Thursday, October 24, 2013

C Restaurant

This blog entry is quite overdue. I've learned that it is best to blog ASAP after the initial experience. I hope I haven't forgotten too much of the details from my C Restaurant experience this past Thanksgiving Monday. Yep, C Restaurant was my Thanksgiving dinner. With my family living thousands of miles away, I figured I'd spend Thanksgiving with a friend who also has family thousands of miles away with a fantastic deal from Groupon.

Like my last Groupon, Flight Adventures, C Restaurants "Six-course Royal Seafood Tasting for Two" sold over 1,000. The six course meal was priced at $78 (regularly $156), and with the experience I had, $78 was quite the bargin! The description for the Groupon reads "Creative alliance of chefs serves fresh, sustainable seafood in a dining room with views of the False Creek waterfront." This statement is accurate and smart, as it tells you exactly what you are getting without causing your expectations to soar.

Stealing photos... a blogger no-no, I'm sure. I told you last blog, I'm bad at remembering to take photos. It's only my second time! Thank you for posting this VanFoodies! This is C Restaurant. It's located on False Creek directly across from Granville Island.

My friend and I, for anonymity's sake I'll call him Mike, had made a reservation for 7pm. When we had called, the individual on the other line had assumed we possessed a Groupon. After selling 1,000+, fair assumption.

We arrived promptly at 7pm and were greeted by the host (and later we learned manager) who promptly offered to take our coats. There were a few available tables in the restaurant, and we were given two to choose from. We chose a two top next to the wall. The other table looked to be located in an area of heavy traffic, and later we were very glad we did not choose that table.

The Groupon menu was presented to Mike and I once we sat. It showed the 6 courses we would be receiving if we stuck strictly to the Groupon. The menu also provided optional substitutions for most courses for an additional price and for $18, a 7th course option of foie gras. There was even a wine pairing offered for $40/person and a sommelier pairing for $60/person. Mike and I both decided to purchase the $40 wine pairing and I chose to make my meal 7 courses with the addition of foie gras. Our server, Tim, also gave us the option to order still or sparkling water. The sparkling water is from in house, created by a machine. A bottle costs $2.50, with unlimited refills. We went with sparkling.

Salmon and cream cheese roll.
 Immediately after we ordered, Mike and I were presented with an amuse bouche. A salmon and cream cheese roll is not a unique item, but it was unexpected and so appreciated and enjoyed.

                                                           Bread with black lava salt.

Once the amuse bouche plate was lifted, bread was placed in it's spot. Silly me, I was so entranced by that black stripe on our butter, I didn't take a photo of the actual bread. The bread is not too important. It was tasty, but nothing breath taking so you aren't missing anything by my lack of photo. Inside the napkin laid 6 slices of baguette style bread. There were 3 different types, so Mike and I each got 1 slice of each. The  black lava salt with the butter was lovely. I haven't been exposed to black lava salt before, so my excitement may have made the butter/salt combo taste better than it would have with any other type of salt. The amount of butter provided was ample. I'm a butter lover, so I was a happy girl.

*Sigh* I dove into the first course so quickly, I didn't take a photo. :( Sorry everyone. Artichoke soup officially began the meal accompanied by . I found it quite tasty. It was cream based with a "crab cracker" laid in the middle of the bowl. The cracker looked as if it was pumpernickel and there was a small lump of crab meat sitting on top. Mike prefers a soup that not cream based so he wasn't as impressed as I. However, Mike, not being an artichoke lover, did like the flavour.

                                                                  Second course

The second course was seared Tuna. The red dots are ponzu sauce and there is watercress on the plate as well. Next time I blog, I will take notes because I don't remember the yellow/green sauce on the plate. This tuna was good, but not wow. This is not a dish that stands out from the many seared tuna's I have had in my life time. I found that one of my slices of tuna was a little over cooked.

                                                                        Third course

On the menu, we were lead to believe that the third course would be ling cod, so we were a little confused when a scallop arrived before us. Mike then recalled that he saw on the Groupon that the chef reserves the right to change the menu at any time. I like a scallop, so this swap was OK in my book. The dish was simple, but very tasty. The scallop was cooked to perfection. The green and yellow sauces were lovely. I wish I remembered what they were! Notes next time, notes!

And then I forget another photo :(  The foie gras 7th course option was inserted into my meal as the 4th course. I was stoked to try foie gras pan seared. I have had foie gras before, but never classically pan seared. The foie gras sat atop a brioche bread with some pickled grapes. I found the flavours blended nicely and did not regret choosing to add a course for $18.

                                                                    Fifth course

The fifth course was salmon on a fennel risotto (if I recall correctly!). The salmon was cooked well, medium, but the risotto was pretty standard. Don't get me wrong, the risotto was definitely yummy, but not something I haven't had elsewhere.

                                                                       Sixth course

A surf and turf followed for our sixth course. Cod with carrot foam and beef with a peppercorn jus. The carrot foam was awesome. Sweet and complimented the fish well. The peppercorn jus was OK. It doesn't stand up to what the chef where I work creates. The beef was cooked well. Medium rare by the look of it.

                                                                     Final course

The dessert course was a deconstructed pumpkin cheese cake. Pumpkin is an appropriate flavour given the fall season. The frozen yogurt next to the "crust" was AMAZING. I wish I could have more of it! I believe they made it in house. The cheesecake itself was good. The deconstructed concept is a neat one, but the flavours of the cheesecake were nothing new. But that frozen yogurt, WOW.

The wine that was had with each course was lovely. Some I liked more than others. I felt that the wines chosen accompanied each dish well. Mike and I had fun first trying the wines before having a bite of the dish and then after to see how the food would change the flavour of the wine. None of the wines were spectacular enough where I had to get the name so I could hunt it down and buy some, but no complaints could have been made.

Now...the service. The service was AMAZING!! Mike and I loved loved LOVED Tim (I'm 95% sure I'm getting the name right!). He was fabulous and had only been working at C for 2 weeks! Very friendly and appeared very knowledgeable about all the wines presented. Mike had many questions for Tim, and he answered them all with a smile on his face. We couldn't get enough of him. He knew just how much attention to give us without disrupting our dining experience. We didn't once run out of water and our plates were promptly cleared by Tim or other staff. If you go to C Restaurant, ask for Tim!!

I want to point out that there was one staff member, another server I think, perhaps a lead server supervising Tim, who shimmied his way in once Tim presented us with our desserts. Tim was about to explain the desert when this server (or whatever he was) barged in and said "I'll explain it" and promptly turned our plates to reflect the presentation. It seemed that it was implied he felt Tim was incapable of explaining the dessert the proper way. Mike and I were not impressed by this and felt it was a little rude since we liked Tim so much. We wouldn't have known the plates were not placed in front of us correctly, so pointing our Tim's minor mistake in such an obvious manner was unnecessary.

Mike and I were at C Restaurant for 3.5 hours!!! I have never been in a restaurant that long. We were enjoying ourselves so much, and slowly enjoying each dish with the wine that we didn't realize the time. Many other Groupon customers came and went while we were there. We never once felt rushed.

The verdict....

Worth the Groupon? YES
Worth the actual price? YES

Based on my Groupon experience, I would definitely go back to C Restaurant, and of course, ask for Tim. They have tasting menu options on their regular menu too, which I would most likely go for.

Check out their website. C Restaurant

See you again soon C!!! :)

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