Last night I went to my first Dine Out Vancouver meal of 2012. Me and two friends tried each of the 3 courses on their $38 menu. The restaurant actually isn’t that big, but still has room for an open kitchen, and a bar with TVs to watch the hockey game.
For my dishes, I chose the salad, the short rib (for dessert, we just shared all 3). My salad came with some fresh greens that were kind of bitter, and some gorgonzola, and walnuts with a light vinaigrette. I thought it could’ve definitely been tossed better together as my first few bites, I could only pick out the bitterness of the greens. The gorgonzola wasn’t too strong, and when everything was together in a bit it was really delicious with the contrast in flavours. The short rib was a pretty huge piece, and fell right off the bone without trying. It kind of seemed like it was placed on the bone after it was already cooked. The meat was pretty good, but had some inconsistent fat marbling, some pieces were so tender and fatty, while other parts were a bit stringy and tougher. The flavour overall was good, and this was the first time I actually liked a creamy polenta. Probably due to the sauce.
My favourite appetizer was definitely the rice croquette, which was mushroom risotto, panfried til crisp, and served with bacon, and a pesto sauce. Definitely something I’d order again, but for some reason I can’t find it on the menu (actually I can’t find any of these on the menu). The outside of the croquette was crisp, and the inside was still creamy, with a nice bite on the rice, and chunks of mushroom. The bacon helped went well with it, and the pesto sauce was good too. Although the croquette would’ve even been good on its own. I didn’t get to try the tomato soup, but heard it had a bit of spice, and did a good job in not tasting like tomato sauce. Tomato soup is one of my favourite soups, so I should have tried it.
Of the mains, both of the other two didn’t really enjoy it. The lingcod was kind of dry and tough. The pasta, my friend said she’s made better at home, and she doesn’t cook very much. I tried a little bit of the pasta, and agreed it wasn’t very good or memorable. The piece that I tried was a bit lacking in flavour.
Our 3 desserts were a white chocolate, and pistachio cannoli, a tirimisu, and a napolean – and that’s the order that I enjoyed them. There were two separate cannolis. The outer shell was really crisp, so it was a bit hard to cut and share, but it was filled with a nice cream, and chocolate. I only ate the chocolate one, but I was able to confirm that I am in fact allergic to pistachios – the one nut I was still unsure about. The tirimisu had a slight coffee flavour, and was quite light. I didn’t really like the napolean which was served on a wafer, and topped with cooked prunes, and whip cream. Not a big fan of prunes.
The staff was really pleasant, and helped make the dine out experience better. Regularly,the prices are quite high, and it’s a bit weird that I can’t find any of the dine out items on their regular menu.
Q4 al Centro
780 Richards St