One of my favorite Dine Out Vancouver restaurants is the Observatory. Located at the top of Grouse Mountain, the Observatory is Vancouver’s highest fine dining restaurant at 3,700 feet above sea level. During the summer months, the restaurant offers an amazing view of the city. During the colder months, the view is more often than not, blocked by a descending cloud. As luck with have it, there were no view blocking clouds on our night so not only did we enjoyed a great dinner, we got to see Vancouver in all its splendor.
The Observatory is normally a very expensive place to dine at. In fact, it’s so expensive that the restaurant will comp the $35 per person lift ticket that takes you up the mountain. Tickets to the ice skating rink, sleigh rides and Grouse Mountain’s Theatre in the Sky are also complimentary with the dinner reservation.
Eleven months of the year, The Observatory is a great restaurant to take a girl on a second or third date. During Dine Out Vancouver, the Observatory’s 3-course menu cost only $38. That makes the restaurant a really great first date place because of all the free perks. Hell, the Skyride to the top of the mountain cost $35 so dinner really cost you only $3. 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. She’ll think you’ve spent you a fortune on her when you’re really a cheap ass!
Because of the large amount of snow we had recently, Grouse Mountain was much busier than it normally is. But we only felt it during our ride in the lift. The restaurant itself was nice and romantic.
Roasted Sunchoke & Shallot Soup
Roasted Sunchoke & Shallot Soup with smoked black cod, braised lentils. This was a really nice opener. It look quite rich and thick but it was really light and refreshing. Went really well with the 2006 Calona Pinot Noir.
Glorious Garnish Organic Greens
Sarah’s opening salad. Organic Greens top with goat milk yogurt dressing, poached kumquats and pecans with a light Banyuls vinaigrette.
Scallops with spicy octopus ragout, black olive tomato preserve, fingerling potatoes and basil foam. Seafood lovers would think they died and gone to heaven once they take a bite out of those scallops.
Pork Tenderloin with braised pork belly, pomme purÃ©e and roasted vegetables. This is one of the best pork dishes I’ve ever ate. The pork belly was especially good and the 2005 Quails’ Gate Cabernet Sauvignon matched it perfectly.
Winter Dessert Trio
Finishing off my meal was a dessert that got progressively sweater. You begin with the pear frangipane tart, then move to the chestnut honey ice cream and finally, the chocolate pot de crÃ¨me.
Vanilla Bean Pannacotta
Vanilla Bean Pannacotta with toffee apples and shortbread. This was Sarah’s dessert. She doesn’t have a big as sweet tooth as I do so this dessert matched her quite nicely because it wasn’t that sweet.
Dinner for four came to $265 with tax, tip and drinks. Overall, I was extremely pleased with the quality of food and level of service at the Observatory. It should definitely be your list of places to dine at when visiting Vancouver.