*The Cannery is now permanently closed*
The restaurant scene in Vancouver has come a long way since the 70's when there were very few fine dining establishments to choose from. Some that come to mind are: The Salmon House, Cloud 9, The Fish House (formerly the Beach House), and The Cannery. How times have changed. Since Expo 86, Vancouver has truly become an international city with a diverse culinary heartbeat. Newer fine dining restaurants such as West, Chambar and Blue Water have breathed new life into what was a stagnant culinary scene. However, places like The Cannery still have their appeal, even though much of the restaurant has not changed in the last 20 years.
I wasn't even born when it first opened in 1971, but I have frequented The Cannery on many occasions from my youth until now. Sadly, The Cannery is moving from its current location in late 2010. The lease is up with the Port Authority and due to security concerns, the location will not exist as a restaurant anymore. Making sure I don't miss out on the quaint location that the Cannery currently occupies, I paid a visit tonight with Viv. Again, I was lucky to have a prime seat upstairs right by the window. In addition to very nice views of Burrard Inlet, I had good lighting for my pictures. We were greeted iimmediately by the assistant waiter who filled our glasses. Our server arrived shortly after and took our drink order. I had an Apple Martini and it was so yummy (not too sweet, and not too sour)!
She came back and explained the featured dishes of the day. She gave us plenty of time to decide on what to order. Although I was tempted to order their very popular Salmon Wellington, I choose not to. I've had that dish too many times and after Moderne Burger for lunch, I wasn't in the mood for anything heavy. We decided to have the Seafood Platter appetizer for 2 to start. Viv chose to have the special, which was a Wild Atlantic Salmon Fillet with Prawns in a Roasted Tomato and Cumin sauce. I decided on the Red Snapper from the fresh sheet. After we placed our order, the famous lobster oil with balsamic vinegar and basket of bread arrived. The lobster oil at The Cannery is very aromatic and is a nice complement to the balsamic vinegar. My only complaint is that the bread always comes out stone-cold and hard. I really wish they would serve warm, softer bread with the lobster oil. That would be perfect!
As we were munching on our bread, the seafood platter arrived. The platter was full of plump mussels (10), crab claws (6), oysters (2), shrimp (10), tiger prawns (4), scallops (2) and candied salmon (2). There were 2 dipping sauces, one was a sherry vinaigrette and the other was sun dried tomato. The sherry vinaigrette was quite tart and it didn't seem to go with any of the delicate seafood. However, the sun dried tomato was light and we used that primarily as our dipping sauce. The seafood was cooked perfectly. We could taste the natural sweetness of each and every piece. After we finished our appetizer, there was very little wait time before our entrees arrived. The salmon had really good natural flavour; however, the roasted tomato and cumin sauce didn't have any bite. A request for some lemon wedges did the trick, suddenly the flavours came alive with the acidity. It cut through the creaminess of the sauce. The red snapper was cooked perfectly, it was flaky and very fresh. I chose the lemon butter sauce and it was good; but again, it lacked lemon flavour. I guess it's a personal preference, but we like a bit of acidity with our fish. A quick squeeze of a lemon wedge did the trick, affording the butter sauce a kick.
After finishing our entrees, the server asked if she needed to twist our arms in terms of dessert. I replied. "no arm twisting needed". Come on, it's me, I ate a large burger and a mountain of fries only 5 hours ago, I can eat dessert! Viv chose something light and had the Sorbet Selection and I had the Classic Pavlova. The sorbet was excellent, the natural flavours of the fruit (lemon, raspberry and mango) were prominent. The flavours were not overwhelmed by an excessive use of sugar. In the case of the mango and raspberry sorbets, they were so smooth, you'd think it was gelato. My Pavlova (essentially a baked meringue) was crunchy, light and sweet. It was complimented by the fresh cream and fruit. However, the presentation was a bit odd, when I first looked at it, it resembled a strange looking animal. Luckily it didn't taste like one. Once again, Viv and I had a good meal at The Cannery. This is pretty much what we get each time we visit and that's what makes it a solid choice for a nice dinner. The menu hasn't changed much in the last 20 years and it really shouldn't. The Cannery has been around for a long time and it has been successful - why fix something that isn't broken?
- Consistent food and service
- Nice view (for now, before they move)
- Cozy, quaint dining room
- Not much in the way of innovation with their menu
- It's nit-picking, but the bread needs to improve
2205 Commissioner Street