Sherman's Food Adventures: H2 Rotisserie & Bar

H2 Rotisserie & Bar

From what I can remember about the Westin Bayshore when I was really young, it was one of the nicer hotels in town that sported one of the hottest restaurants in town.  Yes, for those who are old enough to know, Trader Vics was one of the places to be and be seen.  I was too young to ever experience a meal there though.  Fast forward to the present and the place is completely new and Trader Vics is nothing but a memory (I'm sure my parents have a picture of it somewhere...).  For the Burger Challenge, it brought me to the Westin where I got to experience their hot new restaurant - H2 Rotisserie & Bar.

Upon entering, we were welcomed to a modern and inviting space that was lively and hip (impressive for a Tuesday night).  We started things off with the Shout a Little Chowda Seafood Chowder.  This was creamy, but not in a heavy way while loaded with local west coast clams and mussels, prawns, salmon and baby scallop.  It was definitely hearty and quite filling.  Exhibiting only a minor hint of brininess, there was no denying the seafood flavour.  I liked how they added whole pieces of shellfish on top for both aesthetics and eating enjoyment.  Next up, the Beef Carpaccio consisted of hand sliced paper thin certified Angus Beef tenderloin, Barnston Island micro arugula, truffle oil, maldon salt and parmesan.  First off, the meat quality was top-notch being buttery melt-in-my-mouth tender.  I loved how the truffle oil was kept to a minimum where it added a complimentary earthiness without being overwhelming.  However, there really needed to be an aioli of some sort to add more moisture to the dish.

Onto the mains, we went straight for their signature Quarter Rotisserie Chicken with herb-roasted fingerling potatoes and grilled asparagus.  Sporting beautifully rendered skin, the chicken ate moist and was aromatic from the herbs and roasting.  Some of the exterior parts were a touch dry but it didn't take away from the overall tenderness of the meat.  The accompanying gravy was nicely seasoned and added that extra moisture and flavour.  Onto their burger challenge creation, we had the Hot Jill Meats Huckleberry B.C. Bison Burger.  It consisted of a 6 oz. grass fed pasture raised BC bison, huckleberry relish, Little Qualicum hot jill monterey cheddar, crisp barnston island red frill lettuce and garlic aioli served on an artisan challah bun.  This was prepared a beautiful medium-rare where it was juicy and tender.  There was a nice outside char and the gaminess of the meat was not overwhelming.  Lightly sweet, the huckleberry relish was the perfect compliment to the game while the cheese brought everything together.  This was my favourite entry into the burger challenge.

Our last item was the 9 oz Angus Beef Striploin with mashed potatoes and veggies.  From the first bite, we knew the beef was top quality.  It was prepared somewhere in between rare and medium-rare which meant it was still juicy.  However, the outside could've been charred more aggressively for aesthetics and flavour.  The steak was intentionally underseasoned so we could customize the seasoning with the accompanying chimichurri, merlot reduction, smoked sea salt, sea salt, mustard, balsamic mustard and honey mustard.  I found the smoked salt the perfect compliment as it intensified the meat flavour while adding a robust taste. 

For dessert, we went for 2 including the No One Does it Better Layered Carrot Cake and the Drop it Like it's Popped, Salted Caramel Popcorn Cheesecake.  At first glance, the ginger carrot cake (with the orange cream cheese icing) looked to be sweet, but alas it was balanced with plenty of spice.  I enjoyed the layers of flavour.  The cheesecake was surprisingly light for a baked version where it was smooth and creamy.  It was purposefully sweet and cheesy while accented by a caramel sauce and a salted caramel popcorn ball.   These were a nice end to a relatively good meal.  H2 is a great addition to the Westin in terms of style where it has become a trendy place to hang out.

*All food excluding gratuities was complimentary*

The Good:
- Beautiful space
- Whimsical menu
- Nice plating

The Bad:
- Minor tweaks for some dishes

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