Tuesday, February 06, 2007

The Pear Tree

I picked The Pear Tree (4120 Hastings St., 604.299.2772) for my birthday dinner with two close friends back in October. A safe choice for a special occassion. It's an intimate place, with everything clean, simple and beautiful - a little oasis of elegance on Hastings Street. It's not just "good for Burnaby," but just plain good for any part of town. I'm going to let my horribly fuzzy photos speak for the meal. Rest assured that everything tasted as lovely as it looked. I was even enamored enough with the butter presentation to take a photo of the little elliptical pat. And the bread basket was filled with buttery little brioche-like things, which I liked. As Bac'n Girl noted, many of the dishes had the pleasant little crunch from sea salt that hasn't dissolved. It's a nice little stylistic touch to the cooking. I'm glad to finally post about this meal, as Chef Scott Jaeger recently represented Canada in the Bocuse d'Or culinary competition in Lyon France, ranking 7th in the world, among 24 teams, with this menu. Congratulations!

I've read some complaints online about uppity service, but we had great service and plenty of warmth. At least for me, husband and wife owned restaurants have their own particular charm that comes through, kind of like visiting someone's home. The name of the restaurant, The Pear Tree, in fact probably refers to various folklore tales involving a husband, a wife, and a pear tree, but I'm not sure which one, as there are tales of deception and infidelity. There's probably a cute story about the choosing the name of the restaurant. It had been years since I last went to the Pear Tree, and they used to have only half the space. The room looks great. The menu remains small, yet it all sounds quite appealing, so I still had difficulty choosing. Contrast that with some restaurants who have extensive menus but it's like looking at your closet full of clothes and declaring "I have nothing to wear!" - some menus might have many choices, yet there still doesn't seem to be anything to eat. I can't remember many details about the desserts, but my chocolate dessert with ice cream was great, and I remember the sugar topping to Potato Salad Boy's crème bruléé to be quite crisp, and it was amusing to see him attack the big garnish.

Cute Butter

Lobster Cappuccino, dashi custard with fresh Atlantic lobster foam

Terrine from the Table d'hote menu, with slaw and brioche toast

Orange Caramelized Scallops with Double Smoked Bacon Risotto

Wild Queen Charlotte Coho Salmon, Maple Seared, served with Chive Potato Froth

Scallops (as a main dish portion)

Halibut from the Seasonal Table d'Hote menu

Chocolate Dessert from Table d'Hote Menu

Lemon Tart

Crème Bruléé

It was a great birthday meal, among several great birthday meals that week or two (including that amazing meal at Rare, a Chinese restaurant lunch on my birthday with the parents that included lobster with noodles, a Nancyland meet, Shiru-Bay, and the monthly birthday potluck lunch at work too). Here's to aging and eating well.