Dine Out Vancouver 2008 – The Observatory

Dine Out Vancouver is back and we’re on a mission to try as many restaurants as possible. The event, now in its sixth year, lets you savor Vancouver’s delectable food and wine scene. Enjoy a three-course dinner at over 180 of Vancouver’s hottest restaurants for $15, $25 or $35 per person, complemented by some fabulous BC VQA wine paring. Since our tastes run into the finner things in life, our dine outs will all be in the upper end of the price spectrum. And there’s no better place to start than at The Observatory.

The Observatory restaurant is at the top of Grouse Mountain. Normally, it offers an amazing view of Vancouver but every time we’ve dined there, a cloud descended on us to block the view. When there is no Dine Out going on, The Observatory is a very expensive restaurant. So expensive that Grouse Mountain waives the $37 lift ticket it takes to get up there. Tickets to the ice skating rink, sleigh rides and Grouse Mountain’s Theatre in the Sky are also complimentary with the dinner reservation.

Today was Sunny’s (Sally’s nanny) birthday so we invited her and two other friends to come along. Eleven months of the year, The Observatory is a very good second or third date restaurant. During Dine Out Vancouver month, it’s a really great first date restaurant because of all the complimentary perks you get for just $35.00 per person. The Skyride to the top of the mountain cost $37 so you’re already in the money. After dinner, you can go on a sleigh ride, take a spin around the outdoor ice rink and then take in a Theatre in the Sky show. Your date will think you spent a fortune on her when you’re really a cheap ass! 😈

Salad of Poached Bosc Pear and Roquefort


This was my starter dish. Made from organic winter greens, candied pecans and pear walnut vinaigrette. I had it paired with a Wild Goose Pinot Noir 2006. It was an excellent starter. Light and refreshing and the presentation was top notch.

Cream of Shallot Soup


Sarah had the Cream of Shallot soup as her starter. It was made from pancetta chantilly and orange vincotto. I like the soup but it didn’t go with my wine. It was meant to be served with a Riesling.

Roast Loin of Pork


Roast Loin of Pork served with spiced pear & parsnip puree, apple grape chutney and sage jus. There’s a lot of flavors working here and they all compliment each other. The pork was extremely tender and prepare just right. It was paired with a glass of Inniskillin Pinot Noir 2006.

Sea Scallops


Sea Scallops with butternut squash risotto, carrot blood orange emulsion and vegetable ribbons. I have to give Executive Chef Dino Gazzola props for the excellent presentation of this dish. The scallops was a tad overdone however. The dish was paired with a glass of Sumac Ridge Chardonnay 2005.

Sticky Toffee Pudding


Sticky Toffee Pudding with vanilla bean ice cream is the signature dessert at The Observatory. Sarah loves it because it’s not as sweet as the other desserts. It’s a good way to finish off the meal.

Assiette of Grapefruit


Assiette of Grapefruit tart, baked yogurt with grapefruit jelly & Campari granite, sorbet. The presentation of this dish was top notch all the way and it tasted as sweet as it looked. I had the dessert paired with a glass of Gehringer Late Harvest Riesling 2006.

Overall, The Observatory remains one of my favorite restaurants to dine at. If you visit Vancouver, you need to try it out, especially during Dine Out month. Dinner for five came to just $250 with tax and tip.

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