Monday, June 20, 2011

A Fishy Birthday Dinner at the Boathouse on Kits Beach

It was my birthday and my parents wanted to buy me a birthday dinner. Now, I have a list a mile long of eateries that I love and new places that I'm dying to try. But with a vegan sister (who didn't end up coming), a vegan-ish boyfriend, and a dad who can be a pretty picky customer (a basic burger/steak and potatoes/ fettucine alfredo kind of guy), I had to pick a place that I wanted to try, but research the menu to make sure that there were options for everyone. I had a hankering for seafood, wanted something that wouldn't break the bank, and had a patio to enjoy the early summer I picked the Boathouse on Kits Beach.

We were seated on their gorgeous closed patio on a table/booth with extremely comfortable seating.
This patio is really the selling feature for this place. The view is absolutely spectacular. It pretty much stretches along the beach towards Jericho to the west and across to English Bay. Its a fantastic venue for soaking up Vancouver scenery and all sorts of people watching. Service was a little slow to start with taking our drink orders and bringing us our drinks. We had some tasty beers and margaritas and perused the massive menu.
We waited for quite a while and eventually had to call our server over to give our order. The food was a little slow coming out, but the delay in taking our order was the big hold up....especially because we were all REALLY HUNGRY!

We shared a bucket of shrimp for 2 with vodka cocktail sauce ($13.99) and bucket of complimentary warm bread.
the shrimp was fresh, plum, juicy and the sauce had a intense kick from horseradish and vodka. I would say almost too much so from the vodka.

My dinner was from the "Fresh & Wild Fish" menu. I ordered Ahi Tuna: pepper seared; over shitake rice, with garlic chilli mushrooms drizzled with chilli oil ($26.99)
I really enjoyed my dinner. The tuna was buttery and soft on the inside and the exterior had a wonderful, peppery crust. The mushrooms were an awesome compliment to the fish and I absolutely loved the asian flavour of the oils and sauces and thought the flavours all mingled together really well.

My dad only ever orders the most basic dishes and doesn't like to play around with sauces and flavours, so I was blown away when he ordered the Cedar Plank Triple Berry Sockeye: lightly crusted with brown sugar, served with triple berry compote, roasted potato wedges and seasonal vegetables ($26.99). He cleaned his plate and said he really enjoyed this dish. He likes berries- so he enjoyed the compote, even though its nothing he's ate with salmon before. He liked that his side vegetables were quite basic and didn't come with any real sauces or herb-y flavours.

My mom ordered the Apricot Stuffed BC Wild Sockeye with shallot butter, garlic mashed potatoes and seasonal vegetable ($26.99). Another meal that got the thumbs up. My mom loved the presentation and the pea shoots that topped the zucchini-wrapped salmon medallion. She was a little disappointed that they used dried apricots instead of fresh apricots but all in all, she really liked how the sweet, subtle flavours went with the salty fish.

Middle sister (Mis-ster) ordered the Miso Crusted Wild BC Salmon with wasabi mashed potatoes and white wine butter with seaonal vegetables ($26.99).
This came to our table and with Mis-ster's first bite, she felt like the salmon was undercooked and raw on the inside. When our server came back with the last few plates, she let him know and he took it back to the kitchen to get a new one. This took around 15 min and the manager did check in and offered apologies. When the new plate came out, she really liked every element of the plate- from the light almost-tempura batter miso exterior to the crisp green beans and especially the wasabi mashed potatoes.

The sous chef ordered the Wild BC Grilled Salmon Burger with wild greens (15.99). This dish looked really good with a hearty, generous slab of salmon with fresh vegetables on a delicious whole wheat sesame seed bun. Unfortunately, this dish suffered from some inferior service. The sous chef asked if the burger came with a mayo or cheese. Our server said yes, the sous chef asked for his burger without. When the burger came out, it was slathered with tartar sauce. Not wanting to be a bother or complain, he just scraped off the tartar sauce and picked the cheese out of his salad. In the end, he said it was good, but I couldn't help being disappointed that the server ignored his request.
At the end of the meal, while sorting out the bill, the fire alarm went off due to some renovations that were going on in the cafe level below. It was really loud and irritating and thank goodness we had finished our meal...but I felt really bad for people who were in the middle of the meal.

Overall, this was a good experience because of the amazing setting, the great company, and the tasty food. The questionable service and fire alarm incident put a bit of a sour spin on the restaurant experience....but all in all it was still a really nice evening.

Boathouse (Kitsilano) on Urbanspoon

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