Bistro 101 @ Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts

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For our squad lunch a few weeks back, we visited Bistro 101 at the Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts on Granville Island. During lunch hours, the 3 course set menu is $25 and you can view this online before you go. They change it up every month, so unfortunately, I don’t have the exact names of the dishes. The culinary students who train here get to work in a real life setting in a restaurant. All the food is cooked by the students and even the servers are students. It’s a pretty neat concept!

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The interior of the restaurant is actually quite nice (I forgot to get a picture), but it’s actually pretty much fine dining. The students learn to correctly place the cutlery and how to pour water and wine in the glasses. The view from our table was the catering kitchen, so we got to see some chefs prep for their cooking.

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Complimentary Artisan Bread

We were served two batches of complimentary artisan bread. Each piece of bread was a bit different. My favourite was the cheese balls since they were fluffy and full of cheese flavour. We also enjoyed the flatbread type cracker which had a variety of seeds and grains. Crispy!

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Amuse Bouche – Raw Beet Juice Shooters

Shortly after, we were served a platter of Amuse Bouche, which we were not expecting. They were Raw Beet Juice Shooters topped with a slice of strawberry. (No alcohol in it by the way!) I was hesitant at first since I’m not a fan of beets, but it tasted surprisingly good and refreshing!

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Goat Cheese Salad

StevieD got the Goat Cheese Salad, which he thought was a bit odd. There was a lot of goat cheese, but also some fruits. He said the cheese was too strong for his liking and he thought the fruits didn’t go too well with the dish.

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Lamb Meatballs

The rest of us got the Lamb Meatballs. The meatballs were wrapped with eggplant slices and topped with cheese. A marinara sauce was placed under for dipping. These were actually pretty good and the lamb wasn’t too gamy.

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Bacon Wrapped Beef Tenderloin

Everyone at the table except for me got the Bacon Wrapped Beef Tenderloin for their entree. We found the piece of beef to be rather small, but it’s probably because of how expensive beef is now. The ones who asked for medium rare had their beef cooked more to a medium. I guess we can’t complain too much since the students are still in training. Beef was still very tender and flavourful.

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Pan Seared Halibut

Since I wanted to try something different from everyone else, I got the Pan Seared Halibut. This came in a light miso broth with an abundance of vegetables. The skin was crispy and the fish was cooked to moist. Very delicious!

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Tiramisu

For dessert, some of us got the Tiramisu, which had a strong coffee flavour. The mascapone cheese was smooth and the cake was moist.

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10 Layer Chocolate Cake

For myself, I got the 10 Layer Chocolate Cake. It came with a scoop of mango sorbet. The cake layers of mousse and was rather dense, but I really enjoyed it. If you love chocolate, this is perfect. The sweet and sour flavour from the mango also complemented the chocolate flavour very well.

Overall, we were quite pleased with Bistro 101. The portions are a bit smaller than what I remember in the past, but you still get pleasantly full for $25. Our server was a bit shy, but you could tell he was probably just really nervous. Overall, I think it’s pretty good for a restaurant run by students. Worth to give it a try and the price is quite reasonable for a 3 course menu.

Pros:
– Reasonable price for 3 course menu
– Ambiance is pretty nice

Cons:
– Service is a little slow because student run
– Food consistency can be a little off sometimes

Price Range: $25

1: Terrible 2: Poor 3: Average 4: Good 5: Excellent

Food: 3 Service: 3 Ambiance: 4 Parking: 2 Overall: 3

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