This year I definitely am not getting to as many Dineout restaurants as I would have hoped too, but Edible Canada has been talked about and highly anticipated for their Dineout features, so we decided to give it a try. So what is Edible Canada? It would be easier to list the things it isn’t. They are a company based out of Granville Island that brings together dozens of local farmers, hundreds of artisan food producers, professional chefs and passionate food lovers from all around the world.
The concept of Edible is not only to make fresh, local food for guests, but to also educate them on who produces their food and where it comes from. They act as a hub for all local producers and farmers to congregate and share their products with the city. Combine these fresh ingredients with some of Vancouver’s most talented professional chefs, and this farm-to-table experience is a recipe for success!
Edible’s Dineout menu gave an excellent choice of some of their most popular items. Unlike most Dineout menus, they gave 5 options per course. 3 were the standard ones that came with the set menu at $28 per person, and 2 items were offered in the appetizer and entree menu for an additional cost. As this was our first time dining at Edible, we had not known yet about the concept of the restaurant. At first it seemed a little confusing because we almost didn’t know where to enter. We parked on the side of the restaurant and entered through the shop entrance, where they sell all the artisan products. This connected to the back of the restaurant, and seemed to be where many people were walking through anyways. Once we entered, we had to ask how we could get a table and we were directed to go to the front of the restaurant. After getting there, two hostesses greeted us and looked confused as to what we were looking for. Although they were both very sweet and pleasant, it seemed like there was a lack of communication between the staff and neither of them really talked to each other when helping us. We ended up telling them both the exact same thing, which was quite strange and hard to explain to be quite honest. The restaurant was packed with guests, and we thought initially that we had no chance of getting seated. After much confusion and two servers telling us that we would be sitting at the bar, we were sat at a normal high top table within 5 minutes.
Moving on past this, we were served by the spritely young bartender who seemed really happy to be helping us and explaining how their menu worked. In fact, most of the staff seemed very charismatic about their jobs and didn’t show any signs of pressure even though they were completely packed. For a night this busy, we were also expecting service to be slower than usual, but it didn’t seem to have any effect whatsoever.
We ordered our meals from start to finish and I also added on 3 wine pairings to accompany each of my courses. The food came quite quickly, I ordered the Venison Carpaccio and Jenny got the Fried BC Mountain Scallops.
The carpaccio was very fresh and the meat was really soft with a much more delicate flavour than beef. It was topped with fresh arugula and potato chips. The meat itself was nice, but could have used more seasoning. And the chips, though they did add the salt element, they were quite stale and very tough to chew. I asked for some sea salt and was brought over an assortment of salts. From what I heard, one of the owners of Edible sells their own line of specialized salts in the Edible store. We sampled the chilli salt, the bacon salt, and the normal sea salt. I found that the bacon salt went really well with the natural meaty flavour of the venison.
****WARNING**** BEFORE YOU ORDER THE BC MOUNTAIN SCALLOPS, BE SURE OF WHAT YOU’RE EATING.
We made the mistake of ordering these without reading carefully, thinking they were a variation of conventional scallops. When eating this dish, the first thing that stood out to me was that the fried object on the plate was not the size nor shape of a typical scallop. That alone should have made me stop and as before going further. It was served in a cast iron skillet, with plain baked beans, which were quite flavourless, and a small piece of cold corn bread on the side. When eating into the “scallop”, we found it to have the texture of a Chinese fish ball, but with a softer consistency. I asked the server what this actually was, and he went on to tell me that this was in fact not a scallop, but a piece of meat off the “backside” of a lamb. At that point, I didn’t question it further and continued eating it, thinking this was a new type of meat that I hadn’t tried before. I didn’t find out until I got home and looked up lamb offal, that this was in fact LAMB TESTICLES, aka Rocky Mountain Oysters. I am disappointed that they would leave out this description or disclaimer in a restaurant that seemed so conservative with most of its dishes.
Moving along, we arrived at our mains. Jenny ordered the Lake Lois Steelhead, and I got the Butternut Squash & Cheese Ravioli. The steelhead was cooked magnificently, it was perfectly moist on the inside with just the right amount of crispness to the outside. It was paired with one of my favourite root vegetables, sunchokes, as well as kale and wild boar bacon. This dish had a perfect balance and the components all went beautifully together. I definitely recommend this dish for Dineout!
For myself, I rarely ever order a vegetarian entree. But I decided to go with something a little on the healthier side today, so the ravioli was a good alternative. I was pleasantly surprised at how well put together this dish was. The ravioli was very fresh and was cooked perfectly. The squash inside was also very tasty with a rich buttery texture and flavour. It was served with winter vegetables, toasted walnuts and fried sage crisps. It wasn’t the most filling dish, but definitely the best ravioli that I’ve had so far in my life.
Each of drinks that were paired with my food were quite nice as well. The Market Red, which came with my Venison, was a little heavy for my liking when had by itself. But the flavour was softened when paired with the meat. The chardonnay was paired very nicely with the ravioli, and for dessert, it wasn’t wine at all, but a whiskey and coffee liqueur drink that went great with the rich chocolate we had for dessert.
On to dessert. I think we were the happiest with this course. I ordered the Bacon Ice Cream Sundae, and Jenny got the Chilli Dark Chocolate Pudding. Apparently the ice cream they use used to come from local ice cream maker, Earnest Ice Cream. But they recently switched to Mario Gelato, who makes specialty ice cream just for Edible that is not sold anywhere else. This is mixed with bacon bits an caramel and topped with a fresh whipped cream. Hands down the best sundae I have ever tasted!
But even with the sundae being this good, I still don’t think it compared to the Chilli Chocolate Pudding. This was just simply the most incredible tasting chocolate pudding I have ever had the pleasure to eat. The chilli just brought out so much more of that rich chocolate taste and there was what I believe was chilli salt on top that just added to the layers of flavour. I would absolutely say that these two desserts are a MUST TRY at Edible.
Overall dining at Edible was a good experience. The service was fast, the staff was knowledgable and enthusiastic about the food, and the menu items were fresh and innovative. More importantly, I felt good eating here especially because of the locality of all the ingredients used in my dishes. I would recommend this restaurant if you want to try some interesting new dishes and get educated on where your food comes from as well.
Quality – 5 of 5 – Food was all very fresh and overall well-prepared
Ingenuity – 5 of 5 – Classic dishes, more modern dishes, and all using very LOCAL ingredients. What more could you ask for?
Atmosphere – 4.5 of 5 – Nice open space with open concept kitchen. Has a very raw, natural feeling to it. Great for socializing or a more private date
Service – 4.5 of 5 – Energetic, enthusiastic, and knowledgeable. I wish they told me about the lamb testicles though…
Value – 4 of 5 – Average price for size of Dineout menu. Add-ons a little pricier though
Overall – 4.6 of 5