Thursday, October 1, 2015

Four-Course Dinner for Two at Café Pacifica & Cascades Lounge at Pan Pacific Hotel

Cascades Lounge & Bistro - Pan Pacific Vancouver Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato Just back from a Groupon dinner at the Café Pacifica. The Groupon offer comes on periodically and the menu may change, so what you get may be different next time. Tonight, our menu was:

First Course (choose one; those who opt for four courses get both)

  • Thai-curry-infused Nova-Scotia lobster chowder with vegetable confetti
  • Seasonal mixed greens and marinated hearts of palm with lychee gel and herb vinaigrette

Second Course (choose one)

  • Duo of beef: 48-hour-braised, horseradish-dusted short ribs and butler steak with smoked potato puree, pearl onions, and spaghetti squash 
  • Seared arctic char on a bed of B.C. rock crab risotto with braised fennel and snap peas
  • Roasted pumpkin and Salt Spring Island goat cheese raviolis, root vegetable fettuccini, and arugula and brown butter sauce

Third Course (choose one)

  • Warm and moist sticky toffee pudding with vanilla ice cream, scotch-infused crème anglaise, and candied ginger 
  • Pina colada cheesecake with fresh blueberry compot
Free bread.
  • Yay! I sampled it only as the meal was filling enough with the carbs in the main. But it's nice that it's there in case you are a heavier eater.
  • Bread otherwise sub-par. Sorry -- buns felt dry and therefore gave the impression they were too old.
  • Strong curry flavour flattened any chance of lobster flavour.
  • Lobster chunks felt dry in the mouth and not flavourful -- possibly frozen lobster. Seemed rather pointless, really.
Seasonal Mixed Greens
  • Interesting and quite refreshing. Could have used more of the lychee gel, which was tasty but hard to get at. Vinaigrette on the salad was sour and mixing the salad into the gel didn't work. It might have been interesting to use the lychee gel as the dressing instead.
  • Otherwise OK, with chunks of lychee for some sweetness to offset the salad, breaking up the monotony.
Duo of Beef
  • For me, felt like there was nothing special here no matter what the menu says. It's short rib and a bit of steak.
Seared Arctic Char
  • Get this for the rock crab risotto. Otherwise, fish is fish.
Cheese Raviolis
  • Quite interesting and overall I felt it was the best option, despite being the vegetarian option.
  • Pace yourself with the raviolis to break up the monotony of the root veggies (carrot and fennel?) cut into fettuccini.
  • Some of the ravioli was not properly dusted with parmesan. The parmesan on top really helps make each ravioli tasty.
Pina Colada Cheesecake
  • Bit on the crumbly and sweet side, with mild sugar burn at the back of the throat. You might want to pair it with the sour fruits on the plate (yeah, even the strawberry was sour).
  • Presentation rather nice with two chocolate sticks and an interesting paper-thin slice of pineapple with intense pineapple flavour.
Toffee Pudding
  • This tasted rather blah to me. Vanilla ice cream definitely a good pairing. Presentation is very nice, including a flat sugar (?) disc.
Overall, the dinner was very nice and at $95 for two persons for the 4-course, it works out to $47.50 per person -- which as also a good price for what you get. The supposed value is $176 per two persons, or $88 per person.

Mocktails available at $9.50 each. A bit pricey for what you get but this is hotel dining.

The opera-buffet side of the restaurant was completely dead on the Thursday evening. Dinner guests were seated at the Lounge side, which is actually really good because you are at the tall windows giving you waterfront views. If you count also view and ambiance, as well as fairly dedicated service because staff isn't scrambling around a full restaurant, then the price is very good and makes a great date or double-date outing (maximum 2 Groupons per table).

Service was friendly, polite, and attentive.

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