May 6th, 2010. Dine Out Vancouver – Social Gastown
Can you believe it? I love food but I’ve never done Dine Out Vancouver! I vowed that this year I’d make time for it and take the opportunity that is DOV to try out a place that I’ve always wanted to try but just haven’t had the chance to. Now who would make a good eat out companion? Why, my other food lover girlfriend, Rachel! For Dine Out Vancouver Rachel made reservations at Social Gastown, formerly So.cial at Le Magasin. I just love Gastown. I love the atmosphere, the mood, the swagger and I love how all the quaint, interesting little restaurants that keep popping up there are so eclectic and unique!
It wasn’t too busy as we began our dinner. I have never had lamb before…but due to the limitations of ordering off the DOV menu I had no choice. It was either that or a vegetarian meal…but if you know me, you know I must have meat! So, lamb it was. The requisite bread and butter arrived first. I asked the girl who brought it what kind of butter it came with because it definitely didn’t look like your usual butter! She had no clue, but said she’d ask the kitchen. She never came back to tell us. *shrug* Honestly, I’ve had better bread and butter. The bread was a bit dense and I really couldn’t detect the flavors in the butter.
Our appetizers followed. Rachel had the Roasted Baby Beets and Goat Cheese Salad (with goat cheese, frisee, candied walnuts, balsamic, basil oil). Frisee seems to be the new romaine: everywhere you go it’s on the menu! I didn’t get to try the salad since I was busy with my own appetizer, but wow, look at all that goat cheese on top! Generosity is always appreciated.
I liked how the appetizers were plentiful and not skimpy. I had the Puree of Butternut Squash Soup (with white truffle oil and whipped walnut cream). It was delightfully creamy and just the right balance of nutty and sweet. I erally enjoyed the walnut cream in the centre! It gave the soup some “body” I guess some would say. Plus, any sort of whipped up cream provides a sort of “refreshingness” to a cream/puree soup. Yes, I just made up a word. I do that!
Now they took an uncommonly long time to bring out the main and I was starting to get a tickle of worry in the back of my head regarding my parking space and the time left on the meter. I was also a little apprehensive because, of course, it was to be my first encounter with lamb. The main was to be Butter Braised Lamb Sirloin (with celeriac puree, seasonal vegetables and rosemary jus). I think ours came with….lentils?? I have to say, it wasn’t as scary as I feared! I may have liked it a little less cooked, but I wasn’t offended by the smell (as some had warned me), and the flavor of the meat just took some getting used to. Gamey? Yes. Offensive? No. Filling? Definitely!
A dinner with Rachel, as you may know by know, is not finished unless we have dessert! In this case we each got a different one off the DOV menu. Surprisingly enough, Rachel went for the Classic Creme Brulee (with sable). Now, I ask you this: what is a sable? I thought it would be a cookie, you know, those soft sable cookies? But I see no cookie here…Hmmmmm!
Service was great; our server was attentive, funny and wonderfully exciting! She really made us feel like we belonged to the place. The food. Interesting. All in all, Rachel and I enjoyed another great meal, stuffed ourselves silly, and were very very happy! Success!!