At lunchtime yesterday, I managed to make it out with a couple of friends to the newly opened Corner Suite restaurant in downtown Vancouver (at Thurlow and Smithe). While they just opened last Friday (February 5th), they started a lunch service earlier this week.
When walking up to the building, we noticed some baby blue chairs through the windows, contrasting to the black leather-looking bench seats closer to the bar. The tables had a dark marble look to them, and when we walked in, the seats almost reminded one of the girls with me (let’s call her M) of a large-sized version of a Barbie playhouse.
I thought that the chairs were really unique though, and liked how they likely spray-painted them with a textured lacquer to give them a bit of a different feel. It did throw me off a little though in that when I touched it, I wasn’t expecting it to feel the way it did (and I’m a very tactile person – if I am drawn to something, I will touch it – it gets me in trouble sometimes!), and my girlfriend almost felt like the paint was going to rub off on her clothing (although of course it wouldn’t).
The room is separated between a dining area and a bar along the back wall – this place seems like it could be fun during the evening, for dinner and drinks on the weekend. Apparently, they play rock music and the atmosphere becomes totally different – much louder and livelier.
While we were trying to decide on what to have, a French server brought over an amuse bouche to enjoy, made up of gruyere, and a few other things – I missed a lot of what she was saying since she had a great thick accent, no matter what it was would’ve sounded good! As a result, I’m not sure what these were called, but they had a light cheesy flavour and were tantalizing to our tastebuds. I could’ve had a few more of those easily…
Finally, after hemming and hawing and being completely indecisive, I decided to go with a virgin drink that was a Peach Puree and Tonic mixture. The drink menu is quite large, and in addition to several cocktails, wines and other spirits, we were told to enjoy the artwork within its pages as it was all original and done by the owners. The drink wasn’t too sweet, but the peach tasted absolutely delicious, and if it were any other time than a Wednesday afternoon I would’ve just added some gin (or maybe vodka?) in it and be good to go!
My indecisiveness continued – my girlfriends both had made their choices, but I wasn’t sure if I wanted to go with a couple of the Petits Plats instead of one of the larger choices, so we continued to eat the Bread with Olive and Paprika Butter in the meanwhile. Although I liked the idea of the spread, it didn’t have enough punch to it to really even decipher that there was anything much added to it – I actually had to ask again if it was olive or something else. So it’s a good idea, but maybe needs more in terms of execution – it just tasted pretty much like plain butter to me.
After a good amount of time had passed, I decided to order both a Petits Plats (which we all decided to share), in addition to an entree – if you can’t choose, why not have it all! So we started off with the Crispy Pigs Ear, served with sweet breads, onion soubise, and shallot and parsley sauce and kale. I really enjoyed all of the components of this when eaten together as a whole, but would not recommend each item on its own (which is probably how it’s meant to be eaten anyway). The ear was coated in a very crispy batter which I loved, although it kind of hid the ear and I barely noticed when I was crunching down on it. Overall, it was very rich and felt like a decadent beginning to our meal.
My girlfriend had the Skate Wing with gnocchi, green beans, almonds, and lemon hollandaise – while I’ve never had this type of fish before, I will definitely order it again whenever I have the choice. This was definitely my favourite dish of the day, and sometimes I kick myself for trying not to order something just because someone else is having it. But at least I know what I’ll get next time I go! The green beans were young and crisp, and the gnochhi was cooked so there was a slight browning on the outer edges. The skate was tender and moist and I was told that she thought her choice was “Delightful!” Luckily, she let me try some of it. 😉 Also, it was very colourful and a great-looking dish to welcome spring (a little early, but it sure feels like it already).
M and myself both went with the Duck Confit, with lentils, pearl onions, kale and a sour cherry sauce (okay, so I know I just ended up ordering the same thing as someone else and should’ve just stuck with my gut and had the skate). Again, the fowl meat was very tender and moist, and the skin was excellent and crispy. I loved the pieces of cherry on the plate, and the lentils were also done really well – those little things have sure been growing on my lately! Did you know that lentils have the second-most protein per gram of any food on the market (next to hemp seed)?
Once we were done our meals, we still had some room to squeeze in dessert, and since we couldn’t decide, we took one of each – it worked out well that there were three items available so we all could share. The Paper Bag Beignets were probably my least favourite of the bunch, although one of the girls with me liked them the most. I found the large paper bag that the tiny little doughnuts came in to be so overwhelming in comparison to what we found inside. The cinnamon sugar coating was great, however, I was hoping that the doughnuts would be softer than they were – they seemed a bit dense to me.
What I found to be the best dessert of the afternoon was the Sticky Toffee Pudding, topped with vanilla bean ice cream. While the cake itself is a little heavy, it was still delicious, especially when dipped into all of the gorgeous toffee lining the bowl.
The Chocolate Pot de Creme wasn’t really all that special to me – while I liked the presentation in the coffee cup, served with a crispy, flaky biscuit, the chocolate itself was quite bitter (something that I’ve never been a fan of). Dark chocolate fans, this is one that would probably better be suited to you!
There is also a 24/7 menu daily special for $24.07 all day, every day. It comes with an appetizer, a main course, and a dessert. This would be good to try at dinner sometime.
All in all, I liked this place. It’s somewhere I will come back to again during an evening next time to check out the vibe with dinner and drinks. While some thought that the blue chairs and design seemed a bit ‘little-girl’ like, I thought it was different and unique.