Yesterday’s post was about my first, and rather disappointing, visit to db Bistro Moderne. Today’s post is about my second, and rather enjoyable, visit to the same restaurant.
Right off the bat, I noticed that the service was better. This is probably because we had a late table on a Wednesday night, and the restaurant wasn’t nearly as busy as it had been on Saturday. We were seated in an alcove away from the rest of the restaurant, which afforded a little bit of privacy.
I was a little worried for the restaurant, because it was a tough table. I invited Kelly, Luisa and Janeen. All of us are culinary school graduates and worked in the food industry before deciding to do our own thing. That means that sometimes we’re more understanding of food flub-ups, but that more often we’re really unforgiving.
Between the four of us, we managed to order one of everything on the Dine Out Vancouver menu. I started with the Moroccan tuna tartar, which was nice and refreshing. The highlight of the plate was actually the coriander tuile, which was fantastically crisp, light and flavourful. I tried some of Luisa’s winter greens salad, which had a really interesting dressing. I think I liked the tuna tartar better than the duck pate, but only because it’s a lighter dish.
Janeen and I ordered the vegetarian potato gnocchi, which was superb. Usually the vegetarian dish is an afterthought, added to the menu to avoid complaints from vegetarian diners. Well, this dish could have been the star of the menu. The gnocchi were light, pillowy packages of potato goodness. They were served on a sunchoke puree, which was sweet and smooth. There were teeny, tiny mushrooms and brussels sprouts mixed in with the gnocchi, and the dish was cohesive and delicious.
Luisa got the Arctic char, which was decidedly less greasy than when I tried it on my previous visit. Kelly ordered the beef pot au feu, which was no ordinary pot au feu. The beef in pot au feu has typically been boiled for hours until it’s fall-apart tender. The kitchen had clearly done that, because the broth was nice and meaty – but then they also added cuts of medium-rare beef to the soup just before plating. It was a little bit strange to eat, since you’re expecting one thing and getting something else.
Finally, dessert. It was appropriate that Kelly ordered the coupe de chocolat, and she agreed that there were too many components to the dessert. I ordered the citrus floating island, which was interesting. It had a nice, light texture that dissolved on my tongue, leaving just a hint of citrus behind. It was topped with pink sugared almonds and served in a puddle of vanilla creme anglaise. It wasn’t amazing, but at least it was a little bit different.
Luisa and Janeen both got the lemon-blueberry tart, which was beautiful. It came to the table looking like a demure lemon tart, dusted with icing sugar. But when you cut into it, there was an explosion of blueberry and tart lemon filling that ran onto the plate like a perfectly cooked egg yolk. Very nice.
Overall, we had a lovely dinner. The service was spot on and the food was well-executed. More than anything, I loved the rare opportunity to really dissect food like the true food geek I am.
db Bistro Moderne
2551 West Broadway