NYE Dinner at The Pear Tree (2 of 9)

When you think about some of the best “restaurant” neighborhoods in and around Vancouver, places like Yaletown and Gastown come to mind. What I’m quickly discovering, though, is that the North Burnaby area of Willingdon Heights also has more than its fair share of interesting eateries. These include spots like Bombay Beat Restaurant for East Indian cuisine, but you also have fine dining options like Pear Tree Restaurant too. You don’t have to brave the downtown parking nightmare for an elegant meal!

For New Year’s Eve, Pear Tree offered two sittings, each with its own special prix fixe menu. We opted for the earlier time (6:30pm), which happened to have the cheaper of the two menus at $70 per person. Pear Tree is relatively small, with fewer than 50 seats, which helps to give it a more intimate feel and what felt like more attentive service. Our prix fixe menu consisted of three courses.

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For my appetizer, I opted for the orange caramelized scallops with double smoked bacon risotto. The scallops were seared beautifully and the risotto was just creamy enough. I could really taste the smokiness of the small bits of bacon.

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Susanne went with the spot prawn cappuccino. This was like a foamy soup, having a flavor that reminded me of a seafood bisque, but with a much lighter airiness about it. I was disappointed that, while there were pieces near the bottom, it didn’t come with a whole spot prawn.

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My main dish was the bacon-wrapped partridge with a partridge confit. This was served with potato and a vegetable medley. While it wasn’t exactly how I envisioned it (aside from the confit leg), it tasted great. I really enjoyed the crispiness of the confit. This entree made sense, don’t you think? A partridge in a pear tree?

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Braised boneless short ribs with mushroom ravioli was Susanne’s main. Naturally, the meat was succulent and tender, but I almost liked the ravioli better than the short ribs. A very nice dish. We were offered a bowl of pea shoots too (not pictured), for some added greenery to both of our suppers.

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For dessert, Susanne ordered the chocolate ganache with crisp nut base, accompanied by a scoop of orange chocolate sorbet. This wasn’t actually as rich and sweet as it looks, which is a good thing. I wouldn’t go so far as to say it’s a light dessert, but there is definitely enough here to get your chocolate fix.

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My dessert sounded relatively simple with a lemon tart and a lemon sour cream sorbet, but that crisp on top really helped to bump it up a notch. I like lemon desserts and this one was no exception.

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We were also provided with complimentary petits fours, including a couple pieces of great Earl Grey dark chocolate. Adding in a couple of cocktails and a French press coffee, the total bill came to just under $200. That includes taxes and tip. This certainly is not an inexpensive meal, but Pear Tree Restaurant can very much consider itself to be a fine dining establishment with high quality cuisine. I imagine the regular menu would be more affordable too.

From Hakkaku Ramen to Chez Meme Baguette Bistro, the Burnaby North area along Hastings Street has a wide range of restaurants for you to consider, offering food from all around the world. Some are sub-par cheap eats, but Pear Tree Restaurant really is a great diamond in the rough.

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