Dine Out Vancouver is a fantastic promotion that lets you sample food from upper class restaurants that you may not otherwise visit if it were not for the fantastic price during this two-week (or so) eating festival. Last week, we went to Rare Restaurant in Yaletown, and last night, I had the opportunity to head out for a quiet evening of fine dining with Susanne at William Tell Restaurant on Beatty Street in Downtown Vancouver, nearly next door to the recently deflated BC Place Stadium. They had their three-course menu set at the $35 level. For two people, including a couple of drinks (I had the chocolate-y Swiss Martini, whereas Susanne had the apple juice-infused William Tell Martini), taxes, and tips, the total bill came to a very well spent $115.
I was a little disappointed that we had no choice when it came to the appetizer and the dessert for the Dine Out menu, and that we only had two options when it came to the main course, but the food overall was very pleasing, well presented, and wholly satisfying. The service — our server’s name was Jason, an Asian fellow (which seems to be a rarity in terms of waiters in classier “Western” restaurants) was prompt, timely, and friendly without being in your face. As a Swiss restaurant, there were elements that felt French, whereas other things had a distinct German flavor to it. For example, when they presented us with the main course, it was covered. Upon revealing our meals before us, the servers said something in German that I didn’t understand, but I assumed it had the same meaning as “Bon appetit.” Overall, I’d say that the Swiss restaurant wasn’t particularly creative in what they did, but everything is executed beautifully and it tasted great.
On with the pictures!
The awning outside of William Tell Fine Dining Restaurant
Amuse Bouche: Tiger prawn with cream cheese and fruit salsa, served on bread
A “free” pre-appetizer courtesy of the chef.
Three types of bread baked together, capers found within
I thought it was interesting how they presented the bread. It had regular white, multigrain, and whole wheat, all baked together as one “unit”, if you will.
Appetizer: Lobster Bisque – Full flavoured yet light bisque served with fresh lobster
Unlike other establishments that have a bisque that is more “red” and more “tomato”-ey, the soup served at William Tell was thicker, almost stew-like, but still with a distinct seafood flavor. Very good.
My Main: Zurcher Geschnetzeltes – Thinly sliced veal and mushrooms in a white cream sauce with rosti potatoes and seasonal vegetables
The sauce was almost like cream of mushroom soup, but when combined with the veal, it created a nice blend of flavours. The potatoes were similar to hash browns, except it had onions inside as well. The asparagus was nice and crisp.
Her Main: Herb Crusted West Coast Sablefish – Baked sablefish with a tomato, caper and garlic sauce. Served with lentil du Puy and seasonal vegetables
I was expecting a firmer, meatier fish, but it came out quite soft. Somewhere between halibut and salmon, I’d say, and the softness was contrasted quite well with the lentils.
Dessert: Mini Chocolate Fondue – Toberlone chocolate fondue served with fresh fruit and a vanilla ice cream filled profiterole
Probably one of the most substantial desserts I’ve ever had at a Dine Out dinner. The Toberlone chocolate fondue was rich, but not too rich, the fruit was very fresh-tasting, and the ice cream was aromatic… French vanilla, perhaps.
Post Dessert: Swiss chocolate piece shaped with William Tell
Susanne and I both agree: the picture is a little too Jesus-like to hold in our laughter. Deep, dark, and delectable
More about Dine Out Vancouver on the Tourism Vancouver website.