Monday, December 25, 2006
Red and Green Food
Beet Panne Cotta
Just a quick post on Christmas Day to wish Nancylanders happy holidays! This bit of red and green was a delightful dish I enjoyed at Fiddlehead Joe's (1-1012 Beach Ave, 604.688.1969) on the north side of the False Creek Seawall, under the Burrard Street bridge, amongst all the Concord Pacific highrises. The beet "panne cotta" was soft and silky, made from organic roasted beets, served with goat cheese, gorgonzola and organic greens ($10). The meal I had at Fiddlehead Joe's was really a pleasant surprise. I had never paid much attention to this little restaurant on the water, despite having cycled and walked past countless times. It's actually been around for about seven years. Service from the bartender (in retrospect, I'm wondering if it was Fiddlehead Joe himself?) was absolutely delightful and the little dishes I had were creative and tasty. I also enjoyed a soup that was like tasting the forest in a bowl - fiddlehead (as you may know, they are unopened Ostrich fern fronds, and have an appealing coiled shape) and forest mushroom soup ($6). It was a nice brown, earthy broth, which I thought was quite fun, at least conceptually. As for flavour, I'm more of a thick, creamy soup person, so I might not order it again, but it was good and worth trying. I also had some great pomme frites with a mayonnaise based dip. And last but definitely not least, I had a fantastic dessert. The chocolate chili sauce had just a perfect amount of heat to really make this dessert interesting. It worked perfectly with the crisp rounds of meringue and the dense chocolate mousse underneath ($8).
Toasted Meringue with birds eye chilli infused chocolate mousse
I actually wound up going to this restaurant on the spur of the moment, as I was trying to sober up from the EnRoute magazine cocktail party at Nu where they announced their Best New Canadian Restaurants awards. The funny thing is that this experience at Fiddlehead Joe's won me over more than anything else that evening. I'll definitely check it out again sometime. I was in the mood for something light and interesting that evening, but they also have "medium plates" for $15 and "large plates" for $24. I'm now eyeing the trio of quail under the medium plates section of the current dinner menu. They serve brunch and lunch too. In fact, it seems as if they're always open. I'll also keep it in mind for large groups, as the restaurant was almost entirely taken up by a large group when I was there eating at the glowing bar, and the staff seemed to be doing quite well with them.