Planning a Dineout event among friends is always difficult. On one extreme, there’s the “go big or go home”, no nonsense, no reservations type. Just order the most unique and best tasting things on the menu with no regard for the cost. Ah, my type of people. But on the other extreme, you have the holes in pocket college students that have dimes and coupons for paycheques. Should we go for a 10 course meal? Or a 3 course that consist of burger, fries, and drink? Can we ever agree on a medium that have taste, creativity, and budget? After toiling over the Dineout website, only one on the list fit: Smoking Dog Bistro.
Smoking Dog bistro is located in Kitsilano, very close to my current place of employment. But since that was a Saturday night, that was irrelevant. It’s a small bistro with casual, but classy, setting. We took sips of wine as we waited for the last of my fellow co-workers to arrive.
Wanting to try something different, I went for the Stuffed Portobello with Chevre Goat Cheese, Roasted Red Pepper Filet, Baby Arugula Roasted Pine Nuts and Carrot and Beet Curls with Balsamic Nectar, as my starter. I thought it would be served warm, but I must have gotten it mixed up with another recipe, because this was served cold. In essence, this was a salad. I’m a confirmed carnivore, so anything without meat isn’t really considered a meal, and this was no exception. The giant portobello mushroom that served as a bed for the other greens was cold, which made it difficult to swallow. Overall, a very healthy dish to my body, except to my taste buds.
My coworkers took their sweet time into making me jealous with their starters, the Smoked Salmon Terrine with House Made Red Onion Jam, Grilled French Baguette, Pickled Golden Beets, which was what I would have ordered, and the Thinly Sliced Flank Steak with Ratatouille and Red Wine Glace de Viande, which I would easily replace any salad with.
During the course of this Dineout week, I had beef and pork almost every day, so having the Braised Lamb Shank with Sun Dried Tomato Soft Polenta and Sauteed Haricot Verts, would make sense. It was super tender, with the meat almost falling off the bone, but I thought it was a bit over seasoned.
My co-workers had the other two entrees, and they didn’t look at all too bad. Shown here was the Crispy Skin Pan Seared BC Sockeye Salmon with Roasted Purple Potatoes, Caramelized Baby Carrots and Garlic Fried Brussels Sprouts Topped with Saffron-corn Relish, and Trio of Mushroom Risotto Stuffed in a Roasted Pepper Cup with Cilantro Veloute.
Now, the real reason why I picked this particular restaurant: the dessert. Candied Bacon Chocolate Fudge with Hazelnut Whipped Cream. I’ve had bacon flavored desserts in the past, from the best to the overhyped. Where did this dessert stand? It was a creamy cake, no doubt, however I could barely taste the bacon. The sweetness was simply too overwhelming.
My coworkers, of course, ordered the remaining two desserts on the menu. You can check them out on the Gallery section.