Lumiere (Vancouver) – Wow!

I was in Vancouver last week visiting my parents and a friend who had just moved there.  Every time I go to Vancouver I feel like all I do is eat good food (and a LOT of cheese), drink good wine and watch a LOT of TV.  What a great way to live!  On this particular visit my parents took me to the restaurant Lumiere.  I only eat a really fancy meal like this maybe once or twice a year so this is a real treat for me (especially since we ordered the wine pairings to go with eat dish).  They took our coats at the entrance and pulled back a curtain to a dimly lit dining room.  It has a very intimate and classy look to it.  The bar on the right is well stocked, the tables were covered with pristine white table cloths with lit candles and there were these little stools next to the chairs.  At first I thought, “foot rest….that’s weird”, but it turns out it’s where women can put their purses without having to put them on the floor. Genius!…Fancy Genius!

The amouse bouche was an oyster shooter with a “pulled pork” jelly (I’m pretty sure that what they said).

The oyster was served chilled and tasted very fresh, like right out of the ocean a few hours ago fresh.  You could still taste a bit of the natural salt from the ocean water which was balanced out by the sweetness of the jelly cubes served on top.  Very tasty.  The first course was a citrus cured hamachi with finger lime, tofu, beets and white sturgeon caviar.  The wine pairing was a Canadian Sauvignon Blanc.

The raw fish was delightful!  It had a smooth, velvety texture with a great fresh flavor.  The beets added an Earthy-ness to the dish while the citrus fruit added a nice sweet/tartness to the dish.  The tofu layer on the bottom was nice both for presentation purposes and adding an almost creamy texture to each bite.  The caviar was a nice touch, not overpowering but adding a nice contrasting flavor to the citrus.  The wine paired with this dish was dry but went very well with the dish.  Next was the Quebec Foie Gras Mousse with celery root, apricot, hazelnut and brioche.  This was served with a Riesling.

The servers described this as the chef’s take on a foie gras sundae.  This dish was pretty mind blowing.  Everything just worked wonderfully together.  The smoothness of the foie gras, the crunchiness and saltiness of the nuts, the sweetness of the apricots…you just can’t miss with this dish.  The sweet riesling was a nice pairing and complimented the dish very well.  The brioche waffles on the side were a nice palette cleanser and were a warm comforting side.  Next was the four spice marinated black cod with smoked Hen of the Woods, cashew and pork rillon. This was served with a pinot grigio.

The individual components of this dish were all extremely well executed.  The pork has a lovely glaze and had a wonderful sweetness to it.  The cashew balanced out the pork nicely and the other greens on the dish added nice subtle flavors.  The fish stood out on it’s own.  The best sablefish I’ve ever had was at Kettle of Fish in Vancouver when my sister’s friend was working there several years back (that fish still haunts my dreams) but I think this one might top it.  Sooo tender, sooo delicious!   I only wish there was more than a few bites but given the number of other dishes that came after, it was probably for the best.  Next was the spice glazed Fraser Valley Duck with du puy lentils and apple duck jus. Can’t remember which wine this was served with (Merlot?).

Duck can be a real hit and miss thing for me.  This one is a definite hit!  The crispy skin had so much flavor that you craved more of it bite after bite.  The duck meat was cooked perfectly (tender, juicy and full of flavor).  The duck was so juicy it probably didn’t even need the apple duck jus but it was still nice to have it there.  The lentils I thought was a nice touch to the dish.  So much soft and tender meat, it was nice to have something with a different texture.  The duo of AAA Prime Beef was next. It was a red wine brasied short rib, romaine parcel, wild mushrooms, potato fondant, and a seared rib eye (left to right in the picture below).  Served with a Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa.

This is for the meat and potatoes kind of person (well, a fancy meat and potatoes kind of person).  The braised beef fell apart and had a lot of flavor.  I was actually expecting it to be a little softer but I really can’t complain, it was delicious.  The romaine parcel was really good.  It added that “healthy” factor to the dish, although I’m pretty sure they used butter to hold it all together.  That’s probably why it tasted to so good too.  The mushrooms, awesome!  Mushrooms and beef go so well together.  The potato fondant was impressive.  The layers held together nicely and it added that carb component to the dish which I realized we hadn’t had much of up until this point.  It was firm yet buttery in flavor.  The rib eye was good.  Nothing spectacular like a good steak house but cooked well.  My father was a little surprised that they didn’t ask us how we wanted it cooked.  I commented that it was probably because they’re just going to go ahead and cook it right.  It drives me a little nuts when people order overcooked steaks.  This beef was cooked right.  The first dessert course was a Pink Lady Apple Pave with ginger cinnamon panna cotta and speculoos served with ice wine from France.

Ginger makes me think of Christmas time.  I associate happy and joyous memories with Christmas so not only were the flavor fantastic, but this was like joy in a bite.  The cinnamon wasn’t overpowering and the smoothness of the panna cotta was balanced by the speculoos cookie layer.  All in all a great dessert.  I felt like the ice wine didn’t really compliment the dish that well other than being sweet but ice wine is good on any occasion.  The last dish was the hot and cold tiramisu sundae with chocolate cremeux, mascarpone mouse, ladyfingers and coffee ice cream served with a fortified wine (similar to port).

The way they served this was really cool.  The dessert was covered with a solid chocolate sheet and then they poured hot melted chocolate over it to melt it.  The melting chocolate then dripped into the cup of deliciousness below.  Now I’m not a big coffee or chocolate person but I thought this dish was pretty amazing.  I can only imagine what a chocolate lover would have thought of this dish.  The dark chocolate was rich and not too sweet.  The hot and cold mixture was simply amazing.  With coffee, they served these little bread bits, the name of which I can’t remember for the life of me.  The small fluffy pieces were dusted with powdered sugar and had a mild lemon taste to it.  It was a lovely palette cleanser.

After the bread, as if we haven’t already had enough to eat, they brought out from small candies.  Just jellies, a mini macaroon, fruit mouses, chocolate and a cookie.

Now I’ve had some pretty impressive meals in my life but this definitely ranks up there.  The dishes were all well executed, balanced perfectly and paired nicely with each wine.  I think some of the dishes were very exciting, adventurous and challenged all aspects of your palette.  Other dishes were safer, comforting and simply tasty for those who are reluctant to try something a little more daring.  Overall, I was very impressed and it lived up to my parent’s billing of being one of the best meals they’ve ever had (and they’ve eaten a LOT of good food).  It does a number of your pocketbook, but if you are in the area and willing to splurge of some of the best food Vancouver has to offer, Lumiere is your place.

~ by jlowjlow on December 5, 2010.

4 Responses to “Lumiere (Vancouver) – Wow!”

  1. The little fluffy bread bites are called Lemon Madeleines. Good mouth-watering write up. Did the restaurant send you the wine pairings? When you writing about the soup dumplings? Mom

  2. We enjoyed your comments on the 7 course dinner. Nice visuals and good commentary on the dishes. Wish we could have been there too!

  3. We enjoyed reading your commentary and great visuals of the 7 course dinner. Wish we could have been there!

  4. I just created a page for my classroom using
    how do you upload pictures?

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