Went out for dinner with friends this evening at a new restaurant called Figmint and holy cow how great was the food there!
There's a hotel on the corner of 12th and Cambie, kitty corner to City Hall, (the same hotel that hosted V-Con a few years ago, yeah the one I thought was hosting it this year but wasn't blah blah blah). It's an okay hotel with some dated Laura Ashley-ish decor, and the restaurant there, formerly a tropical rattan and sail canvas nightmare recently underwent a complete overhaul. Now it's a gorgeous lounge with clean lines, open space, subdued music, great lighting, really cute waiters and an eating experience thoroughly contemporary, adventurous and downright giggle-worthy on the enjoyability scale.
I started with one of their crafted drinks (that's right, I had some booze) a lovely concoction called Mint, a mojito-like drink with an infusion of concord grapes and 'gunpowder' mint which led Vic to claim "It's like an insurrection in your mouth!" Subtle, gentle flavours flowed in quick succession with the rum barely perceptible save for the numbing sensation in my arms shortly afterward. Great drink.
There were five of us and we each decided to try a different appetizer so we could sample amongst ourselves: beef tartar, prawn with pork scratchings and greens, double baked Gruyere with port roasted pears, scallops and oysters. Once the waiter saw that we were seriously into the meal he got the chef to come out and chat as the main dishes were brought in (a wonderful beef and onion tart tatin dish, lamb, veal cheeks and goat cheese and sweet pepper tortelini). He was surprisingly young (also cute) and very pleasant. The waiter recommended a wine with Riel's veal that we all tried, Caymus's Conundrum that smacked the tongue with a prickly opener, dissolving into pretty fruity-ness.
After an incredibly satisfying meal we moved onto dessert where once again we were stunned by the spread. Vic and I had the Chocolate Tasting that included a tiny tart, mousse brulee and a kahlua/chocloate drink served in a shooter topped by a handmade and hand-toasted marshmallow with a side of homemade concord raisins and rich port with a kick. Riel had a beautiful Pavlova and Ian went with an incredible layout called the Cheese Progression: four cheeses, four accompaniments (from roasted nuts to a sweet honeycomb) and four types of scotch including an 18 year old Glenlivet. Wow.
There's a dessert called Grape described as jelly and peanut butter milk, something the waiter said was created by the chef because the flavours of peanut butter and jelly were his favourite. I'd really like to see what that is sometime because it sounds neat.
And surprisingly, not as expensive as you might think. Sure it's a special occasion kind of place but the prices are pretty reasonable for what you get: excellent food and a very comfortable atmosphere, perfect for dinner with friends.
So the food critic in me highly recommends it.
Tomorrow is a civic holiday and I plan to spend it in the office getting caught up on these pages.