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Tuesday, 18 September 2007

Fine Dining at Lumiere Restaurant in Vancouver

Last night we went out for dinner to celebrate our 8 year anniversary--it seemed like it was just yesterday when we did the same thing at the Skyview 41 restaurant in Mokdong! Anyways, I took Devante out to one of Vancouver's premiere restaurants, Lumiere, which is the brainchild of "Iron Chef" Rob Feenie.

You might remember Rob from his victory over Iron Chef Morimoto on Iron Chef America! From that day on, Rob Feenie made millions of Canadians proud. Voted the Best Restaurant and Best French Restaurant by Vancouver Magazine seven years in a row, we knew were in for a wonderful evening. Be warned though, Lumiere is not your typical restaurant--this place is the epitome of fine dining in Vancouver!

After showing up for our reservation at 6:30pm, we were seated in the dining room side of Lumiere, which consists of set menus, which is different from their tasting bar on the other side of the restaurant. The environment inside was very intimate, with seating for only 50 or so. Frosted windows on the street side of the restaurant provided privacy for patrons. For some unknown reason, even though the restaurant was not full, we were seated adjacent to another couple, only a meter away!

Here are the other empty tables that were to my right; to my left was a couple seated in the corner. What happened was one couple as seated smack dab in the middle of 7 tables along the wall--so either way we would have been forced to be seated next to another couple--but why not place us on the other side of the restaurant? To make matters worse, the couple in the middle LEFT after receiving their menus and eating two bites of their amuse bouche (the prices probably scared them away)!

Upon being seated we were given menus and their extensive wine list. We are not big wine drinkers, so we opted out on wine. We decided to taste their Signature Menu, a 10 course extravaganza that goes by the price of $180 per person--yes, your eyes are not seeing things! Are you ready? Let's take a look at what we had this evening, shall we (how many times have I used this line)? I'm going to let the pictures do the talking (thanks to my digital SLR I was able to take decent low light pictures without flash), along with the description of each course--enjoy!

This was a very creative way of displaying salt and pepper; pretty neat I thought:

First up, our amuse bouche was a small sampling of tomato water, after having our other amuse bouche of some mini cheese pastry puffs. The tomato water was very refreshing:

ahi tuna sashimi - with tofu purée, soy dressing and a cucumber sorbet

white onion velouté -
with king oyster mushrooms and pearl onions

qualicum bay scallops - compressed watermelon & thai basil, vanilla glaze and crab beignet

queen charlotte island halibut - with truffled Chilliwack corn, asparagus and cipolloni onions

fraser valley roasted duck breast - with parsnip purée, beets, brussels sprouts and a madeira sauce

aaa beef tenderloin - with pomme purée, smoked tomato fondue and porcini glaze

le plateau de fromages - with a fruit & nut bread

black mission fig carpaccio - with concord grape sorbet, honeydew pearls and yogurt jelly

blackberry & plum salad - with apricot sabayon and fresh mint ice cream

caramelized white chocolate namelaka - muscavado wafer, peach sorbet, Ras al Hanout poached peaches and white chocolate corn

les mignardises (a tray of small sweets)

It was an incredible evening, certainly one that we will remember. We've dined at other fine dining establishments, but Lumiere definitely has taken the cake as the creme de la creme. Each plate was a work of art and the tastes really drove our tastebuds wild. It's really hard to describe as you had to have been there! Our favorites included the Qualicum Bay scallops and the white onion velouté - both truly incredible dishes. The scallops were cooked perfectly and the white onion velouté tasted so creamy and rich, yet it went down oh so smooth. The beef tenderloin literally melted in my mouth. The courses kept on coming and by the time we had finished our white chocolate namelaka (Devante's favorite), we were overwhelmed by the complimentary les mignardises.

The service at Lumiere was excellent, however we did run into a few hiccups. Devante's cosmopolitan arrived a tad longer than we would have liked, our butter dish had some extremely dangerous chips on two corners; I'm talking slice your finger sharp--take a look at the picture below. We notified our server about it, but he did not bother changing the dish.

Aside from almost being served our white onion velouté without soup spoons on our table (the food runner came but had to turn away after he noticed we did not have soup spoons; I was ready to improvise with my salad fork), the service at Lumiere was exceptional. Everyone was extremely friendly and with the small dining room area, we were well taken care of. Our server even did his homework by congratulating us on our 8 year anniversary when we sat down--well done, lad.

Half way into our dinner service I asked our server, probably the most popular question of all time: "Is Rob in tonight?" His response was that Rob was in earlier but was taking the rest of the night off. With a straight face, I told our server that I went to high school with Rob--which caught him off guard, that is until I told him he had been punk'd and I was lying--haha (not funny at all, but so funny to see his facial reaction realizing he was dealing with a dirty trickster--remember walking through crowds in Seoul?).

