As we get ready to bid a reluctant farewell to summer, it may seem as if there is little to look forward to come Fall. Taking place in the waning warmth of summer is a red hot challenge by our good friend Richard Wolak over at VancouverFoodster.com. From now until September 30th, many of Vancouver’s most creative chefs have submitted entries to compete for top honours in a city-wide search for the best signature dish. The rules are quite simple: chefs must stick to the general cuisine of their respective restaurants and create a brand new dish not currently on their regular menu. To see a full list of participating restaurants, click here.
The first stop on our tour was Darby’s Public House to try a Braised Lamb Shank with wild mushroom polenta and green beans in a rosemary red wine reduction. For a pub, Darby’s continues to offer food that one would not expect at a typical drinking establishment. The lamb meat was phenomenally tender and literally slid off the bone with ease. The star of the dish for me was the polenta which was fragrant and addictively delicious. Chef Jackson definitely understands hearty comfort food and this dish is a shining representation of that.
Offered: Dinner nightly
Created by: Chef A.J. Jackson
Type of restaurant: Gourmet pub style
The second venue was Kits Daily Kitchen to try a Brown Butter Broiled Organic Peace Country Beef Marrow ‘Provençal’ with fried green heirloom tomatoes, bourbon onion jam, butter potato gnocchi and chanterelle mushroom cornbread. As the most expensive entry in the competition at $32 for a full two bone entrée, this entire meal definitely held an aura of class and sophistication. Bone marrow is not a common fixture in anyone’s diet so this offering may be new to many but its appeal is universal. I highly recommend the bone’s pour of White American Bourbon to finish off the dish.
Price: Appetizer (without the gnocchi or cornbread): $18 OR Entrée: $32
Created by: Chef Brian Fowke
Type of restaurant: Fine Dining
Our third and final stop of the tasting tour was at Simply Thai in Yaletown to try a Thai-style prime sirloin steak on a bed of steamed broccoli topped with red curry sauce, bell peppers, fresh basil and lime leaves. A generous bowl of Jasmine rice completes the set. For lovers of Thai food, the flavours here will be very familiar and appreciated. Please note the chef is able to cook the steak strips at the rarity of your choice so definitely let your server know your preference. The overall portion is quite generous and will easily satisfy even those with larger appetites.
Offered: Dinner nightly
Created by: Chef Grace Rerksuttisiridach
Type of restaurant: Thai Fine Dining
Simply Thai Restaurant
1211 Hamilton Street, Vancouver
Tel: (604) 642-0123