I’m veering off the wine path slightly today to feature my thoughts (and photos) on a recent, thoroughly enjoyed meal.
Friday night I visited Swallowtail – an “underground” supper club in Vancouver – headed by Chef Robin, a local food and foraging tour guide, for a dinner featuring wild foods from as close to home as it gets these days.
Chefs Robin and Helen did an amazing job of sourcing and preparing fresh, succulent ingredients for a sumptuous meal that went excellently with the wines my friends and I brought, accentuated all the more by the brilliant evening sun.
At the low cost of just $30 plus $7 for dessert and gratuity on top (think $45 in total – note no corking fee!), Swallowtail was a terrific alternative to restaurant dining.
Chef Robin also offers food tours such as herb walks and mushrooming tours – the latter of which I’ll most definitely sign up for one of these days!
Here are some photos I took of the food, which I’ll let speak for itself. Meanwhile, check out this photo of me on Swallowtail’s blog – my group was the first outdoor meal of 2010!
Dinner at Swallowtail – June 25, 2010
Amuse-bouche: Swimming sea scallops fresh from Granville Island, cooked in lemon, salt & pepper. I love scallops with the coral (orangey ruffled fatty part) intact! Paired really nicely with the Pfaffenheim Gewurztraminer that Kylie and Mike brought.
Soup course: Heirloom tomato gazpacho topped with pecorino romano, served with home-baked organic herbed bread.
Salad course: Arugula salad with wild strawberries, roasted hazelnuts and Farmhouse cheese from Agassiz, dressed in hazelnut oil vinaigrette
Entree: Smoked duck with roasted fennel & scallon garnish, burning cinnamon stick, stewed rhubarb, radicchio marmalade and parsnip puree. Absolutely the most succulent, tender duck I have ever eaten in my life. Apparently it's from North Vancouver! Perfectly paired with Ganton & Larsen Prospect Winery Fats Johnson Pinot Noir. The smokiness and spice of the duck could probably also have handled a richer, spicier New World Pinot, or even a peppery Syrah.
Here's us happy eaters! Our group of 20 took up both tables seen in the photo. I am in the foreground, front left, sitting next to Mike and Kylie, as well Lawrence and Alice across from me - Lawrence taught me the esteemed Asian skill of Mahjong some 9 years ago. Thanks Brenda for organizing!
How could I possibly turn down dessert? Here was a decadent, fluffy wild strawberry shortcake dressed with whipped cream and house-made lavender ice cream on the side. In other words, How To Get Past Third Base.