was nothing bitter about it. The terrine was paired with a Jackson-Tiggs Riesling icewine that accounted for $14 of the $32.50 wine pairing cost. You see the picture of me at the top of this post? That is what $14 of icewine looks like. Luckily, the wine was a perfect match for the dessert. You can’t consume the wine by itself, it’s just way too sweet. Pair it with the terrine and it becomes just right.
Fraser Valley Honey Custard
Sarah’s custard was served with a hazelnut biscuits that was good for dipping. The custard tasted like a Crème Brulée but without the sugar crust. Sarah found the sweetness just right for her taste.
Overall, we were extremely pleased with our Raincity Dine Out experience. It was every bit as good as the experience from The Observatory. The only thing that could have made it better would be to have no fog block our view of English Bay.
Dinner for Sarah and I came to $125.00 plus $7.00 for valet parking. That makes Raincity the current most expensive Dine Out restaurant for two people. Despite that, Sarah and I will definitely go to Raincity Grill again. I give it 4.5 out of five stars.