Tuesday, January 11, 2011

R.TL - Regional Tasting Lounge

We had a coupon for a 3 course meal for two with a bottle of wine at Yaletown's Regional Tasting Lounge, and having not been there before, decided to give it a shot.  When we arrived, despite our reservations our table was not ready, as they had sat someone there earlier and they were taking longer than they thought to finish.  They let us wait at the bar and gave us some complimentary white wine which was good, because waiting at the front of the restaurant is a lost cause;  they have a sensor-triggered sliding door entrance, and if you sit in the chairs seemingly there for waiting, you hold the door open.  30 minutes and one accidentally spilled wine glass, and we were finally seated.

It would appear that they've sold a lot of these coupons, as they have a separate menu printed for them.  You get one appetizer to split, 2 mains, a dessert, and a bottle of wine (you can choose from a selection of around 8).  I'm not entirely sure that this is a better deal than their normal 3 course menu, where for $29, you get an appetizer, a main, and a dessert.  Essentially we traded an appy and a dessert for a bottle of wine which is fine, but neither of us are big drinkers and I probably would've rather had the food.  That being said, the wine was quite good.

We had a bottle of Syrah De La Chevaliere 2007.  It was nice and light, not too rich.  I will fully admit to not knowing much about wine, but to me it tasted nice.

For our first course, we decided to start with the Quinoa salad:

Quinoa Salad: roasted corn, avocado, 
fresh herbs, lemon dressing

I really enjoyed this.  It was very fresh and the creamy avocado and lemony dressing went well together.  

For our mains, flowerbunny had the flank steak:

Flank Steak: shallot compote, root vegetables
$ N/A, only available in set menus it seems

The steak was maybe a tad overdone, a little closer to medium than medium rare.  But it was seasoned very well.  The shallot compote was especially tasty, and the parsnips and carrots were a nice addition.

I had the Veal Osso Buco:

Veal Osso Bucco with House Made Tagliatelle:
slow braised veal shank, rich vegetable tomato sauce

The veal was gorgeously tender and the sauce was a nice complement.  However, the vegetables felt out of place.  There were big chunks of cauliflower and broccoli that seemed to be lightly steamed.  Nothing special there.  The pasta was good but generic.

For dessert there was no discussion; we both wanted the Ice Cream Sandwich:

Ice Cream Sandwich: vanilla gelato, chocolate ganache,
chocolate chip cookie bun

This was excellent.  The cookie was nice and chewy and the gelato was creamy and full of vanilla flavour.

We were still hungry so we decided to go for a cheese plate to finish off the night:

Cheese Plate: 
Aged Cheddar, Quebec Brie, and Danish Bleu
with dried fruits, nuts, and bread

The aged cheddar and brie were both excellent.  The cheddar had a nice sharp taste, and the brie was creamy and delicious.  I'm not a fan of bleu cheese at all, and couldn't stand this one, but flowerbunny seemed to like it.  The bread, fruit, and nuts were all kind of generic.

Overall Impressions: It was a long wait, especially given that we had a reservation, but once we were seated, the service was excellent.  I think their regular 3 course menu for $29 seems like a pretty good deal, and would go back to try that.

Regional Tasting Lounge (R.TL)
1130 Mainland St.
Vancouver, BC
Phone: 604.638.1550

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