Thursday, March 4, 2010

Dinner at db bistro

I finally got myself down to what used to be Feenies (I waited too long, and POOF, they're gone) but now db bistro moderne to try their "NY's original db burger", listed as "Top Sirloin Burger Filled with Braised Short Ribs, Black Truffle; Served on a Toasted Parmesan Bun; Pommes Frites".

Soup of the day was French Onion, and I gave that a pass since I already had my eye on the burger and was committed to dessert.

After I placed my order, I was offered a "mushroom soup latte". A very flavourful mushroom soup with light foam (of something I forgot -- sorry) served in a tiny cup with a tiny spoon. I did catch sight of other diners treating it like a soup, but I decided to treat it like a small coffee, and after stirring in the foam -- bottoms up! There was still a bit of mushroom soup at the bottom that needed to be scooped out. All it all, tasty soup but more of a novelty than anything.

Next, the obligatory bread and butter. Sad to say, boring normal (but softened) butter. And slices of baguette that were cold and very possibly, from their dryness and the toughness of the crust, to have been baked way early this morning, if not the day before. Or just kept badly in between. Who knows? I had one to sample and ignored the rest.

Finally the burger came, and first off I checked the fries. I tend to check the fries first because if you check it later, you might not know whether it came hot and fresh or not. These, happily, were. Pleasantly crunchy, beautiful golden colour. Lackluster dips, though: ketchup, mustard, mayo. Blah. In any case, I thought the fries were in fact salted well enough and really didn't need anything else, especially if you polished it off while they were still somewhat hot or more than warm.

The "burger" itself was not so much a burger as a small but fat (a hair over 1" thick, I think) steak stuffed with something in the middle. The steak part was (and by default) medium rare, and though there was some redness, maybe scooping out the middle did it in because it was on the dry side.
The bread had a toasty hard top with what were presumably parmesan chunks. The whole stack was about 3-1/2" in diameter, maybe 4" tall, and cut in half (convenient for sharing!). At that height, even if you could juggle the tiny width in your hand for a bite, you'd have to dislocate your jaw to jam it in for a regular burger bite. So I flipped off the top and use fork and knife on it.
Overall tasty, and there was enough moisture from the burger filling and the rest of the burger (primarily from the skinned tomato slides inside) that it made up for the dry steak. A bit of a gimmick, though, since you're really just eating a chunk of steak for $28. Just don't think "burger".

For dessert, I chose the Tarte Bourdaloue - Red WIne Poached Pears, Almond Cream, Eggnog Ice Cream. Gawd, it was delicious! With the syrup it sat in, a bit oversweet on its own, but nice when tempered with the ice cream, and in any case sweetness is forgiven in desserts.
My only complaint was that the carefully built layers came apart when you tried to scoop it up. The problem it seemed was the sauce soaking the bottom layer, so that it stuck to your plate. That meant you had to really work with fork and spoon (and probably mangle the piece) to get all the layers in one bite. In turn, that meant you often didn't get to sample in entirety what the chef intended.

Service was a bit slow as they seemed to sometimes prioritize setting up tables over bussing. I don't drink so I had no wine. Bill came to just under $40 and I rounded it up to $50. It was a nice touch that the waiter who served me opened the door for me on my way out and into another crisp Vancouver night.

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