Dine Out Vancouver 2008: Raincity Grill

Raincity Grill

Every Year Tourism Vancouver puts on Dine Out Vancouver [tv] which provides an opportunity for locals and tourists alike to try some of Vancouver’s best restaurants at a reasonable price. The event runs from January 16th through to February 3rd. The other night my girlfriend Lydia and I went to Raincity Grill [tv]. For my foodie girlfriend’s review of the meal go here [mm]. For my less accomplished tongue’s take on the meal read on.

Raincity Grill
1193 Denman St. Vancouver, B.C.
V6G 2N1

There are some meals that are incredibly good. There are some meals that are fantastic. The Raincity Grill’s Seared Fraser Valley chicken (pictured above) is neither of those because quite frankly it was perfect. The entree was the best thing I have ever eaten. I mean ever, ever. It was so good that I felt that the rest of the resturant was actually privileged to watch me eat it, and I’m sure that the other patrons went home and spoke of my meal in the hushed tones of reverence that some people use for having seen the Beatles play the Cavern Club in Liverpool [cc] or how people who were at the fight speak of the Ali / Forman Rumble in the Jungle [wp]. My meal was a once in a lifetime event that may possibly have changed the course of human history.

But I’m getting ahead of myself and soon you might be suspecting that my enthusiasm is dropping into the realm of hyperbole. It is not, and I stand by my statement, that this is the greatest meal I have ever eaten. It started out kind of shitty though, I mean I really hated the starter.

I could never be a food critic because there are just certain things that I hate eating. Onions, for example, are my arch-enemy and always have been ever since I was a young boy picking through my mother’s tuna and rice casserole. That my selected starter theTrio of Tartar tasted strongly of onions was not a good way to begin the meal. I poked at it, made faces and generally annoyed my girlfriend who was wondering if it was possible to take me to any place nice without me making a scene at some point. Eventually I had poked, prodded and moved about enough of the starter to look as if I had actually ingested some of it that the waiting staff took it away.

Insert your best sports metaphor here, but the fact was it was not going well and it would require some sort of miracle play by the cooking staff to get me back into the meal. I was fiddling with my silverware, hungry and gulping down water worried that it was going to be the only thing that my taste buds were not going to object to that evening. That Lydia’s starter had been a scallion vinaigrette was not exactly promising. Was there going to be something that I was going to enjoy?

According to the menu my main course was “Seared Fraser Valley chicken, hay baked celeriac, a ragout of mushrooms, whipped potato puree, chicken glaze”. It was fucking amazing. If vegtables always tasted like that I’d be a happily eating three greens a day instead of keeping my non-meat diet limited to french fries and diet cola. The potato puree was incredibly delicious, the mushrooms were amoung the best I’ve ever had and whatever hay baked celeriac is it was amazing. The chicken was the best I have ever had. Ever.

The Fireweed honey Pot-au-Creme was the perfect closer to such a incredible meal.

I am not lying when I say that the main course was the single best meal I have ever eaten. I can not recomend trying the Raincity Grill enough. We ordered from the Dine Out Vancouver menu ($35 per person) but as long as you’re getting the chicken you won’t be disapointed. If you’re a vegitarian don’t worry, the vegtables that I had were incredibly good as well, and I am someone who really does not rate the veggies normally.

I know it’s a tired trope of the food critique to claim that something was the best that they’d ever eaten, or to die for. I don’t quite want to die for another meal at the Raincity Grill, that seems like the sort of Faustian bargin I’d leave to saving the life of my dear old Aunt May [wp], but I certainly will watch my budget and save some money so I can afford to eat there again. It’s well worth eating a few meals of Kraft Dinner to save money for another chance for the perfect dinner at Raincity Grill.

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