791 West Georgia Street, Vancouver, BC
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visit our Facebook album.Don't even get Buddha Girl started about YEW Restaurant + Bar. Her first visit was about six years ago and at that time, the chef had a foie gras parfait that she absolutely adored. Unfortunately, since then, they've changed chefs (numerous times), but you'll never hear an end to the story of how much she loves it. On this occasion, MomJ was given a TravelZoo voucher as a birthday gift. The deal was quite sweet, pretty much any two appetizers and any two entrees from the regular menu (with the exceptions of Seafood Tower and/or Fresh Catch).
We were seated in the back of the restaurant, which was much quieter and more private. The service, well, let's just say it got better when Buddha Girl instantly tweeted about the hiccups.
Instead of a typical bread basket, biscuits were served with room temperature butter. No complaints here.
To start, MomJ and I each had a Foie Gras Torchon (sweet & sour local cherries, vanilla bean & aged balsamic glaze, sponge cake). The foie gras was good, but it wasn't creamy or smooth enough. The basalmic glaze was a good accent to the dish. The sponge cake was crumbly hard and I wondered how it was suppose compliment the dish. Surprisingly enough, both Buddha Girl and I thought this was actually the weaker plate of the night. MomJ enjoyed this and had no complaints.
My second appetizer was the Dungeness Crab Taco (miso honey dressing, radishes & sprouts, crushed avocado). The taco shell had a light airy rice cracker texture. Honestly, I didn't like the shell that much, but I really couldn't complain because each shell was, literally, packed with delicious crab meat. I ended up crushing the shells and ate this more like a salad.
Buddha Girl's never a fan of mussels, so it surprised MomJ and I when she opted to start with a pound of plump and meaty Mussels (steamed, butter, garlic, chives, white wine & scallion broth, parsley, grilled bread). I'm not a wine drinker so I thought the broth was a bit strong in wine. MomJ and Buddha Girl, on the other hand, thought it was perfect and couldn't stop dipping the bread in the broth. Women, so unpredictable...
Lamb Chops (plums, golden raisins, white beans, toasted pine nuts) was MomJ's entree. She asked for medium rare, but it came out more rare, which was not a problem. The lamb was tender and seasoned well. The glaze was not overwhelming and it really highlighted the dish.
I had the Chicken + Crab (yellow & green beans, roasted peaches, honey dressing). The breast meat was seared and roasted perfectly, it was moist and flavorful. The crab was hidden beneath the chicken atop the beans. The portion was small, smaller than my appetizer, which, in a way, seemed kind of lost. The beans were good but I'm more used to the Chinese way of deep frying them first to remove that waxy texture. The peaches complimented the chicken well. Unfortunately, with so many flavors, I couldn't really recall the honey dressing.
Not being a huge fan of lobsters (yes, my wife is weird), Buddha Girl opted for the Lobster Pasta (fettuccini, peas, lemon creme fraiche, chillies, garlic). The noodles were al-dente. The sauce was creamy and rich with lots of lobster meat and a hidden kick from the chili peppers. Just like her appetizer, Buddha Girl enjoyed this dish very much. Since then, she has been craving for this pasta.A complimentary dessert was served as an apology for the service mishap. The Big Finish...Red Velvet Cake (Tahitian vanilla ice cream, chocolate meringue, chocolate sauce) was served in an over-sized martini glass. Instead of the chocolate meringue (as stated on the menu), coffee meringue was presented. The three of us enjoyed and loved everything in this glass, except for the meringue, which was too sweet for us.
Not sure if it's because of the TravelZoo voucher, but service was too relaxed at the beginning. Our server comfortably took his time with almost everything and anything. MomJ's wine took a while. My pop took a while (I had to remind him when appetizers were served). Did I mention that I placed my drink order at the same time as the food? Our server was not busy but he was not very visible to attend his duties. After placing our orders and waiting for my drink, our server was constantly standing approximately ten feet from our table chatting with other servers. I must say, even the bussers were more active and attentive than our server.
Of course, after Buddha Girl's tweets, things changed. Service improved. Manager apologized. Chef greeted. The service glitch was minor but it should still be noted. Will we return? Yes, without a doubt, especially when my wife enjoys what she often avoids...props to Chef Ned Bell. The food was delicious, and more importantly, sustainable.