This week was a week of Christmas parties for us and one of our smaller gatherings (with the NGCOA) was a great dinner at Coast Restaurant on Alberni. Surprisingly we had not been there before even though we are fans of Italian Kitchen across the street and Glowbal in Yaletown all operated by the Glowbal Group. Both the restaurant and lounge were packed full. The restaurant is actually huge, much larger than it appears from the street with a second floor that likely holds more seats than the first. The atmosphere was loud and fun.
The menu at first glance is similar in layout and content to Joe Fortes except with a larger ‘land’ section. What is also larger is the actual menu itself – too large in fact. Since we were not in a hurry to order, four large (I mean much bigger than 11 x 17) menus were awkward and kept getting in the way. We finally ended up putting them on the floor. We ordered cocktails off of the newly launched cocktail menu (started that day) and they took a long while to arrive (apparently since the bartenders were getting used to the ingredients). However, when they did arrive the ‘Frost’ and the ‘Russian’ were really good. After the cocktails the four of us chose a bottle of Tinhorn Creek Merlot (Doug’s favorite) to go with our meal.
Not being oyster lovers we stuck with the New England Chowder appetizer and our friends tried the Crab Cake which was a daily feature. The chowder was fabulous. Creamy but not too heavy and full of flavor. Definitely a must try. There are three other chowders on the menu as well which would probably be just as good. For dinner we opted for the Signature Seafood Platter while the others tried the Atlantic Scallops. The platter was served family style which we like (just like the pasta platter at Italian Kitchen) and included BC cod, wild sea tiger prawns, sockeye salmon, Qualicum scallops and potato gnocchi. All of the seafood was grilled and the scallops cooked perfectly, but the salmon was a bit overdone. The flavors were great and so was the gnocchi, not too heavy and in a nice cream sauce. For desert we had two slices of chocolate cheesecake topped with chocolate mousse. Very rich and filing but great for sharing.
While the food was all very good the best part of the evening was the staff. Our server was friendly and prompt (except for the cocktails) and the two gents that cleared our plates and filled our water were also fast and friendly. A ‘manager-type’ also stopped by the table when our meal was served to see if everything was OK. At the end of the evening as we wound our way through the very full upstairs, down the stairs, through the patio and to the exit we were thanked by no less than 10 staff members for coming. A very nice touch to end the evening.
You can view our other Dining in Vancouver blogs here.
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