Feb 11, 2012

Cork & Fin

For my last Dine Out Vancouver 2012 meal I went to Cork & Fin with one of my girlfriends, Colette.   I was really excited to try their menu because they did something a little bit different by having 3 savory courses, as opposed to 2 savory and 1 sweet.  I do love my desserts, but I am, and always will be, a sucker for meat.

Cork & Fin is located in one of my favorites areas of Vancouver - Gastown.  Gastown is always alive, no matter the time of day, and is home to some amazing restaurants, night clubs and shopping. At night music, laughter and the sweet smells of delicious food fill the streets.

Upon arriving at the restaurant, I was immediately impressed with the decor and layout - especially the loft.  Colette and I talked about how would be a perfect space for a party! We were sat at a table right by the front windows.  This was nice because there was a large, boisterous group seated near the middle of the restaurant. Our server was extremely prompt, friendly and full of recommendations - not something that you always find during Dine Out.  I never take pictures of menus, but I made an exception for these unique manila folder ones that I fell in love with.


For my first course I had fresh shucked oysters.  Let me start off by saying that I went into this meal not sure if I was an oyster fan or not. I can now confirm, without hesitation, that I like oysters - so much so that I ordered the $4.50 supplement of 3 additional oysters.  They arrived at the table presented beautifully on a bed of ice, with horseradish, lemon, lime and a champagne and cracked black pepper mignonette. The oysters were sweet with a hint of salt. I will definitely be returning for their oyster happy hour!



Both Colette and I had the salmon ceviche for our second course.  This course was so refreshing, with the perfect hint of saltiness and sour.  I had decided to do the Dine Out menu with their British Columbia wine flight, and the surprising highlight of this course was the amazing balance that the Tinhorn Creek Pinot Gris had with the salmon ceviche.


For my final course, I had the slow braised beef short ribs that was served with a celeriac and potato puree, and an amazing reduction.  What I first noticed was the portion size of the beef short ribs, as it was very impressive.  The ribs were perfectly cooked, tender and really lived up to my expectations of what an excellent short rib should taste like. 


Colette does not eat red meat, so she opted for the red snapper that was served with a carrot and ginger puree and watercress.  She said that the flavour was great and that snapper was cooked perfectly.  When our server brought our wine pairings for the third course, I was quite jealous because her snapper was served with my favorite wine - Thornhaven Pinot Noir.



Usually this is where my meal reviews end, however, we were having such a good time (and getting such great service) at Cork & Fin, that we decided to split a couple of desserts.  We were actually quite full after our meals, but we had seen a few desserts go by and they all looked delicious. We opted to try a soft cheesecake served with brandied apricots and honey, and chocolate mousse.  Both desserts were excellent.  However, the cheesecake really stood out for both of us as the clear winner.  It was the perfect consistency, had just the right amount of sweet and the apricots on top were to die for!  We noticed the woman at the table next to us eyeing our dessert, so we offered her some of our dessert and she fell in love too.


I will, without question, be back to Cork & Fin.  I have absolutely nothing bad to say - the service, food and ambiance were all spot on. I was really happy with the end to my Dine Out Vancouver season on such a high note. 

Tip: Cork & Fin advertises on their website that they have Oyster Happy Hour everyday from 5pm to 6:30pm.  This is a great way for those who are unsure, like I was, to try different types of oysters.

Also note:  Cork & Fin has a couple of specially priced menus on their website right now.  They have a Valentines Day Menu, a 5 course tasting menu, for $75 or paired with wines for an additional $35.  They also have the same Prix Fixe Menu that I just reviewed, on their website, now priced at $32. I would highly recommend visiting them for it. 

Cork & Fin on Urbanspoon

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