Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The birthdays that keep giving

Friends of ours took us out for dinner the other night, as part of my birthday gift. It was a dinner at Bacchus Bistro, at Domaine de Chaberton in Langley. My first thought was, what would a place out in Langley know about good food. Well they obviously know a fair bit. The service was impeccable, very friendly server who reminded R of Drew Barrymore, and of course our friends were fun and great conversationalists. We began with appetizers, L had the foie gras which of course came with brioche toast, fig marmalade, pickles and dipping sauces. He'd never had foie gras before, but loved every bite of it. C had the onion tarte, which smelled absolutely divine. For some reason, I think R & I had the seafood bisque, which while it didn't have the salt air about it that the one at The Chef and the Carpenter had, was still absolutely amazing.

Dinner was the venison roast for L (the special of the night), the salmon for R, and I had the halibut special. (don't ask what C had, I can't remember). But everyone definitely oohed and ahhed over their meals. Oh, and they brought us scalloped potatotes to share, which was so rich and yummy, I would've scarfed the whole thing down if I hadn't been feeling so full already. I wasn't thinking of having the menu prix fixe, but it turned out that since I had already ordered two of the specials, I might as well have the dessert as well. I had the lemon tart, which was a perfect way, I thought to finish off the evening. L had the chocolate mousse which looked sinfully delicious.

It was nice sitting outside on the covered patio as there was a large party of 30ish women inside, and we all know how rowdy a group of women can get. We finished off the evening with some chocolate at home to make it the perfect evening.

This past Sunday, N took us out to dinner for his birthday. Silly I know, but he had a gift certificate from the Washington Avenue Grill for a free meal for him. We'd been here before with R's parents for brunch which was very lovely. The one thing about going to White Rock is that you have to pay for parking, all the time practically. They're worse than downtown Vancouver about their pay parking times. But I guess they figure they're a small area, so they're going to milk it for all it's worth. But I digress.

We all began our dinners with the seafood chowder, which was really tasty. It was a difficult choice since so many items looked so good, but that turned out to be a very good decision on our parts. For entrees, N had the mixed seafood trio, I had the ahi tuna and R had the special of the night, Alaskan king crab legs and an 8 oz. steak.

I guess I had expected more out of this restaurant since they do call it fine dining, and the chef had done a really nice job with the food, but the service left something to be desired. I'm not expecting, or even wanting a super bubbly server and a prancing pepper boy, but at least show that you've had some training in service. The girl who re-filled our glasses would reach across the table to re-fill N's glass, rather than going around to his side. The only good server really, was the one who brought us our food and knew to serve from the left. However, they didn't bring R either a shell cracker or the seafood fork so that he could extricate the meat from the crab legs. They completely forgot the crab legs for another table.

I'm not upset by this, but I think that the owners should try and have the servers put a little more effort into their jobs. Or maybe I'm used to Vancouver restaurants where they actually have to compete for business.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

And the free things in life

are best. Got my book from Joanna today (yay!). Can't wait to read it, however, wait it will, until I finish at least a couple more questions for my homework. I flipped through it quickly and it looks like exactly what I need.

We had a surprise farewell for a guy at work today, so of course, that meant more free food. I helped get the food ready and got kudos for presentation. It's amazing how the little things can make people ooh and aah like that. I had placed the strawberries around the outer edge of a plate, all facing the same way and in the middle of the plate, I had placed orange wedges. Then I took some more strawberries and placed them between the oranges. Simple, but people seem to like it.