Saturday, May 1, 2010

The Observatory (Dine Out Vancouver 2010)

Numéro deux, this one's at the $38 option.

The Observatory
6400 Nancy Greene Way
North Vancouver District, BC V7R
(604) 980-9311

To take full advantage of the beautiful weather since this year's Dine Out got pushed back, I planned dinner reservations according to weather predictions from two sources as well as sunset times. I was determined to have a nice view. I seem to be cursed. The weather today was dreadful. It was overcast and snowing on the mountain, it was exactly like looking through a thick fog.

Observatory Grouse Mountain, Dine Out Vancouver 2010

In addition to my weather woes, traffic was stalled all over Vancouver due to multiple accidents. A 15 minute car drive turned into an hour, and as a result, we had to skip the Theatre in the Sky. I will digress a bit, dinner reservations at the Observatory has a few complimentary perks. In addition to the Theatre in the Sky show, the skyride up and down the mountain is also free. In the winter, there is even a sleigh ride and free skating on the pond, weather permitting.

To make matters worse, we found out that the car was leaking engine coolant (wish I remembered to take a picture of the green fluid). On the way back, we had to resort to using water on a pinch. Wait that's not all, when I got home and started editing the photos, I realized that I forgot to turn off the High ISO settings. Hence, the pictures for the night are ridiculously grainy, so much so that I couldn't really adjust any of them without the grain becoming even more apparent. So I apologize for the poor pictures.

On with the food...

Observatory Grouse Mountain, Dine Out Vancouver 2010

Observatory Grouse Mountain, Dine Out Vancouver 2010

The bread and butter... Bread was decent, good consistency to the butter, but we found the butter wasn't as flavourful as other places.

Observatory Grouse Mountain, Dine Out Vancouver 2010, bread and butter

I had the BC Wild Mushroom Consommé (with spring onion, smoked sablefish, truffle oil). My soup was actually cold, but the other person who ordered it didn't have the same problem. Aside from that, this dish had a lovely aroma, the sablefish was beautifully done and the flavour profiles of each component harmoniously pleased the palate. My group preferred this over the next appetizer.

Observatory Grouse Mountain, Dine Out Vancouver 2010, BC wild mushroom consommé

This was the Pinenut & Salt Spring Island Goat Cheese Beignet
(with cracked pepper aioli, parsley and frisée salad). I found this to be rather plain. Despite the adequately deep fried dough and the aioli, it felt like something was missing.

Observatory Grouse Mountain, Dine Out Vancouver 2010, pinenut beignet

Everybody had high hopes for the Qualicum Bay Scallops (with spinach purée, crab risotto, salmon roe). There was no disagreement about the scallops being delicious, but my dining companions did not enjoy the crab risotto. I found it to be decent. The spinach was also good.

Observatory Grouse Mountain, Dine Out Vancouver 2010, Qualicum Bay scallops

Below is the Fraser Valley Pork (with smoked pork belly, apple potato rissole, green cabbage, housemade mustard butter). The server informed us that it came with pork loin in addition to pork belly. This was a surprise hit with the table. The loin was very good, as was the pork belly. With the belly, however, it's so fatty that it makes you feel guilty about enjoying it. It tasted a bit like 燒肉, without the skin and with more fat. Potatoes were good, but I think it would have been better if they were slightly softer. I am not a big fan of cabbage, but it tasted fine with the sauce.

Observatory Grouse Mountain, Dine Out Vancouver 2010, Fraser Valley pork

There were also high expectations for the Apple Financier (with lavender panna cotta, ice wine poached apples). The apples were good and went well with the ice wine. The panna cotta, I liked, but a few of my tablemates found it funny and odd tasting.

Observatory Grouse Mountain, Dine Out Vancouver 2010, apple financier

Last is the Manjari Chocolate Mousse (with sour cherry compote, red wine caramel sauce). The sherry had a strong presence and went well with the chocolate. But I have to say that this dessert was much too rich for me.

Observatory Grouse Mountain, Dine Out Vancouver 2010, Manjari chocolate mousse

Since everything else today went wrong, I'm glad that some of the dishes were good. Portions were minuscule though. The Observatory is probably one of the best deals during dine out because their regular prices are so high, plus sky rides are fun and if you have better luck than me, the view is gorgeous. By the way, does anybody know what the rock is for?

MBNA smartcash mastercard, Observatory Grouse Mountain, Dine Out Vancouver 2010

The Observatory on Urbanspoon

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