gracecheung604 | write on time: Forage - winner of the Chowder Chowdown

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Forage - winner of the Chowder Chowdown

Forage is the new restaurant at the Listel Hotel, formerly O'Douls. The space smells fantastically new, almost Ikea-like, with its ample wood panelling. I had sampled Chef Whittaker's Chowder at the Chowder Chowdown earlier in the week and was excited to see what else was in store.   IMG_1694 This is amazing, such a simple decoration but so lovely. I now have a new use for mason jars. Using a fake candle and a bunch of moss, this was pretty and delicate. I'm going to be mimic this for my dinner table. IMG_1691 We started off with Cracklings and Popcorn, but for some reason, although I had expected Pork Rinds, I was surprised by the Duck Crackling too. The popcorn itself was light and fluffy but the best part was the various skins...the crispy duck skin had a nice smoky flavour and the translucent pork rind had a delightful crunch. It is something they should start serving at Silvercity!  IMG_1697 Another thing on our "must eat" list was the BC Spot Prawn and Seafood Chowder, served with a soft-poached egg. There are also bit of chicharrón which had a slight smokiness to it, as well as chunks of pork hock. It's easy to see how this won the top prize of Chowder Chowdown. I loved that it was served in a hot cast iron skillet, which served to keep the chowder warm while we munched on the popcorn. IMG_1698 Another hot skillet dish was the "Foraged" and Cultivated Mushrooms. Sprinkled on top was some   Okanagan goat cheese and fresh parsley. I wasn't a huge fan of the arugula pesto, which was way too bitter for my liking. The grilled caraway rye was a good accompaniment but I felt that the pesto overwhelmed everything else on the skillet. IMG_1703  For our main, we opted for the Gelderman Farms braciole. For me, my introduction to braciole is from Everybody Loves Raymond. A true braciole is supposed to be a thinly sliced beef cooked in its own juices but this was a bit different. They used pork here and it was too fatty for my liking and the raw Italian parsley was too crunchy served whole, it stopped becoming a garnish and was way too earthy for me. The bed of pasta rags were good, albeit a bit overcooked, and the heirloom tomato sauce was a touch too tangy. The beef was also really fatty, and the whole plate was rather "mushy". It was probably the most disappointing dish of the evening. 
I think that Chef Whittaker has great ideas for his menu, but the execution is a little weak. The ideas are impecable as is their service, but a few of the items area a bit off balanced. Considering they have only been open for a few days/week, it's just a matter of ironing the kinks out. I would like to revisit this place in a few months.

Take Note:

  • Try the popcorn, or any of the "snack" item
  • Cocktails are interesting and worth a try
  • Service was better than expected for a new restaurant, let's hope the food improves accordingly.

Forage on Urbanspoon

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