There is an Express Two Course Lunch that is offered up daily, with a starter and and entree. Today's starter was a choice of a Tomato Dill Soup or a Chef's Goat Cheese Beet Salad. Not a fan of plain tomato soups, we opted for the salad. The serving was decent, with three chunky, if uneven pieces of beets. They were slightly pickled and are less sweet than roasted. If you don't think you like beets, try them this way and you might be surprised. The goat cheese is pungent and rich enough to go head to head with the beets here, and even more flavour is added with the inclusion of some curried pistachios and very crisp pears. The last time I had beets was at the Taste of Yaletown tasting and I'm slowly changing my mind on beets.
The other starter we tried was the Crispy Calamari. I find calamari a bit of a hit and miss, with some places using way to much batter. But I was intrigued by the promise of the crispy and I gave it another shot. And I am sure glad I did. The coating was light, the pieces were indeed crunchy and the thin rings really snapped in my mouth. The garlic yogurt dip had bits of cucumber in it, and the chevre was nice and rich. I'd have to say these were better than the ones from Yew. Part Two of the Express Two Course Lunch is a pasta dish, since we didn't really feel like Fish and Chips. So we went with a Cavatelli Amatriciana, made with a herby tomato sauce, some smoked pork cheek. The cavatelli pasta is a short pasta, similar in size to penne, but instead of being hollow, the pasta sort of curls up into itself. The beauty of this is that the sauce has ample of opportunity to get into the nooks and crannies. The grilled grape tomatoes were super sweet and bursting with juices. I am still of two minds on the pork cheek, it's not a what I expected. When I see pork cheek on the menu, I immediately think of braised pork cheek, but this was better. The skin maintained a porchetta-like crunch while the meat itself had strong hints of smokiness, reminiscent of bacon. I think I liked it, but I just didn't expect it to have that crunch. Onto the final main course,this was the Knuckle Sandwich, made with lobster, shrimp and some apple for crunch. There is a small side salad to accompany the sandwich, but the star of the show is definitely the sandwich. The bread is a soft brioche, with a signature "H" stamped on the top. There was a lot of lobster and plenty of baby shrimp, but I found the dressing to be a bit too much. It was nice and tangy, but there was just too much of it and made the sandwich a bit less refined as it could have been. I like things lightly dressed, and usually, I remember to make the request, but I think this filling was probably already made as a batch (just a guess).
- Very knowledgeable staff, they know the dishes inside out and have great attention to detail
- Room is very cozy and warm, perfect for festive dinners over the holidays
- Express Lunch is only $19, good deal.