My dear friends Glenn & Jim took me out for another fabulous dinner a few weeks ago. They really do spoil me. Glenn had a sizeable gift card for Canoe that went part of the way to covering this incredible meal. And believe me, I am grateful. Although we all sampled from one another's plates, I'm going to focus on the dishes I ordered.
I've only had beef tartare a couple of times before. You know how, for years, you can try many lower priced champagnes and think "Meh. What's the big deal with champagne"? Then you have a really fine champagne and have an aha moment. "So THIS is what it's supposed to taste like!" That was what this beef tartare was for me.
Listed as "Cumbrae Farms Beef Tenderloin Tartare with Pingue's Niagara Bresaola, Cauliflower, Cucumber and Mustard", this was more than just raw beef. Naturally, it was incredibly tender, nearly melting in the mouth. But the FLAVOUR. I don't even know what seasonings were in there, but whatever they were, they all worked together to create a complex yet balanced, and most importantly, delicious flavour profile. I think I may now be spoiled for beef tartare.
For the main, I went with the Qualicum Beach Sea Scallops. On the menu, they come with BC Dungeness crab, which I couldn't have because of this accursed allergy to crustaceans. *sob* They graciously substituted a different topping in place of the crab. I remember one of them had greens, and the one pictured above was topped with Abitibi caviar, but the third escapes me.
These scallops were huge and perfectly cooked. They were almost silky, and tasted gloriously of the sea. My favourite of the trio was the caviar topped scallop. The saltiness of the roe somehow escalated the sweetness of the fish.
For dessert, we shared a large slice of dense, intensely dark chocolate tart paired with sour cherries and crème fraîche. The lack of a picture is due to the speed with which it was devoured.
My brush with fine dining has added to my yearning to be a woman of means. This definitely isn't the kind of restaurant I could afford to go to even a couple of times a year. I can understand why it's such a popular destination for the Winter and Summer 'Liciouses.