This past Saturday evening, I was lucky enough to dine with friends at Lumière, on West Broadway, where Executive Chef Dale MacKay prepared a special meal for our group. I haven’t been back for awhile now (I’ve been both pre- and post-Boulud), although I’ve had other meals during that time carefully prepared by MacKay at various events.
There were eight of us that evening, and we were treated to several delicious courses of yet another unforgettable meal. All the while, we enjoyed a few bottles of Tantalus Riesling, and then moved on to a few buttery chardonnays that the chardonnay man at our table picked out (and did very well, I might add ;)).
To start, the amuse bouche consisted of green tomato and white sturgeon caviar. Extremely delicate, my palette was definitely prepared for the rest of the evening at this point. I love dinners where I’m not sure what to expect, and each dish is a special surprise like a gift opening at Christmas.
This was followed by a Citrus Hamachi with gold and red beets, and the same caviar as the previous dish, over a sheet of sweet tofu purée. The orange provided a tart complement to the fish, and it tasted so delectably fresh.
Now for something that I haven’t had before – foie gras prepared as a mousse! This dessert-looking dish was actually very savoury, and contained apricots, celery root, nuts, and fresh waffles. Whipped and fluffy, rich and divine, there wasn’t a dollop of this left in anyone’s bowls.
At this point, the dishes brought out were alternated amongst the group. I only had a bite of the Pan Seared Qualicum Scallops, and I missed quite a few of the ingredients listed as I was digging into mine, but what I had was delicious!
The Sweet Corn Ravioli was a strictly vegetarian dish, with peas, chanterelle mushrooms, and a cream sauce. This got handed out amongst the rest of the group and was a favourite for many. This was also the point at which I began to worry that I wouldn’t be able to enjoy the rest of the meal without becoming too full. I knew there were still several courses to come!
We then moved on to a couple of fish dishes – mine was the Arctic Char with Linguine, with celery root, celery stalk, red cabbage purée and what I believe was a pork belly consommé that was also used in the sablefish. I’ve never had a char that was so delicate and moist and to me, this was one of my overall favourites of the evening.
The guys at the table were served a Baked Sablefish with the pork belly consommé. This had a smoky flavour to it, and was hands down the best sablefish I’ve ever eaten. Although I’ve discussed with other foodies in the past that you can’t mess up sablefish (well, hardly), I definitely think you can still make it much more stunning than others!
We all had the Pepper Glazed Fraser Valley Duck, served over lentils, with a salad of radish, apple, tofu and duck foie gras. Just look at that crisp layer of skin! Another definite favourite for me as well.
At this point we moved on to our heartier final main meat courses of the meal, and I had Garlic Lamb with potato, celery, golden raisins, and shallots and a gin and mint scented consommé. Again, it was very tasty, but I needed help finishing this dish as I was getting too full.
My other seatmates enjoyed a dish of Short Ribs, Ribeye, cream filled potato, mushroom, and braised Romaine lettuce. I had a bite of each, and it was great, but at that point in the meal I could barely eat anything else, and we still had to save room for dessert!
About to burst at the seams, we moved on to dessert. The girls at the table were served a Chocolate Sundae,where the hot chocolate sauce was poured over a shell, melting it into the lady fingers and vanilla ice cream. Rich and delicious.
On the other hand, the guys were treated to a Mascarpone Mousse with a raspberry sorbet, topped with grapes. I only had a tiny bite of this, but I actually preferred it to my sundae (although I’m not a huge chocolate-for-dessert person).
Overall, I’d have to say I had yet another great experience at Lumière – amazing service, excellent, well-crafted and intricately prepared food, great company and delicious wines! This is a restaurant that you must try on a special occasion, when you’re willing to splurge. And be ready to relax for the evening – this meal alone took around four hours to enjoy, and we closed the restaurant down.
2551 W Broadway
Vancouver, BC, V6K 2E9