Two reviewers: ts and cw
Decided to forego the dessert, hence went a la carte!
Foccacia Bread w hummus
As they advertised the bread to be house-baked and such, I had high expectations. But, it wasn't warm, and it was too dense for focaccia. As far as foccacias go, the one at Bridges was REALLY good. (And the ones from Calabria Bakery too -- ie, the ones we get.) Yeah, disappointing, this. Also, the hummus was very bland. 5/10
Warm Goat Cheese Salad; baby greens, olive vinaigrette $9.00
Lo and behold, I ordered a salad! I figured baby greens will be green leafy vegetables I was familiar with. My first thoughts when the plate arrived.... "WOOO! The cheese is pungent!" and that not in a good sense. Nor did I expect my salad to look the way it did. The goat cheese looked more like thin piece of fried egg white. Anyhow, I mixed it up with the greens and ate it up, except for the purple leaves and the olive bits. I accidentally consumed an olive bit and that threw me off for a bit because I didn't enjoy, nor expected it. I was tricked into eating it, because it was hidden in the purple leaves whatever they were! 7/10
Crispy Deep Fried Whole Calamari w/ spicy tomato caper sauce $9.00
I was expecting this to be "crunchier", but it wasn't. Basically, instead of the battered exterior like in Greek calamari, this just some seasoned coating on it. The seasoning was quite nice, though. It had a kick to it too -- although I'm not sure if the squid itself had some heat, or if it was because of the "spicy tomato caper sauce." The squid's doneness: it was all right. I wasn't sure if I could detect a slight rubbery texture or not. But, I'll give them the benefit of the doubt. All in all, not bad at all. And I liked the kick of it. 7.5/10
shiitake and oyster mushrooms, pesto, goats feta, fontina, spinach $15.00
I ordered this for the mushrooms, and didn't realize I'd be consuming even more goat cheese. Ah well, it was a thin crust pizza with a very crunchy crust. I've never had such a crunch pizza crust ever. It was like eating fried wonton wrapping or something like that but with a thicker texture!
However, the pizza itself wasn't bad. I liked the mushrooms, but the pizza itself reminded me of the pizzas from Earl's. Upon returning home, that's when I realized how thirsty I was... even though I had a couple glasses of iced water at the restaurant. 7.5/10
Grilled NY Striploin, mashed potatoes, asparagus, brandy peppercorn sauce $20.00
Mashed potatoes were TOO SALTY!! I managed to eat some of it, because the overseasoning of it was tolerable when eaten together with the beef. Steak: I haven't had steak in a long time, as previously mentioned. So this hit the spot in that sense. It was OK as well. Tasted like beef. =) But yeah, it was cooked to the doneness I asked for; not unnecessarily tough/well-done. The asparagus: there were only 3 stalks!!! =( Also, as the picture shows [picture no longer available], they were thin (overly peeled) and limpy. However, when tasted, they were actually quite good: firmness-wise, they weren't actually as "limp" as they looked. Also, they had a nice grilled aroma and flavor.
4/10 (coz c'mon, they really shouldn't be messing up ANY component in this dish)
Flourless Chocolate Truffle Cake $6.00
It was served with some pitiful-looking banana slices (not sure if they were caramelized), some whipped cream flavored with some liquor (eck), and caramel sauce. I scraped off the whipped cream, but no points off for that, coz I just don't like liquor-y stiff in general (w/ the alcohol not being cooked out). The cake wasn't bad; it was "OK." I mean, no real comments about it. 4/10
[cw did not order dessert.]
I didn't like the table very much because half of my view was of the wall and the other half was of Robson street. The restaurant itself wasn't very special, just dark and Mediterranean looking. 5/10
In theory, the space should actually be quite nice, but I don't get that feeling at all. And I can't really pinpoint what is wrong with the space. I think that perhaps it's the "bad luck vibe" it's giving out. To explain, this space was formerly Settebello. cawong & I actually went to dine-out at Settebello last year -- and the results were disappointing. In this instance, there was a whiff of the same sort of "disappointment" or even "loser" essence in the air. I think the next owner of this place (hmm, am I saying that there will probably be a new place to replace this one? Maybe.) should RENOVATE and just change the appearance of the space.
Also, the restaurant was actually quite large and spacious, and more or less had high ceilings too. But for some reason, they chose to pack the table really tightly! There were only a few tables what were occupied, but our table was so cramped! Why not just add more breathing room around each table?
The guy came by a couple times when we didn't need him, and wasn't around when we actually needed him. So, in conclusion, he didn't really do much beyond expectations. 6.5/10
No real comments. OK, I guess. Although, the space being large, the waiters were congregated on the farther end of the restaurant (to give diners some space, I guess), and therefore, unless they were looking specifically in our direction, they would have no way to know if we wanted some service from them. But, I was never wanting for water! Woohoo. 6/10
I'm not sure if the $35 dine-out menu would have been worth it. I'm glad I opted out and was dessert-free. The other restaurants offered more value for the $$. 6.5/10
Yeah, there's something off about the restaurant that I can't put a finger on. Somehow it kind of dampens the mood. But maybe that's just me. 3/10
Would you recommend this restaurant?
[cw] Not really.
Would you return to this restaurant?
[cw] Probably not.
[ts] No. There are LOTS and LOTS of other restaurants in Vancouver!
Oh, attached are the three pictures taken w my cell phone. cawong told me I should take pictures, as per Jojo's numerous reminders. Since we had no camera, the cell phone had to do. As you can see, these are THE MOST PITIFUL AND SORRIEST PICTURES **EVER**!!!! They look like those hidden camera pictures -- which make it seem like we're trying to capture a picture of something "bad" or "illegal" or something. Enjoy! haha.
[pictures no longer available]
Friday, February 10, 2006