There are two restaurants fighting for the honor of being the best restaurant in Vancouver. Since I got a diner at West Restaurant as a gift from my old colleagues at PPGH, we will eat there the 21st. Let the games begin!, we thought. So tonight, we went over to West Broadway and had diner at La Lumiere, voted best restaurant in 2006: "a diner here will surely be the eating experience of a lifetime". And now I'm beginning to wonder about the sort of life they're living here.. Let's suffice to say that La Lumiere failed to really score and so West should have an easy job next week.
The signature menu looked promising enough:
1. la salade de homard: lobster salsa with olive oil sorbet and nicoise olive salpicon
2. l’émincé de noix de saint-jacques et le travers de boeuf effiloché: scallop carpaccio and braised shortribs with a truffle red wine jus
3. le riz arborio crémeux au saffran: creamy saffron arborio rice, bay scallop, shrimp, lobster and calamari with a shellfish émulsion
4. le consommé de queue de boeuf: oxtail consommé with oxtail pressé, black summer truffle and horseradish oil
5. le filet mignon de porc: berkshire pork tenderloin with apple and parsnip purée agnolotti
6. le duo d’agneau: duo of lamb tenderloin and lamb shank with quinoa grain and lamb jus
7. la terrine aux agrumes: citrus terrine with lemongrass & ginger jelly with blood orange coulis
8. le carpaccio d’ananas: pineapple carpaccio with mango & ginger frozen yogurt
9. le chausson de rhubarbe rôtie: roasted rhubarb turnover with rose petal parfait, strawberry & rose confiture
finished by les migniardises
Everything was well done. Not much was special. Nothing wild, nothing explosive. My palates just dozed off.. Low risc and solid. Not special enough to hide behind 'subtle'. Basically, only two courses were truly satisfying. But we enjoyed the amuse! We got a very good creme brulee of foie gras. They should put that on the card right away. Smooth, creamy, intensely subtile. Very good. And we loved the main, lamb on a bed of Eggplant caviar. But in the end, we felt hurried when the sweets were presented in a running fashion, it seems. Perhaps they suddenly came to the conclusion they were not good enough to focus on anyway? Well, what can one say? Hugely overrated? They have a low threshold for quality in Vancouver? We picked the wrong menu? The wrong night? Have had so many better diners in other cities, in other countries.
Any way, we paid far too much for a nothing more than a vaguely satisfying meal. West must be able to do better than this!
Lumiere means light.. For the moment might we suggest Claire-Obscure..? Fits this menu better.