Dining Like It’s 1999

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Tonight I took Sarah and her parents to Lumière restaurant to dine like it’s 1999. After all, we are in the middle of a new Dot Com boom. Everything is going up, up, up, and what better way to celebrate wicked excess than to dine at Vancouver’s highest of high end restaurants? I invited Stephen Fung and his girlfriend Kelly, to come along because it was Kelly’s birthday and Stephen was the only other person, besides me, who is dumb enough to spend this kind of money eating out.

Lumière is own by Iron Chef America champion Rob Feenie. The restaurant has won every award you can imagine, including the AAA 5 Diamond Award. Lumière has also won Vancouver magazine’s best French restaurant award 9 years in a roll.

While Sarah and I have dined at Lumière before, this is the first time for her parents and Stephen and his girlfriend. I’m sure Stephen will be blogging about his experience when he wakes up in the morning. In the mean time, this is what we ate.

Amuse Bouche

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This was a small starter dish that most high end restaurants serves to prepare your taste buds for the dishes to come. It was quite refreshing

Tuna Tartar

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This was the other starter dish. We order two different tasting menus; the Kitchen menu and the Seafood menu. The tuna was the starter for the Seafood. I liked it more than the Amuse Bouche.

Barbecued Ell & Pine Mushroom Terrine

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This dish was made with a Dungeness crab salad and a miso and sake vinaigrette. It’s hard to describe the taste but it was really good. The crab kinda overpowered the dish however.

Foie Gras Torchon

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Foie Gras Torchon rolled in gingerbread powder, with date purée and orange blossom brioche. You can’t go to a high end French restaurant and not order Foie Gras! The Foie Gras was prepared differently than the last time I had Foie Gras at Lumière. I much preferred the simple pan speared Foie Gras than this terrine style dish. It was still very good.

Pan Seared Scallop

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Pan seared scallop with geoduck sashimi, green papaya and root vegetable remoulade, citrus and espelette pepper vinaigrette. Wow is all I can say about this dish.

Pheasant Boudin Blanc

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This was an amazing dish. Pheasant Boudin Blanc with leek, ricotta & lemon ravioli, chanterelle cream and yellowfoot chanterelles. The dish was like the softest piece of meat you have ever tasted – it just melted in your mouth. In addition, the sauce was very rich but not overpowering.

Roasted Sablefish

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Roasted Sablefish with gallo mussels, shitake and shimiji mushroom bouillon, fresh water chestnut brunoise and young sorrel greens. The sablefish was great but the stuff around it seems to be presenting their own taste instead of complimenting the fish.

Pan Seared Magret

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Pan Seared Magret with fork mashed olive oil sunchoke, glazed chestnuts. What really stood out about this dish was the wine. The Sommelier did a perfect job matching the wine to this dish. We had a different glass of wine with each dish but this one really stood out.

Nicola Valley Venison Shank

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Nicola Valley Venison Shank with beetroot barley, roasted salsify and venison jus. I really would like to know how Lumière could cook their meat so tender. It must have something to do with that million dollar kitchen. This was definitely one of the best shanks I’ve ever had.

Grill Rare Yellowfin Tuna

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Grill Rare Yellowfin Tuna with flageolet bean ragout, ratatouille and red wine lobster sauce. This dish shows food presentation at its finest. If you look at the grill marks on the tuna, you’ll see that the marks flow continuously from one side of the fish to the next! It tastes as good as it looks.

Cheese Tasting Break

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After the main course, but before the desserts, a selection of domestic and imported cheeses is served along with some thinly sliced fruit and nut bread. The two imported cheeses on the left were my favorite. The Sommelier scored again with a perfect wine to go with the cheese.

Pineapple Ravioli

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Pineapple Ravioli with mango mousse and passion fruit syrup, cilantro sugar. Only a restaurant like Lumière can turn a pineapple into a ravioli. One of the most creative desserts I’ve ever tried.

Auour Pear

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Auour Pear with jasmine tea foam and passion fruit sorbet. I haven’t tasted pear this sweet since that gift basket Shopping.com set me a year ago. The basket had pears that cost $10 each. I wonder if Lumière uses the same pears?

Chocolate Fondant

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Chocolate Fondant with pink praline ice cream, berry compote and cocoa nib nougatine. The Sommelier scores a hat trick with this dish. The wine he selected for the fondant was dead on perfect.

Chestnut Creme Caramel

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Chestnut Creme Caramel with cocoa walnut slice and brandied agen prune coulis, spiced orange caramel. There were a lot of different favors in this dessert but they all worked well together. No one item overpowered the other.

Mignardises

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At the end of the last course, we were served a tower of homemade cookies and chocolate. By this time, we were all full and just put it in a box to take home

The Bill

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Lumière’s position as Vancouver’s most expensive restaurant remains unchallenged. While the bill may give some a heart attack, Lumière is in fact quite reasonable for a restaurant at this level. If Rob Feenie were to operate a Lumière in a big market city like New York or Chicago, the bill could very well be twice as high. Still, Sarah’s parents almost fainted when they saw how much dinner cost.

Dinner lasted 4 hours from start to finish. If you dine at Lumière then you should really enjoy the company of the person you’re with because you’re going to be stuck with him or her for a long time! I don’t recommend Lumière as a first date restaurant. I don’t recommend Lumière as a second or third date restaurant. I have taken only 3 girls to Lumière and I ended up marrying one of them. That’s the kind of restaurant Lumière is.

A person with a sharp eye may notice that Lumière worked out the tips for me so I don’t have to. Gee, wasn’t that nice of them? At least the valet parking was complimentary.

Lumière on Urbanspoon

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