Cru Restaurant – Vancouver, BC


Cru Restaurant
1459 West Broadway
Vancouver, BC
(604) 677-4111

With my usual favorite special occasion Vancouver restaurant no longer around (Parkside), I opted to book a table at Cru after considering a few other options.  With its deep list of accolades and press clippings, Cru has established itself as one of the city’s most popular destinations for Pacific Northwest and small plate cuisine.  And the prominent wine bar makes for an interesting arrangement and use of the long narrow dining space.

Given its reputation and relative close access to shopping areas (Granville Street) and performance venues (the Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage as an example), reservations are an almost must at Cru, even on weeknights.  On this night, the place was full, with younger couples on dates, multi-generational family members out for a meal, and businessmen winding down after a long day at the office.  To keep things easy and balanced between the two of us, we chose the Prix Fixe Menu ($42 pp), paired with some wines by the glass.

Unfortunately, the setting wasn’t feeling good for whipping out the pocket camera given the very close seating arrangements with the tables on both sides.  Besides, this meal was less about a post for Foodosophy and more to enjoy the company and evening, so please forgive the missing first course photographs.  Just as a footnote, the appetizers eaten were the Soup of the Day which was a mild tasting cucumber-based creation which was very smooth; and the Beef Tenderloin Carpaccio with caperberries, truffle aioli and shaved parmesan, which was pleasantly larger than I thought it would be and full of interesting flavors and textures.

A little later into our meal and the larger group to one side departed and by then I thought it would be okay to snap some images…

As one of the mains, the Smoked Pork Tenderloin with braised pork shoulder, baby squash and gnocchi was the heartiest of our shared dishes.  The meat was well cooked and tender, with a good crust built up on the outside.  The accompanying mix of veggies added to the “summery” feel of the dish, especially the grilled baby squash.

The Pan-seared Halibut coupled with morel mushrooms and roasted fingerling potatoes, drizzled with orange hazelnut brown butter, was again well cooked and had a firm crust on one side.  Perhaps a touch on the salty side in seasoning though for some people.  I enjoyed this dish perhaps more so than the pork, maybe for the fact that I usually don’t enjoy cooked halibut but they do it very well at Cru.

To close, the pair of desserts included the Classic Creme Brulee and…

… a trio selection of hand-turned Sorbets.  I believe it was raspberry, lemon and lime(?).  Both met the seal of approval from my dining companion who is more of a dessert fan than I will ever be.

After our dining experience, we quickly decided we’d add Cru to our list of staple restaurants.  Perhaps not one to visit very frequently, but for a night when a relaxed, cozy, delicious dinner is required, this place certainly fits the bill.

Cru on Urbanspoon

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Wild Rose Brewery and Taproom – Calgary, AB


Wild Rose Brewery
Bldg AF23,#2 – 4580 Quesnay Wood Drive SW
Calgary, Alberta T3E 7J3
(403) 720-2733

Wild Rose Brewery on Urbanspoon

My personal philosophy puts a premium on balance. I believe that balance is one of the key elements in all aspects of life. This doubly applies to food. and drink. The flavours in a dish, the beer that you drink, people find things that are in balance to be more pleasing, and harmonious. Philosophically though, i’ve always wondered. Can a place that focuses primarily on wine, or beer, still serve great food? Do places excel at both? Or does an establishment that focuses most of their energy on producing great beverages, have a limited amount of energy to spend on the food? Wild Rose Brewery in Calgary is an interesting case study.

Wild Rose Brewery is great at brewing beer. Located in the Currie Barracks complex, they are a craft brewery that produces a variety of beers served across Alberta. They maintain a taproom that fronts their brewery, allowing patrons to sample their current production lineup. With some highly regarded and award winning beers,Wild Rose is doing some exciting things.

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As was pointed out to me in an earlier post, i am certainly no expert on beer. So i will spend very little time discussing Wild Rose Brewery beer. I will say, however, that this is a fantastic brewery. Their philosophy of fresh ingredients, combined with classic brewing techniques results in some excellent interpretations. Rather than dumb down your standard beers, they brew some true interpretations of classic global beers. Their Imperial IPA is phenomenal, and seasonally, the Stout and Pilsner are must tries for me.

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