Foie Gras Is Good Grub

Last night Sarah and I joined Steven and his girlfriend at West Restaurant for Fine Dining Thursday. Thursday is the night I set aside to hit some of the best restaurants that Vancouver has to offer. I use to do this every Thursday but haven’t had much of a chance for fine dinning in the last year. No more! We are back and we’re on the hunt for the best of the best and highest of the high end. West is a good place to start any fine dining adventure. It’s the current Vancouver magazine Restaurant Of The Year and its executive chef, David Hawkswoth also won Chef Of The Year.

We arrived at West for our 7:45PM reservation and had to wait a few minute for Stephen because he overshot the restaurant by a few blocks. We all decided that we would go for the West tasting menu to get a good sampling of David Hawkswoth’s creations. The West tasting menu consists of seven courses. Instead of getting a wine pairing per person, we ordered one wine pairing per couple because we didn’t want to get too drunk and not taste the food. We had a camera with us to take photos of the amazing dishes. Here’s what we had.

Amuse Bouche

This was a small starter dish that most high end restaurant serves to prepare your taste buds for the dishes to come. It’s made from asparagus and it’s actually quite refreshing.

Tuna Tartar

This was a fablous dish. Made with red peppers and proscuitto olive oil and chives. The tuna had just the right texture and the Sommelier did a fantastic job matching the wine. Unfortunately, Sarah can’t have any raw fish at this time, so West made up a scallop dish for her.

Peppered Foie Gras with fig and citrus glaze caramelized endive

What can I say about Foie Gras? It’s one of those dish you simply have to experience to appreciate. For those who don’t know, Foie Gras is goose liver. However, it tastes like no liver you’ll ever try. It’s oh so sweet and will melt in your mouth on the first bite.

Seared Weathervane Scallops

This was the dish West made for Sarah while we had the tuna. It was a stand out dish for me. The chef did a masterful job highlighting the favor of the scallops. The scallops were made with young leaves brown butter truffle and a 90 Year old Sherry vinaigrette.

Porcini Mushrooms

This was a dish only Sarah had because she wasn’t able to eat the tuna. While we had the scallops (which Sarah had in the first course) Sarah dined on the organic bio dynamic risotto with Procini mushrooms parmigiano-reggiano. I had a bite. It was really good but didn’t match my wine, which was paired for the scallops.

Breast of Mt. Lehman Squab

The red wine started coming with this dish. I called it Squab three ways, because it had a squab sauce and squab pot feu, which was scented with porcini and truffle.

Grilled Kobe Style Beef

This was the first time I ever got to try real Kobe beef. West had to call it Kobe style beef because they got the meat from a US farm. However, that farm made the beef the same way they do in Kobe Japan so it’s the closest thing you’ll ever come to it. The beef was extremely tender but I felt the true favor of the beef was being covered up by the sauce used. It was still an excellent dish.

Selection of Cheese

The blue cheese was the best of the three cheeses we were given. The cheeses were served with warm raisin walnut bread and matching wine. OK, there was matching wine with every dish.

Chocolate Dessert

Dessert was profiterole with bailey’s cream and warm brownie. It was paired with a really strong sweet wine. By itself the wine was too strong, but with the chocolate it work really well.

The Bill

One thing you should keep in mind when doing Fine Dining Thursday – it’s not cheap. That bill was just for me and Sarah. Stephen and his girlfriend got the same amount, so this dinner for four came to $400 per couple with tips. While quite an amount, West is not the most expensive restaurant I’ve been to – it’s the third. Price wise, West was beaten by C Restaurant, where I spent $450 on a Valentine’s dinner with Sarah, and Lumiere, where the bill came to $600 for two.

The next fine dining experience will happen at Hy’s Encore.