Being that Viv's birthday fell on a weekday, we decided to celebrate it at the Raincity Grill on Saturday. This is not the first time we've celebrated Viv's birthday here, we had a pretty large group quite a few years back for brunch. Hey, the place has a lot going for them. Being located near the corner of Denman and Davie, it's got a decent view. Pricing is reasonable for it's location and food is usually quite solid. Well, we put this to the test as we went to dinner without anyone but ourselves tonight. While cruising down Davie, we managed to get the last spot before the bus stop at Denman. The significance? Well, the area around here is filled with restaurants and to find a parking spot on a weekend is a challenge. Just park in the first spot you find, you'll probably won't find another.
We were greeted warmly by the staff upon arriving at the restaurant and seated promptly. I really liked our table since there was just enough light that I didn't have to use the flash. Although I am shameless in my photo-taking, I am a bit sheepish when I need to take pictures with my flash in a nicer restaurant. Next thing you know, I will be taking my dish into the washroom, so I can take a picture in private. You never know! I'm sure that'll get me some stares. Looking over the menus, I figured that the Prix Fixe ($48.00) menu was the best bet. I started with the Baynes Sound Scallops. They were nicely seared, resting on cauliflower, and still a little rare in the middle. Typically, overcooking scallops is a no-no and being a bit on the rare side is preferable. I enjoyed the side of Potato Pave, it had a nice caramelization on the surface.
Viv's a big fan of Japanese food and it was almost a given she'd opt for the Tuna Tataki. Beautifully presented on a large plate, the perfectly grilled tuna (even on all sides) had a nice texture. The addition of the pickled vegetables almost emulated the pickled ginger that normally accompanies sashimi. It provided a much needed textural contrast to the soft tuna. The small ponzu gelee bits were just enough to give another flavour dimension.
I had the Slow Roasted B.C. Spring Lamb. There was a predominant onion theme to the dish with caramelized onion rings, shallot confit, onion fondue and onion foam. The only thing not onion-like was the potato puree. Now don't get me wrong. I actually don't dislike onions. However, let's just say they do a number on me. With that being said, I ate nearly all the onions since they are an integral part of the dish. The lamb itself was super tender and the onions were vital to the flavour profile. On a side note, I'm not a big fan of foam. In this case, I really didn't taste any onion flavour in the foam. That was probably a good thing since any more onion and it would probably be too much of a good (?) thing.
Viv's dish, the Roasted Fraser Valley Cornish Game Hen, was presented beautifully with the honey-glazed white meat atop candied walnuts. The dark meat was served as a roll with the skin on the outside. Although some parts of the white meat were a bit dry, most of it was tender and juicy. The honey glaze combined with the candied walnuts provided a sweet flavour to the dish. Despite that, Viv didn't think it was too sweet. Too bad there was only a small streak of polenta since we both thought it was quite good.
We finished off the meal sharing the Chocolate Mousse. Included on the plate was caramelized walnuts, walnut ice cream and a chocolate crisp. Hidden underneath was raspberry powder which helped give a tart kick to the otherwise very sweet dessert. The crunchy walnuts and crisp were a welcomed textural contrast to the smooth mousse and ice cream. Yet another solid meal at the Raincity Grill. The service was consistent throughout the meal and our requests met promptly. It's nice to see a restaurant that lives up to it's prime location.
- Reasonable prices considering the venue and quality of food
- Solid service
- Great location, even better during the daytime
- Unless you do valet, parking can be a bit difficult to find
- I know I'm nitpicking; but the rolls were a bit hard