For this year's Dine Out Vancouver, we purposely chose restaurants that were new to us. The first was Fishworks in North Vancouver, and here is my review of Saucisse, also in North Vancouver. Our next two are Oakwood Bistro and Yaletown L'Antipasto. As we aren't too familiar with the area, we were a little surprised that this little cozy restaurant was actually part of a strip mall!
Who would expect such pretty lights inside a tiny little restaurant!? But it sure does make the place cozy and makes you forget your surroundings. Although we intended to try their $38 Dine Out menu, we were informed of another great deal that we decided to take advantage of instead. Every Sunday-Wednesday, Saucisse offers up a Prix-Fixe menu that is hard to beat. For $99, you get 2 appetizers, 2 entrees and 2 desserts, PLUS a bottle of their house red or white wine. It sure beats the Dine Out menu plus you get to choose from everything on the menu, and they have a wide selection of seafood, meats and vegetarians, truly something for everyone.
So to start, we ordered a bottle of the Legado Munoz Garnacha 2011 from Spain. This wine was full bodied with fruity flavours and an smooth earthiness. The bread and garlic butter was fairly ordinary, with the bread on the dry side.
Our first appetizer was the Pacific Steamer Potage, essentially mussels, clams and octopus steamed in a white wine broth. The baguette on top was an uneccesarry touch. It would have been better served on the side. The seafood themselves were cooked perfectly, with the clams and mussels still in the shell and everything tasted very fresh.
We then tried the Saucisse Signature, a selection of 5 house made grilled sausages. They were out of the BC Craft Beer Brat the night we went, so we doubled up on the Espellette Chicken and Sage because it was denoted as Spicy! Unfortunately, it wasn't as spicy as we wanted and it also seemed a bit too loose to be a sausage. The Smoked Kettle Ridge Beef was very lean, and had a great smokey flavour. The Prawn and Lobster Sausage more like a patty and not what we expected at all. However, the Garlic Pork Sausage had the best flavour the and was leaner than usual. The sausage platter comes with crusty grilled baguette slices as well as three sauces, a dijonnaise, a spicy house tomato compote and a chef’s aioli.
For our mains, we chose the Beef and Blue
Seared Tenderloin. The beef was done to a medium rare with a slight sear on the outside. It was super tender but the seasoning seemed a little light handed. I appreciate letting the meat speak for itself, but there was a noticeable lack of salt and pepper on the meat, and I didn't really get any of the blue cheese grantinee. The mustard mash was pretty good, but the best part was the caramelized onions with the creamed winder greens. It really made the dish standout and gave it a big hit of earthiness, texture and flavour. The portion was quite large too, and I ended taking some of it home in a doggie bag.
Our second entree was the Yarrow Meadows Duck Confit Cassoulet and it was quite tasty. The skin could have been crispier, but nothing will compete with my experience in Seattle at Brasserie l'Ecole. The duck is cooked sous vide for 24 hours and is served with a pancetta & white bean ragout. There is also a bit of their pork sausage tucked underneath. This is a very well rounded dish, with a good serving of meaty goodness. I would pick this over the tenderloin, but just ask for a crispier skin.
We also decided to get a side to go with our meals, and for that, we picked the Sautéed Seasonal Wild mushrooms. This was a good addition for $6 in my books. King mushrooms and oyster mushrooms, braised and slow cooked. They made our entrees much better. You can also add Truffled Pomme Frites, Haricots Verts and there is a Cauliflower Grantinee that I might have to try next time!
As I mentioned before, you also get 2 desserts. The one that I was sold on was the Lemon Sabayon Tart. Although the toasted pine nut crust was more of a cookie, the sabayon was amazing. Add some of those berry pearls and we had just the right amount of tartness for a dessert. It was so good. It's part of the reason I made sure to pack my tenderloin, I wanted to save room for dessert!
Our other dessert was a trio of Cream Puffs, with assorted ice creams, namely Chocolate Mint, Cardamom and Caramel, all drizzled with a dark chocolate sauce. It was a fun way to end the meal. So if you missed out on Saucisse during Dine Out, don't despair, head over Sunday-Wednesday and score yourself an even better deal!