I saw an ad that they had a 3-course tasting menu for $25. Seems like a good deal. Went with Papa and Mama.
They both had the tasting menu. I had a la carte items.
[Papa] & [Mama]
SOUP: Green Pea with Mediterranean Mussels
I tasted this. It didn't taste very pea-like at all. But, it definitely was green. And there was a strange taste. Maybe it was some sort of alcohol? Anyway, the mussels weren't in their shells, so I'm not sure how many were served per soup. Anyway, I didn't like this. They didn't like it that much either.
Oh, as a note, they served bread. The bread was prety good. Too bad it wasn't warmed.
Niçoise Salad $19
Sliced boiled potatoes, butter lettuce, Belgian endive, tomato, hard boiled eggs, bell peppers, onions, black olives and anchovies topped with fresh ahi tuna and niçoise dressing
First of all, NINETEEN DOLLARS!?!??!! What's with that?! Anyway, I thought I would take the risk, since I'm presuming that since The Smoking Dog is a French restaurant, that they would be an authority on dishes such as these. (I was actually deciding between this and the French Onion Soup.)
The tuna was grilled. Tasted like tuna. And it was "real" tuna (not canned), so that was all good. The anchovies - there were 3 pieces, I believe. I LOVE anchovies. I had to distribute my anchovies with bites of other components because the other components HAD NO TASTE! I assume it's because they thought that the anchovies would provide enough salt. True enough, but then, the saltiness of the anchovies didn't PERMEATE the entire dish. So if I hadn't made sure to have anchovies with each bite, this would've been VERY BLAND indeed. That's because the "nicoise dressing" didn't have any flavor either! I seemed like it was *just* oil. I assumed "dressing" meant some sort of vineger + oil combination, silly me.
Cote de Porc in a Ginger Honey Glaze with Celery Root Mashed Potatoes
I didn't really notice the taste of the pork. Papa was satisfied with its tenderness. I'm also not sure there was celery root in the potatoes. But then again, maybe there was. However, the pork was NOT glazed with a "Ginger Honey Glaze." They seemed to have put just a generic demi-type sauce. Where's the glaze?!?!
8 oz. New York Steak in a Peppercorn Sauce & Pommes Frites
They changed the beef dish. It was a filet mignon wrapped w bacon, and it wasn't served with a peppercorn sauce. Anyway, Mama really liked the doneness and tenderness of the beef. It was all right. However, the pommes frites weren't good at all. For some reason, they reminded me of "fake" french fries, the kind served in cafeterias. That's BAD for a supposed authentic French restaurant.
Duck à l’Orange $30
Slow roasted BC duck, sauce à l’orange with seasonal vegetables and potatoes
Duck meat (breast): it was WELL DONE (in doneness). Not good. Usually I would go for medium rare or medium for duck meat (breast).
The "good thing" was that it was a prety big serving. That is, there was a duck breast AND a duck leg. That's big.
Back to the breast: the fat wasn't rendered off. So there was a layer of gummy duck fat beneath the skin. NOT GOOD. I didn't really finish this dish. Also, I may be crazy, but i don't think this was done "a l'orange" AT ALL! Again, just a normal demi-type sauce with no ORANGE taste.
Annoying! Either their sauces don't let the supposed flavor come out, or they ran out of those sauces, or they just used the other sauces thinking we wouldn't notice. I really don't know.
Dessert: Chocolate Ganache Tart
This was "OK". Chocolate in a tart shell. The tart shell was pretty hard, so you had to break it off and then just sort of dip the pieces in the chocolate filling. So it was sort of eating "YAN-YAN". =D
OK, 'tis all. I guess I probably won't be going back to The Smoking Dog, since there are SO MANY other restaurants in Vancouver.
Sunday, September 25, 2005