Thursday, April 25, 2013

Business Meeting at Chewie's Steam & Oyster Bar

I've been wanting to check out Chewie's for a long time...since they opened over a year ago (late 2011)...but my efforts do get there just never panned out (cancelled dinners, dining partners who had just eaten there the previous day...etc)
A few weeks ago, one of my bosses from out of town asked that I pick a spot for a dinner and beers business meeting at a location somewhat near the office; which sounded like the perfect opportunity to visit Chewie's!
This seafood and southern-New-Orleans-style restaurant and bar is located in Kits on West 1st and Yew, just a few blocks up from Kits beach. This place was started by "Chewie" a former bartender at Rodney's Oyster Bar in Yaletown who followed his dream and opened his own restaurant and bar. There is definitely a Rodney's-esque quality to this place; the atmosphere is laid back, unpretentious, and fun- and the staff are good looking guys who are helpful, entertaining... and a bit flirty. They've also got a great cocktail, wine, and beer list. I enjoyed a few "Big Ass Pints" (20 oz draft) of Whistler Powder Mountain Lager.

On the table...appetizers

Louisiana Rock Crab Cakes with mixed greens and Creole remoulade ($15) *front center
These were pretty tasty, meaty, crispy, well-seasoned and the remoulade added a nice punch of slightly spicy flavour. There was a good amount of crab in these cakes and not a tonne of filler.

Pan Seared Calamari- local Humboldt squid with jalapeno mint salad ($13.50) *back left
I loved this calamari dish. It's rare to find a non-deep-fried squid dish at most pub-style places and this was one great. The squid itself was very tender and not chewy at all. The side salad was fresh, flavourful, with a nice bite from the jalapenos.

Creole Garlic Prawns- Twelve jumbo prawns, spicy tomato sauce, toasted baguette ($17) *back right

On the table...Mains

Gumbo- Prawns, chicken, andouille sausage ($17) 
It's not the prettiest dish, dark brown and a bit sloppy but I found it quite tasty and jam packed with prawns, sausage,fried chicken, okra, habenero and rice. I would describe it like a Cajun stew. The flavours were rich and packed into the roux, which is kind of a gravy meets broth, the base of the dish. This dish had a nice slow building level of spice that would probably be perfect for most people, but I wish it was spicier.

Seafood Pan Roast- Lobster, scallops, prawns ($21)

Jambalaya- House smoked chicken, andouille sausage, tasso ham, spicy cajun rice ($18)

Southern Fried Chicken- 2 day marinated buttermilk Rossdown farms fried chicken,Cajun honey butter, mash and beans ($18)

An all around enjoyable experience. Great atmosphere, solid service, and everybody enjoyed their food. Their brunch menu looks pretty intriguing... One note: they don't take reservations and this place gets busy...

Chewies Steam & Oyster Bar on Urbanspoon

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