West | Vancouver Dining

I hadn't been back to West Restaurant in a couple years.

West was packed and has definitely turned into a hip place for drinks. Turns out the bartender had one an award at some point in their career (I was impressed!) The Mint Julep was very tasty.  The other cocktail that you see below the julep is a signature cocktail made by the award winning bar tender. Check out the cocktail list here.

For dinner, I had all appetizers (as that's what seemed to catch my eye as I was going through the extensive list).  We started with an amuse bouche, followed by our courses we ordered:

pea soup, beef tartare, and lastly a seafood risotto of prawns. 

I highly suggest making a reservation, as West is one of the popular choices in Vancouver (it's also great if you don't have to cross a bridge into downtown to dine if you plan on having a beverage or two.)

I would definitely go back in a heartbeat (it is a little more pricy) but this is because West is fine dining in Vancouver (rare to find in the city these days...)

A take on canadian, western cuisine with a modern twist. West, thank you for a pleasurable dining experience. I thoroughly enjoyed the knowledge you offered about my dishes or the cocktails I got to try.

 

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Enoteca Sociale

An absolute favourite. Italian, family styled dining is one of my favourites. I of course have to blog about Enoteca Sociale because a) it's definitely a number one of mine in Toronto and b) it's just so good! IMG_8637

Opened not long ago, this Enoteca has so many things working for them. They are welcoming, the service is superb and they know what they're talking about! Moreover, if you want to taste the best of italian food (or as close as you're going to get to it) with local produce, Sociale has it all. The menu has changed every time that I've been and has not failed me once. From antipastis like their house-cured meats, to their home-made pastas (which is a huge seller for me), everything is delicious.

The last time I went I got to enjoy bone marrow - decadent and so worth it - as well as various pasta dishes from spaghetti to ravioli... Pork chop was another entrée that I got to taste (simple dish but juicy nonetheless).IMG_8638

That evening, a sticky toffee pudding (the best in Toronto might I add), a lemon pudding, and a butter tart with a chocolate filling was offered on the menu.

I highly recommend Enetoca Sociale, but make sure you make reservations WELL in advanced (I usually book at least two weeks in advanced!) Enjoy!

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Daniel

As you enter through the revolving doors, the delicate smell of flowers swarms the dim lit lobby. Known for having its 3 Michelin stars, Daniel has made its mark in the big apple. Daniel Boulud created an astounding menu, filled with so many choices: fish, meats, and the dessert menu was the hardest of all to choose from. Once we had walked through the lobby, passing the very cool-looking bar, we entered the main dining room. High ceilings, largely arranged, bunches flowers on the back walls, the dining room seated more than 20 tables. There were columns that surrounded the outer section of the dining room. The service was fantastic, as everyone was very accommodating to our needs.IMG_0338 Daniel's cocktail list (pricy) had an array of liqueurs. The White Cosmo was absolutely the way to go - hints of elderflower, lime juice, white cranberry and vodka - not a cocktail to miss! Give the Bitter Blues a go too!

Being my 21st birthday, this experience was the best dining experience I'd had in a while. The food was presented so beautifully and tasted like each ingredient was meant to be there on your plate. It was all to die for! Going with a larger party has its perks: you get to share and try one another's dishes! I had their mosaic of squab - essentially a terrine of squab - followed by a trio of veal. The flavours were there, everything was cooked right to perfection and overall, the dishes that we had ordered were all up-to-par. Be sure to try out their fish on the menu (the turbot is apparently a great hit!)

I have to say, desserts were the wow! factor for me. Not only did I receive a little birthday surprise of chocolate and hazelnut cakes, but having ordered several desserts on top, it was an amazing experience to try all the different sorts of sorbets, meringues, fruits and more... As you'll see in the photos, Daniel really hit it out of the park for me. After having read reviews, heard people say many things about the renown restaurant, Daniel Boulud has made it into my good books - officially! I have to thank the Baptista family for such a wonderful experience and a great birthday celebration.

PS: We got to go into the kitchen to see the chefs at work! Unfortunately Daniel was away but nonetheless, it was very cool to see how things worked.

Bosk

Refreshing salad with pork crackling. Sashimi and crackling.

Suckling pig, and more crackling.

Hamachi.

Wagyu.

Lamb shoulder.

Talk about a unique dining experience at Bosk, at the Shangri La Hotel Toronto. Brand new, this restaurant offers a bar and a fine dining section. It was opened with executive chef, Jean-Paul Lourdes, who has worked at many Michelin restaurants, but left after just one month. I got the privilege of dining at Bosk during the opening week which was quite exciting.

To say the least, it's definitely a place for no mistakes. The private room we had was very nicely lit, with sliding doors made out of wood and intricately designed. The couches unfortunately were very low and you needed to use a lot of cushions to give you a good back to lean on. The plates were large and the menu too (size of a placemat to be honest). The colour scheme went well with everything (uniforms, chairs, sofas, lights, even the food!) Another downside was the lights that were hung in the room, every time you'd get up  from the table, your head would hit them... (who designed that anyway??)

The service was good and the waiters were very accommodating. Even though they had to check with the chef about certain dishes that had interesting ingredients, it was still only opening week so clearly there were a few kinks.

Presentation of each dish was beautifully done and each tasted up-to-par. Some more than others. The menu I tasted was the prix-fixe at $185 per person but it definitely beat the à la carte menu. $75 for an appetizer and main was kind of out of the question...

Bosk comes off as a very fancy and high end restaurant, but to be honest I've been lucky enough to experience many of the best (including Michelin starred restos) but Bosk didn't exactly meet my expectations, if anything just barely...

Oh and did I mention that they just love to use crackling? Practically the first three dishes we had, somethingsomething WITH CRACKLING... my god they overused the stuff.