While I was expecting more of a “restaurant,” Fleuri is probably better described as a hotel dining room. It’s almost like you are simply sitting in the lounge and there just happens to be a few dinner tables there. This doesn’t really make for the best ambiance or atmosphere, but it didn’t really detract from the food either.
The Dine Out Vancouver 2012 menu for Fleuri was $28 and consisted of three courses.
BC Clam and Tomato Chowder chowder vegetables, tarragon essence, crab fritter
This was one of the appetizer choices. The crab fritter hardly had any crab flavor in it and soup was rather uninspired, but I wouldn’t say it was bad either.
Crudo of Albacore Tuna citrus, soy and sesame flavours, squid ink, cod roe aioli
Crudo is essentially an Italian take on Japanese sashimi. The albacore tuna here offered a fresh crispness and this worked quite well with the crispy bits that they placed on top.
Buttermilk Chicken Sous Vide and Shiitake Mushrooms mushroom pudding, sour plum jus, red chard and braised celery, aged cheddar croquette
This was the option I selected for my main course, mainly because I have never tried something prepared as a sous vide. Indeed, the chicken was mostly able to retain its moistness, but the overall flavor profile wasn’t all that special. The shitake mushrooms had a great earthy taste to them.
I didn’t sample the other two mains, shown below, but I was told that the beautifully earthy flavors of the mushrooms held up in those two dishes too. In the case of the pot au feu, there is a large piece of salmon underneath that, but there could have been more shellfish to round it out.
Seafood and Shellfish Pot au Feu creamy curry emulsion and consomme, clams, mussels, sweet peas, curried squash
24-Hour Braised Beef Flat Iron root vegetables, tiroler bacon jus, onion horseradish froth, sweet potato puree
Butterscotch, Vanilla Chamomile Gelato and Passion Fruit Coup
Everyone received the same dessert and it was a pleasant way to end the meal. The crispy sesame cracker on top reminded me of Indian papadum, which offered a nice contrast to the silky gelato.
While Fleuri isn’t quite as top shelf as a place like Pear Tree, it is perfectly adequate as a fine dining experience. The food is prepared well, service was attentive, and even the regular menu prices are very fair. The “hotel lobby”-like ambiance does throw you a little, though.