Seasons in the Park

Every story starts with a reservation.

Canada’s largest restaurant festival, produced by Tourism Vancouver, dishes up unlimited ways to enjoy the flavours of the city. Choose from over 200 restaurants, a full schedule of events and dozens of hotels to create your own delicious dining experience. Cheers! 

On the last weekend of Dine Out Vancouver 2013, my mom and I joined the Wangs at Seasons in the Park for their $18 prix fixe lunch menu. The lunch menu is exactly the same as the dinner menu, only that it is priced $10 cheaper. Seasons in the Park is one of four restaurants part of the Sequoia Company. I absolutely love this group because I really feel that they embody and show off what Vancouver has to offer, at least in terms of natural scenery and seafood. Each one of the four restaurants is located at a great Vancouver tourist destination: The Teahouse in Stanley Park, Seasons in the Park in Queen Elizabeth Park, Cardero’s in Coal Harbour and The Sandbar on Granville Island. I’ve been to all of them, with The Teahouse as my least favourite. Seasons in the Park definitely had the best view of all.

I didn’t see very many of these items on the regular menu. But the Grilled Steelhead Salmon is available for $25 regularly.

The restaurant is hidden on top of Queen Elizabeth Park, on W 33rd at Cambie.

We were so lucky to receive the best table of the house! I can’t emphasize this enough! I was so overwhelmed by the view. It was crazy! We actually had the best view of the restaurant. We were very fortunate! You can’t specify a particular table when you make your reservation. Our server let us know that if we ever want to try for this table again, its best to come early (opening) or right after the first wave of diners (around 1:30-2pm, which is when we had reservations for).

I literally only had to turn my neck to face the window to take this photo. We dined to this magnificent view!

Look at the view! Beautiful downtown Vancouver with the mountains behind. And there’s the Shangri-La, the tallest building in Vancouver at the moment. If you don’t live in Vancouver then I feel sorry for you.

We received complimentary bread and butter immediately after ordering. The bread was quite good. The second batch, as always, was much hotter so it was better. Unfortunately the butter was not at room temperature. But the butter knives were appreciated!

My mom and I tried to taste as much as we could of the Dine Out menu so we shared our orders, ordering one of each of what we could. For appetizers we ordered one of each. This is Beef Carpacciomicro basil, pickled beets, truffle aïoli, ricotta cheese. My initial impression of the beef was that it did not look as fresh as it should be. But the presentation was nice and the plate was chilled, which is always a nice touch. I wasn’t too impressed with the beef but the portion was the right side for an appetizer. Xinya said it was good but my mom agreed with me on the quality of the beef. We thought that it was only okay.

I didn’t like the ricotta cheese and I found the pickled beets strange. Our truffle aïoli seemed like it was done by someone who was in a hurry. I saw that other food bloggers on Urbanspoon received much nicer versions, see here and here.

The second appetizer was Yukon Gold Potato Soupchive crème fraîche, brioche croutons. I thought the presentation of this soup was beautiful. I love the green of the dish and how well it works with the yellow. Again, the plate was heated which is very appreciated. It’s the little things that make up for a great meal.

The sour dough bread was soaked and soggy by the time I got to it. That was a little unappetizing. The soup was not as hot as I would have liked but it may be because my mother and I took turns sharing the two dishes. The soup itself was very light in flavour but very heavy in consistency. I think I liked the soup better of the two appetizers but my mom thought both were mediocre.

There were three choices for the entrée so we picked the two that sounded most appealing to us. This one is Grilled Steelhead Salmon, herb salad, braised lentils, double smoked bacon, truffle oil. This was so good! I almost want to say it was better than the Cedar Plank Sampler we had last weekend at The Boathouse.

The salmon was heavily flavoured and cooked perfectly. The grilled top was too salty and crispy for me but under the skin, the center was tender and moist from the salmon’s natural juices. My herb salad looked a little pathetic but it tasted very good. And the braised lentils, mmm delicious! They were soft and very tasty from the smoked bacon’s flavours. I really loved this dish.

The second entrée we shared was the Braised Beef Short Ribsgremolata, roasted onion, potato puree. This was really good as well! I love how the ring of jus is perfect. The beef itself was so tender and juicy. The green beans were undercooked though. But the potato puree was good. The secret to good mashed potatoes is using Yukon Gold instead of Russet.

I can’t describe succulent the beef was. The meat melted in your mouth. You really don’t need teeth to eat this. Xinya’s dad thought this was better than his steak at The Boathouse last weekend. My mom found both entrées amazing and she said that each had their own individual positive characteristics, depending on your own personal taste and what you feel like having that day. I agree with her. You can’t really compare apples and oranges against one another. These entrées were both so good!

The desserts were only mediocre. But at least they were served immediately after our entrées were finished! This is Vanilla GelatoAmaretto anglaise, chilled espresso, biscotti. The biscotti was the best biscotti I’ve ever had! I didn’t know biscotti could be so soft. The Amaretto creme anglaise was a nice topping for the ice cream. But the ice cream was only okay. The chilled espresso at the bottom grossed me out. But that’s a personal preference, I don’t like coffee.

The Hazelnut Chocolate Torte, banana puree, whipped sour cream was very strange. The torte is way too sweet for me. The nuts were a yummy addition but the banana puree was so odd. And the whipped sour cream? What? This was so unappetizing that we barely had any! What a waste of powdered sugar. I was quite unimpressed with the desserts. 

But overall, the lunch was very good and I really enjoyed everything. We got the best table of the entire restaurant with an amazing view of downtown and the mountains. For $18, this was the best value for the 3 Dine Out meals I’ve had this year, and possibly even the most tasty… The entrée were the best (dat salmon)! Everyone agreed that it was a very tasty, good value lunch and we all decided to come back to Seasons or at least another Sequoia restaurant. It was a great way to end off Dine Out Vancouver 2013. I can’t wait until next year’s!

Thanks for eating with me!

Seasons in the Park on Urbanspoon

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