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Seawall Bar & Grill

January 21, 2014

During our first, and only, full day in Vancouver, we had planned to do as much sight-seeing as possible to make the most of our time.  We knew, from looking at weather forecasts in advance that it was expected to be a rainy day.  But, what could we do?  Rain or shine, we had get out and about in the city.  When we awoke in the morning, it was lightly raining.  We braved a bit of the wet weather to walk into the downtown core of Vancouver and do a bit of exploring along the sea wall.  After our little jaunt, our clothes may have been a bit damp, but our spirits weren’t.  We then took a shuttle bus over to North Vancouver to visit Capilano Suspension Bridge where the rain really started to come down.  A few hours later, by the time we left North Vancouver, we were pretty soaked through the bone.  In the late afternoon, we had a trolley tour of the entire city.  By this time, we were glad we were inside a covered trolley because it poured rain the entire time.  At the end of the tour, we decided to walk around Gastown and over to the Vancouver Christmas Market.  We got lucky there because as soon as we stepped off the trolley, the rain died to a sprinkle, and then eventually stopped!  As we left the Vancouver Christmas Market, we tested our luck by deciding to walk back to our hotel and through the popular Robson Street shopping and dining district.  Luckily, the rain held off.  By this time, it was evening and dark and we were tired and wet and a bit hungry and looking for dinner.

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We decided not to test our luck with the rain anymore and just eat at the hotel’s restaurant, the Seawall Bar & Grill.  The Seawall has a main dining room and a bar area separated into different wings of the restaurant.  The dining room is almost like an atrium, as it has floor-to-ceiling windows looking out over the seawall and into Coal Harbour on 2 sides of the room.  As soon as we were seated, we realized that we were lucky that we didn’t wander back out for dinner because it started pouring rain again!  Luckily, we were safe and sound in our hotel already, so all was good.

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To start my evening, I ordered a Shirley Temple, or what I thought was a Shirley Temple.  I was a bit confused when the waitress asked me if I wanted it alcoholic or non-alcoholic.  Um, I thought a Shirley Temple was a non-alcoholic drink.  I was even more confused when the drink she brought out to the table didn’t look like any Shirley Temple I was familiar with.  Though, it tasted awesome.  Perhaps, in Canada, a Shirley Temple is orange juice, lemon lime soda and Grenadine.  Who knows what the waitress and the bartender were thinking.  All I know is that the addition of orange juice for a bit of that acidic flavor made this drink absolutely outstanding.

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For the first time, as much as I’ve heard my husband talk about how he likes Guinness and I’ve never seen him order it, he decided that he’d order a Guinness to go with his dinner tonight.  I love seeing the foamy head on a Guinness.

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As a starter, my husband and I decided to order crab cakes.  This was Pacific rock crab served with roasted corn salsa and an orange chipotle aioli with a seared lemon.  I actually loved the seared lemon.  I felt like you could really taste a little bit of the char in the lemon juice squeezed over the crab cakes.  The roasted corn salsa was a great side to the crab cakes.  By roasting the corn, you get that little flavor of char again and it’s sweet and refreshing to complement the sweet crab cakes.  The crab cakes were crunchy on the outside and sweet and tender on the inside and paired extremely well with the orange chipotle aioli.  Using orange in the aioli sauce added a nice acidic, yet sweet, bite to counterbalance the tangy and spicy chipotle.

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Since we were in Vancouver and right on the Pacific Ocean, my husband decided to order the West Coast fish & chips for dinner.  The fish was a lager battered Pacific true cod served alongside sea salted fries and a red cabbage and granny smith coleslaw.  I liked the classic touch of serving the fish & chips on a faux-newspaper.  It just looked more authentic.  My husband really liked the flavor of the lager battered cod.  He said that you could really taste the beer battering and that it was crunchy and light and the fish was flaky and delicious.  A combination of being hungry and tired from the day, and the good food, meant that my husband devoured his food in about 2.9 minutes!

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fashioned comfort food in the form of mac & cheese.  What’s better than cheesy goodness on this cold, wet and rainy night?  That’s why the call it comfort food.  Ooey, gooey and good.

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I also decided on a bit of comfort food for my meal as well, braised short ribs.  The menu described the dish as certified angus beef with sweet potato gnocchi, roasted pearl onions, oven cured tomatoes and broccoini.  I was so excited to taste my meal, and I wasn’t disappointed.  The braised short ribs where so tender and delicious and the braising sauce was terrific.  The sweet potato gnocchi were sweet pillows of pureed sweet potatoes.  I loved the oven cured tomatoes, the char on the tomato skin was delicious.  I’m a huge fan of broccolini and the little roasted pearl onions added a hint of sweetness.

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For desert, I opted to order the tasting trio, a small sampling of three different desserts: vanilla crème brulee, mini cheesecake with passion fruit curd and caramelia chocolate mousse cup.  Of the three desserts, my favorite was the chocolate mouse cup.  The cup itself was made out of chocolate and there was creamy mousse inside the cup and it was topped with white chocolate crisps and a shaved white chocolate curl.  My least favorite dessert was the mini cheesecake with the passion fruit curd.  It’s not that the cheesecake wasn’t good, it was, it was just that the passion fruit curd was not very tasty at all, so what I had to do was just scrape the passion fruit curd off of the cheesecake itself in order to enjoy it.

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My husband decided to order the vanilla crème brulee for dessert.  The crème brulee was served with chocolate shortbread and seasonal berries.  This is the same mini crème brulee I got with my tasting trio.  As a classic crème brulee, I had a great crunchy sugar topping on this sweet, vanilla custard.  My husband equally enjoyed the dessert.  It had the right touch of vanilla in it, but the custard wasn’t overpowered by the vanilla bean.

Sometimes when you dine at a hotel restaurant you’re not quite sure what to expect in terms of food.  When my husband and I arrived at the Seawall Bar & Grill all we were expecting were some comforting burgers for dinner.  What we actually experiences was a really upscale menu in a beautiful setting looking out over the harbor.  But, it wasn’t just that the menu itself was upscale, but that the food itself was terrific.  Everything was homemade and crafted and tasted like it was made with love and care.  It was terrific comfort food that was filling on this cold, wet and rainy day.  We were so glad we decided to stay and dine at the hotel rather than venture out for a dinner in a nearby restaurant because we would have missed the great food being served at the Seawall Bar & Grill.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. February 13, 2014 9:51 am

    This looks like a place I would enjoy.

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