Disclosure: All food and beverages were complimentary as part of a media preview tour, but all opinions are my own.
The 13th annual Taste of Yaletown has officially begun! Running from Oct 13th to Oct 27th, Yaletown restaurants will be offering special menus at set prices. Yesterday, I had the opportunity to get a preview of what some restaurants would be offering during these two weeks.
We started off at Xoxolat, a chocolate shop specializing in Single Origin and Estate chocolates. They also offer chocolate tasting and chocolate pairing classes which are perfect for a girls night out or date. They are new to Taste of Yaletown this year and will be offering a happy hour tasting from 4pm to 6pm Wednesday to Saturday. For $25, you will get 3 whiskey tastings and a selection of 8 chocolate treats.
Now for those of you are who are like me and do not usually enjoy whiskey, you will be surprised when you pair it with chocolate. We got a sample of the whiskey along with three chocolates and were pleasantly surprised that the creaminess and fat in the chocolate paired very well with the strong whiskey. This is definitely a good spot to check out before dinner!
After some chocolate tasting, our next stop was Lime & Moon Pie Company. Lime & Moon started in Bowen Island and now has their second shop in Yaletown. This is the shop where they get to experiment with more recipes so you will likely find a variety of changing pies each day.
The shop is small with only two employees, but don’t underestimate the number of pies they can make! We were told that they made up to 60 pies in one day during Thanksgiving! Lime & Moon pies are all organic and they also have many vegan options. They make many pies for weddings and can also make pretty much any customized recipe you want.
For the Taste of Yaletown menu, $15 will get you a slice of pie and a beverage. You can choose between a sweet pie slice of your choice paired with a scoop of organic vanilla bean ice cream or a savoury slice of tourtiere and side of organic greens. As for your beverage, you can choose between an espresso or tea. For $25, you can get two pies and two beverages. During the media preview, we got to sample the Caramelized Pear Custard Pie. The pie features organic pears in a subtle rosemary and brown butter custard. Love the hint of rosemary paired with the pears. The crust was flaky and the filling was not overly sweet.
As for the savoury option, you get a Tourtiere which is filled with 100% alll-natural, non-gmo, no antibiotics, grain fed beef and pork from local suppliers. There is also organic onion, mushrooms, celery, garlic, stock, breadcrumbs, cinnamon, cloves, pepper and salt. This was served a bit cold for us since I’m guessing they weren’t completely sure what time we would arrive. However, I can imagine this to be delicious served warm as the filling itself is moist and flavourful.
To finish off your meal, you can have a cup of espresso or tea!
Overall, good pies and I love how they support the local community by sourcing many of the ingredients locally. Plus, this is the perfect place for vegans as they have a large variety of pies catered for vegans.
As you can see, they have tons of fall pies right now! I really want to try their pumpkin pies now!
Onto our second stop – West Oak. A beautiful venue with an open kitchen concept, the restaurant features a menu with locally sourced and sustainable selections of meat, vegetables and fruit. The seafood is also all Oceanwise certified.
For the Taste of Yaletown menu, West Oak is offering a 3 course menu for $45. At first I thought it was a bit pricey, but given the portion size and quality of food, it is actually a pretty good deal!
We started off with a half portion of the Truffle Cauliflower Soup which came with a crostini. The cauliflower soup had a medium consistency and was flavoured with truffle oil. You could smell the truffle once the soup arrived!
Another option for appetizer is the Chilled Prawn Salad. The salad consisted of shrimp, smoked salmon, arugula, creme fraiche, and horseradish. This was a rather light dish, so perfect if you are going to have a meat dish as your entree.
My favourite option for appetizers was the Burrata and Prosciutto Board though. This board also included fig jam, dijon, castelvetrano olives, balsamic reduction grilled bread. The star of the show was definitely the burrata which I believe the owner said is made in house. So creamy and great paired with the salty prosciutto. The fig jam was also spot on without being overly sweet.
Moving onto entrees, we had the Roasted BC Salmon which featured scallion mashed potatoes, green beans, a citrus wild mushroom sauce with corn and prosciutto. I normally avoid getting salmon at restaurants because the chances are it’s overcooked. However, this was moist throughout with a delicious crispy skin on the outside. The cook on this was perfect!
Another favourite at the table was the Mushroom Risotto with oyster and crimini mushrooms and Grana Padano cheese. The rice was cooked to al dente with the sauce being creamy and smooth. The cheese and slight truffle flavour really made it spot on.
The Roasted Chicken was definitely a surprise for me. The dish featured grain-fed free range chicken, fingerling potatoes, broccolini, grainy mustard, and a white wine sauce. Apparently this is one of their dishes that has been on the menu forever. Well, they sure know how to cook chicken because the center was not dry at all. Pus, that grainy mustard sauce was absolutely delicious!
My favourite of the night was their Seared Pork Chop though. This sat on a bed of gruyere mashed potatoes, broccolini, and apple dijon jus. Seriously, the pork chop was so tender! And paired with the apple dijon jus, it just felt so homey. This is actually a new item which they will add to their fall menu and I am so happy for this!
To end the night off, dessert is Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta with Berry Compote. I found the panna cotta to be very smooth and creamy, but the berry compote was too sweet after a few bites. I liked how it wasn’t sour, but the sweetness was a bit too much for my personal liking.
Overall, the restaurants I got a preview at offered some really good food and I will defintely be back. Be sure to check out https://yaletowninfo.com/event/taste-yaletown-2017/ for menu details from the 26 participating restaurants!