Lumiere is viewed by some as one of the leading restaurants in Vancouver and North America. Rob Feenie is pretty serious about his line of work--just take a look at this candid snapshot of their renovated million dollar kitchen (from March 2005). It was unfortunate that Rob was not cooking in the kitchen as his fame has resulted in less time spent in the restaurant:

Three hours later, after many burps and thoughts of loosening my belt buckle, our final bill came to $460 after tax and gratuity (hey, I told you to get ready; these guys spent even more!). I'm sure my parents would be fainting right about now. You are probably thinking that it is crazy to spend this much money on dining out. But hey, if you want to treat your significant other to an unforgettable dining experience, and you have some cash to spend, why not go all out? Your woman deserves the best, don't you think? Sure, there will be people that will talk about starving children in Africa, you're nuts, why would you do that, whine whine whine, etc...but hey, this is my hard earned money and I can spend it however I choose. ;-)

Oh, and by the way I proposed last night so now I'm officially engaged. :) Comment away!


Anonymous said...

Congratulations Gdog and Devante! Good on you for making an honest woman out of her...

annamatic said...

it's important to know when to spend the money and when not to. Sounds like it was the right occasion. congratulations! :)

Jon Allen said...

What a great meal!
Congrats on the engangement.

jano said...

congrats, gdog and devante!

Anonymous said...

Congratulations to both of you!

I hope that you'll have a lovely engagement and a great wedding.

As we Turks say in this occasion
"May you get old together on the same pillow" :)

Mrs J said...

congratulations to you both! after that meal i would've said yes too. j/k! sort of. :-)

i'm so jealous. i'd love to be able to feast on such deliciousness. but, alas, i live in a small east texas town, where these things do not exist. however, i will be in nyc in a month. so i'm preparing my tastebuds!

Gary said...

Thanks everyone for the kind words!! :) I did not propose at the restaurant though, FYI!! ;) The food was really awesome and totally worth it. You guys and gals have to check it out if you're ever visiting Vancouver!

Anonymous said...

Congratulations to the both of you! 8 years... wow. About time. :)

Leo said...

As much as I can appreciate fine dining, I'm definitely a value eater myself.
I'd still be hungry after that $180 (plus taxes and tip).

Anonymous said...

Congratulations! I was going to say, 8 years and no engagement! You're a lucky dawg to have such an amazing woman by your side through all your adventures and you better snag her up before someone else does! But it looks like you figured that all out on your own ;).

Now show us pictures of the ring!

Unknown said...

I know I already did at lunch but since we're dot com-ers, the proper way to congratulate someone is to say so in a comment on their blog. Congratulations on the engagement!

John Chow said...

Don't be scare to use the flash!

Natasha said...

Oh wow finally!!
I'm so happy for you guys - Congratulations! =D

Did she know it was coming or did it shock her?

Lumiere's eh -- ooOooo classy.
I wonder if it's on the list for Dine Out Vancouver.

Grace said...

Congratulations, Gdog!!! May both you and your lovely lady enjoy a long life full of happiness!

And I'm so glad you're still blogging on FOOD even though you guys are back from Korea! I kinda stopped checking your blog out when I got crazy busy during the end of summer and when I realized you guys were leaving. Your awesome posts were quite the surprise when I started reading your blog again! Yay!

Anyways...CONGRATS (!!!) again, and thanks for the yummy looking pics. My stomach is jealous.

Gary said...

Thanks again guys!! :)

Anonymous said...

that's a nice surprise.. i been reading your blog for a while.. wanted to say congrats on the engagement! I hope to be going to korea soon to teach.. thanks for all the advice and pictures... love the pictures.. muhaha.. and congrats again! and definitely worth the money.. and you are successfully been taken and not rejected right? good call

Anonymous said...

Gdog - I've been following your blog for a long while now...congrats on the engagement!! I wish you and Devante all the best with much happiness and success, now and in the future :-D

maryeats said...

Gdog, Congrats! Kevin and I (on the eve of our 5th wedding anniversary) are so happy for you! Being married is fab and the two of you will love it. Now that ya'll are in BC, if you ever come down to Seattle be sure to drop us a line. We'll have to source out some good galbi.

Anonymous said...

You must have been paid very well in Korea to afford to eat at Lumiere's. For me, it's just wishful thinking.

Anyways, I think love is special, and your lady love must have appreciated every cent. Life is short and needs to be celebrated wholeheartedly.

Anonymous said...

Lumiere is awesome. we were in Korea for a short holiday and dining here just sweetened out our holiday perfectly!

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