July 30, 2012
Vancouver Convention Centre, Vancouver BC
[Bread and Butter]
Butter Lettuce Leaves with Toasted Almonds, Raspberry Vinaigrette
Fines Herbes WIld Pacific Salmon Filet, Grape Tomato Red Wine Butter, Tricolor Linguini, Fresh Market Vegetables
A surprise as I got into the office this morning led me to the Vancouver Convention Centre. Originally only supposed to stay for a while, it gradually turned into the majority of lunch as the reception sort of blended in with the food. What a nice surprise that was. Once I got home, I checked up the menu online. You just have got to love the incredible amount of information that can be found online nowadays. All you need is Google and you are good to go.
We started off with complimentary dinner rolls and butter. One basket per table was served with a small dish of generic balls of butter. I saw at least three types: plain, oat, and pumpkin seed. I had a pumpkin seed one. It was soft on the inside and chewy with a slight hardening on the outside, making the texture a lovely one, especially with the addition of the pumpkin seeds. I really enjoyed the seeds and wished they were mixed into the dough as well instead of just on the surface. The inside was orange, which made me think it was some sort of special grain dough. It would have been better had it been warm but at least it was not bad.
The appetizer course was Butter Lettuce Leaves with Toasted Almonds, Raspberry Vinaigrette. There were only three butter lettuce leaves, some almonds, four raspberries, and some edible flowers that gave the salad a nice aroma. The almonds were crunchy but there was not enough for me. The leaves were chilled and the vinaigrette sweet and tangy at the same time. It was a rather thick vinaigrette and slightly on the oily side, but the taste was good.
The main dish was Fines Herbes Wild Pacific Salmon Filet, Grape Tomato Red Wine Butter, Tricolor Linguini, Fresh Market Vegetables. The salmon was by far the highlight of the entire meal. It was pink, succulent, moist, and juicy, sprinkled with flavourful herbs and baked to utter perfection. It was definitely one of the best salmon filets I have had. The herbs offered enough flavour so that it did not taste bland or overly fishy. I also loved the grape tomatoes and red wine butter. Despite the somewhat revolting purplish hue of the butter sauce, it was slightly sweet and tart, not bland at all. It matched the salmon perfectly and was delicious! The linguini was al dente, but I had a few strands that were stuck together. There was not enough of that delicious butter sauce for me to finish the linguini; without it, the pasta was bland. It was definitely pleasing to the eye though. Finally, I loved the roasted red bell pepper slice and the baby broccoli. The baby broccoli was crunchy and the pepper soft and flavourful. I wish I had a whole plate of the brightly coloured vegetables.
Unfortunately, we did not get the chance to stay for dessert, which would have been a Dark Chocolate Truffle Cake “Sevigné”, Crispy Meringue, with Raspberry Coulis. That would have been delicious, I am sure. However, I am already thankful we got a great lunch. For hotel catering services, this is definitely one of the better ones I have had. I really appreciate having salmon instead of the generic chicken breast, especially since it was baked so nicely.