Monday, January 5, 2009

Guide to Dine Out Vancouver

This year's Dine Out Vancouver starts January 14, 2009 and ends Feb 1, 2009.

I remember when Dine Out first started, there were some really good deals to be had. You actually got your moneys worth compared to if you were to just go to that same restaurant on a regular night and order from the menu.

Now it seems you get less food, or it simply is not worth it as the food quality and service suffer from the sheer quantity they are putting out.

I remember my experience at Joe Fortes last time. Literally they packed everyone like sardines, and they had like one person taking care of about fifteen tables. My wine glass still had lipstick on it. Not just the waxy post-wash lipstick, but FRESH lipstick. I could tell the busboy noticed it, but didn’t say anything and silently hoped I wouldn’t say anything. But come on, I don’t want some chick’s L’oreal all over my mouth too.

That experience did not encourage me to go back which I think is supposed to be one of the main points of the Dine Out from the restaurant's point of view. But I did end up going a couple months ago for a bday dinner, and the food was delicious, and the service was above par.. But I didn't go back based on my experience with Dine Out.

I remember when Lumiere and West were on there and the lineups to get in were crazy. At quick glance of the website (the website keeps going down probably cause everyone is looking at it now) I think the only thing that has the caliber of those two restaurants are DB Bistro Moderne (Formerly Feenie’s now headed by Daniel Boulud, - a Michelin chef and restauranteur also formerly sued for his questionable employment practices)

The menu for Ocean Club looks pretty good, and surprisingly, it's only $28.

I’m not sure what some restaurants are doing on there. I mean come on, Milestone’s? Hon’s Wonton house? Salt? The Old Spaghetti Factory?? Red Door? Fogg n Suds? Boathouse? Aqua Riva? I'm not knocking all of them cause a couple of them are actually pretty good. but, you can get those same prices any night of the week, or find the coupons in the Strait for the same price, or it’s simply not worth it to go. I would rather just go to Les Faux Bourgeois. You couldn’t pay me enough to go back to Salt. Service is good, but the food. What a joke. I can just go to Save-on-Foods and get that same meal for free with their deli counter samples during lunch hour sans wine. Keep on walking past Salt and head over somewhere else.

I’m going to check out Trafalgar’s, Gastropod and DB Bistro Moderne. any other suggestions?

And the prices have gone up 20% from last year. Cut us a break. With the economy the way it is at least let the prices be..

My pet peeve about the DineOut is how the waitstaff push liquor sales. It's like, suggesting is fine, but stop being so damn pushy. Funny story, last year at a restaruant which name now escapes me, the person at the table next to me was pregnant, and the waiter was recommending all these wines with each course.. she finally told him she was six months pregnant. She looked visibly pregnant, and then he was like, ohhh, well, how about a virgin cocktail.

Small tip, don't just try to reserve through Open Table. I've had several experiences where the Open Table indicates it's full, but when you call, it's a different story.

Prix Fixe basically means set menu and it's pronounced Pre feex. I keep calling it prefix or grand prix.

Please be careful in the snow. So many people are walking on the roads since some sidewalks are unwalkable. People need to slow down. And the city needs to plow some more roads like in the residential areas. So many people still can't get out of their alleyways.


kokostiletto said...

awesome review! yeah dine out vancouver is such a rip off for certain restaurants! hons?? i'm going to West, C, Cannery Seafood and La Gavroche... I think I might cancel some though bc you're right - some of these are a rip off... have you ever been to these restaurants? i'll try your restaurants next time!

Vancouver said...

Good points! Let's see if they offer higher quality this time after rising their prices.

Hucky Duck said...

West is on there?? I didn't even notice that. I'd like to check that out too.
I think the Cannery is good, but the location is a little weird. Last time I was there, some guy proposed to his girlfriend, it was so romantic!
I haven't been to C, but I have always been meaning to check it out.

Hucky Duck said...

Vancouver, I hope they offer better quality! I somehow doubt it though. Nevertheless, I'm a sucker, I've made a few reservations, I find sometimes I drink more than usual to overcompensate for the cheaper meal.. so it ends up being a lot more than usual. Kind of like when I use an Entertainment coupon, I end up ordering more than usual..