Brunch at Chef Faizal Kassam’s West Vancouver restaurant was enough of a success that a visit to sample the dinner menu was mandatory.
Terroir Kitchen specializes in sharing plates, which someone called posh tapas. This is an informal dining style that allows diners to experience edibles not on their usual list of choices. It also encourages conversations about culinary successes or failures.
People are used to sharing plates at Asian restaurants but it is not featured at most fine dining places. I enjoy this way of eating but it is not something I would want if my dinner choice was a fire-grilled rib eye steak.
Scallops were the first items. Properly cooked, these might be my favourite food. Badly executed scallops are best saved for the next curbside collection. Chef Kassam’s version, served with charred leeks and minted pea puree, was superb.
Look carefully at the picture below and you’ll note something that looks like caviar. These are vesicles from an Australian finger lime, a citrus fruit also known as caviar lime.
Shellfish were followed by risotto, a regular menu item that varies from day to day. This one featured cherry tomatoes and was topped with salami strips. Creamy and moist with flavourful broth, this was best eaten by spoon.
The night’s main dish was roasted chicken thighs, served with Tuscan panzanella, heirloom tomatoes, capers, onion, basil, roasted garlic & parsley.
The bread salad was an unusual accompaniment, but delightful. It’s something I’ll try to duplicate at home. The entire dish is too complicated for this very average cook.
When ending a great meal, what besides a glass of Remy Martin XO, is better than fine coffee and a premium chocolate pavé, today served with hazelnuts and Aperol crème fraîche. Here it is; or, more correctly, here it was.
Terroir Kitchen promises to use the best ingredients and chocolate from Michel Cluizel is but one example. The Cluizel family’s operation was founded in Normandy in 1948 and expanded to North America in 2004. They specialize in direct, sustainable relations with a handful of cocoa planters.
Dinner for two, with leftovers for home, was about $90 before drinks, taxes and tip. Undoubtedly, it was worth every penny.