Thursday, December 21, 2006

Parkside

Our local entertainment rag, the Georgia Straight, in its Best of Vancouver edition a few weeks ago, listed Parkside as the most underrated restaurant in Vancouver. I had to go there. When Krista and Dino suggested a restaurant meal (my first since Bit's birthday with her friends 2 monthes ago, at always reliabe Zen), I mentioned Parkside. Turns out Dino had been there and was happy to go again.
While waiting at the bar for Fumiyo to park and our friends to show up, I ordered the Italian Job from the cocktails menu. Labelled "Muddled lemon and orange, limoncello, orancio and prosecco" it was absolutely delicious. Flashed me back to the great lemon drinks I had in Sorrento in our Europe trip in 02. Dino said Parkside is noted for its great cocktails. Deserves the note.



We studied the menu for awhile. I was tempted by the Jerusalem artichoke soup, which Fumiyo also considered. She ended up ordering the smoked sockeye salmon, warm potato galette, horseradish creme fraiche with French bean salad as an appetiser as did Dino. I went with the veal ravioli, truffle and sage butter pictured above. Fumiyo warned me it was veal, a meat I rarely attempt, and indeed it was most meaty, but I was able to deal with it thanks to a splash of the red wine Dino and Krista had ordered.
For my main course, whenever tuna is on the menu, its gravity almost always captures me. This seared rare ahi tuna, raisin (1 raisin?), capers (thankfully more than one), anchovy, pine nuts in blood orange jus was spectacular. Its hard to figure out any of the other things mentioned aside from the tuna, but they were all great. Thankfully some white wine appeared after the red for me to savour the tuna appropriately.
Fumiyo went with the wild mushroom risotto for a main course, which she found very intense. I had a bit of mushroom and my taste buds went spinning off into the forest of its orgins in appreciation.
Dino ordered the breast of guinea hen with Parma ham, stuffed morels, choucroute, Riesling sauce, chive spraetzle, and my taste of the hen was just as good as my tidbit of wild mushrooms.
Krista, who'd had angel hair pasta as an appetiser, went with the roast rack of lamb, saffron arancini, grilled trevisio, asparagus in rosemary jus. I didn't have any but it sure looked good.
The eggnog pannacotta with rum raisins and ginger snaps looked good on the menu and tasted even better when ordered. Sort of puddingy. Went superbly with a B-52 coffee. Fumiyo had the trio of house made citrus sorbets and their fruits, very refreshing after her risotto. The wait staff was endlessly helpful. Anyone who underrates Parkside shouldn't be allowed to rate a restaurant. The food was inventive, satisfying and intriguing. It's rare you can use those 3 adjectives in a restaurant review.

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