Monday, March 16, 2009

Week of Extreme Indulgences Leads to Week of Salads Part I

Wow! Just came back from a week of extreme indulgence - Johan and I were up visiting family in Vancouver.... we ended up visiting relatives and friends as well, and eating up a storm!

Highlights included:

La Quercia

This is a restaurant that is new to Vancouver as well as new to us - an Italian place in Kitsilano. A small restaurant, so small we drove right by it. Our friend Derek suggested it, and the three of us trekked to this establishment on a humble Tuesday, but the place was packed as though it were Friday. We started off with a bottle of Prosecco, which was lovely, delicious and perfect in all its bubbliness..... while not a Champagne, it was a tasty and dry and fun starter that got the party started.

The menu intrigued us - rabbit terrine, Portugese cod cakes, eggplant gelee with seared scallops, beef cheeks, onion tart, Cornish game hen with spatzle.... the menu seemed to suggest northern Italian fare, so far north it might touch the Germanic areas. Finally, we settled on the BIG tasting menu which featured chef selections in 8 to 10 courses....... for a humble sum. Maybe it was the Prosecco talking, but we all decided to go for that one - the "Alla Familia" - especially when the server assured us that we could choose a few favorites off the menu to be included in the tasting menu. That sealed the deal for us because it seemed like we were all wary of tasting menus that might be too boring. And we three were not a bunch of boring eaters!

The dishes came, one by one, sometimes 2 by 2 or three by three. There was the rabbit terrine, which we specially requested, followed by the eggplant gelee with seared scallop, then followed by the cod cakes. After that, three pasta dishes came at once - all housemade pastas - 2 filled ones, and one rotini - all were great! And I seldom say that about pastas in restaurants.

After that there was a fish dish served with some tender cooked vegetables....

We then ordered a red wine, a 2005 Travaglini Nebbiolo, which was very nice:

This wine went exceedingly well with the meat course, which was a braised beef cheeks....... delicious!

After that, they summed up with a selection of three desserts...... they were good but at this point, I was very full and could no longer process information......

In all, a fantastic meal with great wine - I had too much actually - I am a lightweight - but it was a fabulous time, we closed down the place as we forgot it was Tuesday. The food was lovely, the service was excellent and unobtrusive, the company was grand, and all was great in the world..... isn't dining out awesome?


Noel DLP said...

Wow! 8 to 10 courses? Were there doggie bags involved afterwards? Nice to read about your food and wine adventures. One of the advantages of your other passion :)

Samantha Dugan said...

Sounds like lots of fun Nancy! I like the light weight comment....that is when I tell people that I was #*#@ faced! hehehe