Amid the plethora of seasonal ice cream shops and Fish and Chip restaurants there's a lovely little french bistro in Steveston. Tapenade celebrated their 11th anniversary with a very special prixe fixed meal that coincided with Dine Out Vancouver.
The restaurant feels comfortable, classy and welcoming.
We began our meals with Butternut Squash Soup: Spiced pumpkin seed bread pudding, charred leek and creme fraiche and a Duo of Steelhead Trout: House cured Gravlax and rillettes, crispy potato, caraway, rye, and watercress. The soup was generous and hearty. The salad was an interesting mix of textures as the gravlax was silky and cool beside the warm crunchy potato.
We had the Lamb Shank with creamy polenta, citrus and mint gremolata, rosemary jus and Oven Roasted Arctic Char roasted filet, maitake mushroom, roasted brussels sprouts, pommes daupine. The lamb fell off the bone it was so tender but the sides, while delicious, were pretty standard. The tiny potato balls were like tater tots for adults, crispy on the outside and creamy, savoury inside. I'm not a big fan of brussels sprouts, but they were prepared so well I was converted.
We finished the meal with chocolate fondant with spiced red wine gel and salted honeycomb, and Mascarpone Cheesecake with caramelized banana. This was definitely the highlight of the meal. Chocolate cake, mousse, wine and a touch of salt marries well but is an unconventional dessert combination. Chocolate Fondant is one of my favourite desserts and this one was executed beautifully with a quality cocoa. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed eating the cake with the red wine gel, but John didn't care for it. The cheesecake was a lighter dessert and pleasing in all regards.
We enjoyed our meal immensely and look forward to coming back again. This is a lovely restaurant to bring your mother for brunch, or an intimate first date.