|Bacon and Snail Pie|
Onto the main, and another 250ml carafe - Rosso di Montepulciano, Cantina Crocian. I'm a fan of Montepulciano, and this delivered the fruit I desired. I opted for the Bavette of Scottish beef, shallot sauce, the better half going for Friday's special dish - Classic bouillabaisse ‘Marseille style. I stuck with the suggested medium rare, being flank steak, it's not a good idea to cook it anymore than that. It was a pretty decently sized piece of meat, served with grilled carrots, and I ordered an extra side of fries. It arrived in a pan, that I'm pretty sure it wasn't cooked in. This is a bit disingenuous feeling. Hmm. I transferred it to my plate, and our young French waiter aided by adding a last ironic cheffy smear of the shallot jus (he was a good lad, we liked the service.) The beef itself was actually very good. Nothing ground breaking, but seemed very good value at 14.95. The fries were fantastic. The better half's bouillabaisse was lacking - where were the molluscs? Shellfish? There was hint of them in the sauce, but just a massive slab of fish was all she could find in the pot. The soup had such great flavour, it's a shame she couldn't sink her teeth into any of the participating ingredients. It just didn't have the wow factor, and was a little same-y.
For dessert, a classic vanilla crème brûlé. There are a couple of basic things on the check list for a crème brûlé. First the sugar. Is it the right thickness? Has it been over or under torched? This first box was thankfully ticked. Onto the contents - it wasn't quite as set as we would have liked, a little too, milky. Where was the vanilla? Better half wants to see specks of seed all over the place. I think I could count maybe 20? I'm sure it's a personal thing, but hey, there's no accounting for taste.
Would we go back? Probably not. But that's not to say I wouldn't recommend it. It definitely has a nice atmosphere, the service is great, and the cooking is certainly competent. But eh, there are plenty of other restaurants I need to try before returning here. Go to Arbutus instead if you've never been.