Showing posts with label French Canadian. Show all posts
Showing posts with label French Canadian. Show all posts

St. Lawrence Restaurant (Vancouver)

Eating at a French-Canadian restaurant in Vancouver seemed like a waste of a meal. But after hearing about all of St. Lawrence Restaurant’s accolades - #5 on Canada’s 100 Best Restaurants list and being crowned best new restaurant in 2018 by multiple publications – it also seemed imperative I visit a place that delighted Canada’s west coast. I envisioned a glutinous meal that would make us feel sick like Au Pied de Couchon, but thankfully found a more restrained offering that was hearty yet didn’t leave me clutching my stomach.

St. Lawrence offers a rotating prix fixe menu that changes roughly monthly and during our June visit happened to be a 5th Anniversary special ($85 for three courses) highlighting a mix of past favourites, traditional French offerings, and special dishes the chef wanted to whip up.

To start off, our table shared warm buckwheat rolls with a delicate pork spread, which was barely enough to smear onto the bread and left us wanting more. Our waitress warned us not to use the foie gras custard as a condiment since it is best eaten solo. Indeed, it’s like a decadent savoury and sweet panna cotta where the silky creamy custard is enhanced with crispy crumbs.

The height of the vol-au-vent puff pastry was astonishing, the hollow flaky pastry filled with pea sprouts that added a fresh element against the mushroom mornay sauce. Such a lovely quintessential French dish that forms the only vegetarian offering on their menu, not counting desserts.

We would have liked more chips for the bison tartar – it’s as if the had reached the bottom of the bag and threw on the final broken ones that were left – as the crunch goes so nicely with the delicate tartar. Nonetheless, the flavours were on point, enhancing but not overpowering the bison, and the creamy béarnaise sauce a great addition.

St. Lawrence smartly left the orange “jus” separated from the duck ballotine as to not cover the lovely duck flavours also pairing the fowl with a savoury citrus less sauce. The orange segments were ideal for cleansing the palette against the chunks of rich meat. If you’re in the mood for a substantial French main, this one will hit the spot.

I thoroughly enjoyed the trout à la dieppoise, which was an ideal dish to highlight French-Canadian fare using fresh B.C. ingredients like the fish and side stripe shrimp. The seafood was delicately poached with not a speck of skin or shell remaining, so that each bite was merely covered with the white wine cream sauce. On the bottom, the various greens soaked in the last of the sauce to create a decadent warm salad.

This being my first experience tasting tarte au sucre, the dessert reminded me of a firmer butter tart without the runny centre. The fluffy vanilla cream and crunchy shortbread covering the sugar tart added a beautiful touch without any more sweetness. Overall, it’s a delicious and surprisingly light dessert.

St. Lawrence’s rice pudding tasted like airy sweet cream, the fluffy pudding a great consistency but the rice too hard. If the grains were only cooked longer, it’d help create a creamier concoction to better contrast with the crunchy pecans and salted caramel.

Reservations are pre-paid through Tock, and spots are limited given the restaurant’s diminutive size. In fact, they even created a slim high-top for two in the waiting area to allow those who are waiting to mingle or host those who want to converse longer after their meal is finished.

The intimate environment creates a warm casual feel, despite St. Lawrence’s beautifully plated cuisine. I’m glad we could tuck into lovely French creations without the pomp and circumstance. So, leave your ties behind and just arrive comfortably with an empty belly. 

Overall mark - 8 out of 10

How To Find Them
 Location: Vancouver, Canada
 Address: 269 Powell Street

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Gastro World's Grading System

  • Anything under 5 - I really disliked and will never go back
  • 6 - decent restaurant but I likely won't return
  • 7 - decent restaurant and I will likely return
  • 8 - great restaurant that I'd be happy to recommend
  • 9 - fantastic restaurant that I would love to visit regularly and highly recommend
  • 10 - absolute perfection!

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