Friday, June 17, 2011

Dinner and a Show

The whole reason I was venturing over to Vancouver in the first place was because Catriona and I had tickets to see Wicked (!!) and plans for an amazing “girl date” including dinner at her favourite restaurant…Chambar.

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I have perused their website and menu on more than one occasion so Cat didn’t have to ask me twice if I wanted to go there for our pre-show dinner.

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We had super duper early reservations due to an 8pm show time to attend, so I landed up with nice bright daylight for taking photos. :)  Lucky you!

Chambar has starting filtering and bottling their own water. Flat or sparkling, as much as you like, $1 per person.  We’re flat girls.

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I definitely wanted to try one of the delicious sounding cocktails so I asked our server for his input.  I wanted something slightly sweet but not over the top so he recommended I try one of their staples…The Blue Fig.

“A Chambar classic. Oven roasted figs steeped in gin & frozen. Served with a side of Danish blue cheese.”

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Hands down one of the best cocktails I’ve ever had.  So different yet so incredibly simple.  Figs + icy cold quality gin = Amazing.  The side of cheese was a great addition.

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Can’t attend a European style restaurant without fresh bread.  Theirs comes with smoked paprika butter. (Actually my only minor complaint about the whole experience is that the butter was too hard to spread. ha!)

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Somewhere in conversation earlier in our visit Cat and I had actually been discussing Halloumi cheese so we were both immediately drawn to the Salade Halloumi when we saw it on the menu.

“Fried halloumi, beets, cucumber, radish, sundried olives, bulgar wheat falafel, crisp pita, sumac & mint raita.”

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Holy yum.  We were kind of speechless while we ate our appetizer salads.  The cheese is firm and slightly salty, the microgreens are fresh and tangy, the mint riata is creamy and pairs well with absolutely everything on the plate.  I’d gladly go back just for this salad.

For my main course I decided to go with another of Chambar’s classic dishes…Moules Frites.  I adore mussels and real French fries done well by a high end restaurant.  They offer three varieties so I opted for Congolaise as it’s a slightly different flavour combo than you normally find on a French or Belgian menu.

“Mussels cooked with a tomato coconut cream, smoked chili & lime, fresh cilantro.“

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Delicious!  It is a very generous serving of one and a half pounds of mussels served in your own individual stock pot.  I commented to Cat that if the stock was soup it would be like six bowls.  I could not make it all the way through…especially because the side of crispy fries with aioli were amazing and continued to call my name even when I became full.

I had our server pair a glass of wine for my main course.  He brought me this off-dry Reisling which perfectly suited my meal.

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Cat’s halibut dish should receive kudos here as well.  Prepared three ways she had nothing but good things to say about her buttery, Ocean Wise fish. Dégustation de flétan: Battered, roasted & poached halibut, asparagus, mint, tamarind, bacalao, ginger & mustard sauce.” (no photo)

No date night is complete without dessert.  Especially when everything on the dessert list reads like a culinary work of art.  Cat and I make great dinner date companions because we often gravitate towards the same items…in this case: Pot de Crème au Chocolat

“Milk chocolate lavender pot de crème with ganache filled biscuits & orange scented tuiles.”

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Absolutely as good as it sounds.  Especially paired with a gorgeous full-fat latte (complete with tiny madeleine garnish).

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But…

The arguably best part of the entire meal was our second dessert choice.  Honestly, by the menu’s description we weren’t entirely sure what this might be but we were completely in love with the idea of pistachio so we surveyed our server about this versus another item and he was clearly all for the Bavarois de Pistaches.

“Pistachio bavarois in a vanilla pastry cuff with citrus white chocolate ganache, sour cherry compote & lemon buttermilk sorbet.”

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Bavarois is a Bavarian Cream…the pastry was light and crisp…the cream and the ganache were a beautiful match for each other…and those sour cherries on top were the highlight of the entire dessert.  I had to restrain myself from eating all of them!

I swear that on my next trip to Vancouver I’ll visit Chambar just for the salad and the dessert.  Just sit me at the bar and ignore my quiet mmm-mmm-mmm’ing.  Please and thank you.

Truly one of the best dinners our I’ve ever had (and that’s saying something because I ate at Sooke Harbour House not all that long ago!). 

After dinner we toddled down a few blocks to the Queen Elizabeth Theatre for a showing of Wicked the Musical.  The Broadway show is currently on tour throughout North America so I jumped at the tickets when they went on sale a few months earlier.

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I was pleasantly surprised at the cast, the humour, and the gorgeous costumes.  Act One is fun and fantastic, and of course Defying Gravity is the highlight of the entire show.  We both teared up before breaking for intermission!  Act Two is a little darker but equally as entertaining.  I know I walked out sad that it was already over!

Different touring cast but same everything else!

We chatted about dinner, the show, and whatever other random girlie stuff we could think of for the whole drive home.  Best.date.evah.

Thanks Cat.  Love you.

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2 comments:

majeco said...

Very nice!

H-woman said...

Your dinner looks amazing! Must add to the "Next Time I'm in Fun-couver" list!

I've got tickets to Wicked for one month from today--can't wait to see it!

=)