Wednesday, June 06, 2007

The Pear Tree

I had been to The Pear Tree, Burnaby's only first class restaurant, for my birthday with friends a number of years ago. In those days, it was more kitchen than restaurant, and despite being April, unbearably hot, though I recall the food was good. As my journalist friend X lived near The Pear Tree and had a birthday coming up, I took her there to see if the ambience had improved and the food was still good. I started with the Lobster Cappucinno, chunks of lobster with dashi custard and Atlantic Lobster foam that tasted a lot like a bowl of Portobello and Balsamic Onion soup I'd had that afternoon, from a wonderful local cheese and meal place called
Les Amis de Fromage . The soups and other meals from this tiny store are to take-out food what Diva at the Met is to restaurant food, as mentioned in a recent blog.

My entree was slow-poached organic Red Roe chicken breast napped in blanquet foam, served with potato gnocci and fresh mushrooms. Rather bland until a glass of chardonnay appeared, greatly magnifying the quality of the meal. Not as good as the chicken at Diva, but what is? I was thinking of the orange carmellized scallops and bacon risotto but I'll have that the next time I come here.
As a salad, I get carmelized pea shoots and pear slices. There was a time in adolescence when Bit refused to eat salad, calling it Rabbit Food. I felt myself turning into a rabbit while nibbling on the pea shoots, but the julliened pear slices were a delight. X reported the same with the pear in her salad.

X had the organic micrograins dressed in extra-virgin olive oil, shallot infused balsamic with fresh pears and tomatos. It lived up to her expectations. The tower effect reminded me of what I had the last time I was here. We were also given some brioche as a bread course. I thought it was pound cake, and avoided it, but X found it delicious.

Images of pears were everywhere. Large photos of pear orchards and more sylized imagery such as this. Best of all, pieces of pear in the meals. Fumyo's home town Kamagaya, where Bit spent the first half of her life and I'll be travelling to next month, bills itself as the Pear capitol of Japan, and has all kinds of pear products made from its abundant fruit. Kamagaya could learn a few lessons from this restaurant.


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