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Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Eating match lost already..??

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.

2 comments:

anke said...

You could have known............

Misschien toch ook eens the DIVA proberen...


What was that!!
By A Yahoo! User from Florida
10/30/06
Overall:
Food
Service
Ambiance
Value

Last Visit:October 2006I was able to eat at Lumiere without having to concern myself with paying the bill, so I will focus solely on the experience. Nice simple decor, kinda reminded me of the Hotel Vitale in San Fran. The night we went there was three options for dinner, all tasting menus. the Kitchen and Seafood menus are 8 course and Signature menu is 10 courses. They strongly recommend you select same number of courses which is understandable to keep the pace similar. I could talk about each individual course, if I actually remember what they were.... a single scallop, flatten piece of lobster meat with beef, veal tongue and the entree of rabbit that was almost raw... the table adjacent ours sent it back and opted for some salmon. Not a single course, of the ten, stood out as anything but average and just overly produced and showcased by an attentive but otherwise self absorbed wait staff. I left asking myself... what was that I just endured, I found myself wishing it would just stop and I could get up and leave. My wife just eats fish or fowl, they assured us they would adjust the Signature menu accordingly, unfortunately that message never got back to the stage.... uh, kitchen, there were four course that had either beef or pork. I mention the stage because in a very prentious way the kitchen door is open and you see the head chef standing thier like surgeon preparing the microscopic portions in an all to serious manner. As for value, dinner for two with no alcohol, GST and 15% tips was $380, almost twice as much as a substantially better meal the night before at Diva, which I would HIGHLY recommend. As I left Lumiere, I kept asking myself, what was that and giving thanks that I didn't have to pay. I've been to many fine dining experiences around the globe in Paris, London, Sydney, NYC and San Fran... I've experienced fine dining, and tasting menus, this was a HUGE disappointment.

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Tom Kniesmeijer said...

Diva gaan we dan ook maar betrekken in de strijd.. Dank voor deze recensie. Meer details dan die van mij.. Was nog een beetje aangeschoten van de wijn tijdens het schrijven. Maar het eten was volkomen niet memorabel..
Wie zouden op zo'n restaurant gestemd hebben.. I smell corruption here..