Meditations

Lift Autumn Tasting preview


Living in Vancouver, a Foodist is spoiled for choice. With the number of restaurants opening, months, even years, can pass by before finally getting to that restaurant you’ve wanted to try. Such is the case with Lift. Although this Coal Harbour gem has been open for 6 years, it was only recently that I finally made it when fellow Foodist Brenda Lowe and I were invited, just in time for a preview of their autumn tasting menu. All the dishes are on the menu now.

The first dish was a dynamite roll, garnished with pea shoots and black flying fish roe, finished with sweet soy and Japanese mayo. The flavours were fresh and clean.

Following up was  beef tartare, topped with grilled chevre which added a saltiness and the right amount of tang to offset the mildness of the tartare, and served with a quail egg.

The seared duck foie gras on brioche with smoked salmon was delicious, although a sweet touch would be a welcome addition to bring out the richness of the dish. Kidd’s attention to detail is apparent here, with the added touch of an artichoke slice under the foie gras to keep the brioche from getting soggy

The Alaskan weathervane sea scallop was one of my favourite dishes, the scallop seared to medium and served with truffle mashed potatoes, a reduced lobster bisque and pommes pailles. The presentation of the dish was beautiful, with all the flavours of the dish coming together.

Seared chicken liver with diced pancetta and toasted pine nuts, topped with sliced cremini mushrooms, onion confit, papardelle pasta strip and shaved Grand Padano cheese, although tasty, was let down by the liver, which was overpowering and overcooked.

Photo courtesy of Brenda Lowe

The crispy sweetbread fritter was the dish I was most apprehensive of, but did not disappoint. The fritter, served on top of a herb crêpe and dressed with a cream sauce and red wine jus, was nice and crispy. The crème fraiche and chive added just the right finish.

Photo courtesy of Brenda Lowe

One of Lift’s signature dishes is seared ahi tuna sashimi with tempura futomaki. Garnished with kaiware sprouts, and served with sweet chili sauce, wasabi mayo, kaiware & tobiko, I loved the presentation of this dish.

Photo courtesy of Brenda Lowe

Magret Barbary duck breast was up next, served with a Tokyo turnip and braised red cabbage. The drizzle of honey sauce on the duck was tasty, however the dish was a little let down by being slightly under seasoned. The turnip sauce was delicious, although the turnip would have been better served a little softer.

Venison loin prosciutto, which is a prosciutto wrapped venison loin, cooked to medium rare was next. Served with a round of cooked pear which balanced out the salty meatiness of the venison nicely. The Flamiche tarte was crispy puff pastry topped with slow cooked leeks. This was a dish that just melted in the mouth.

Photo courtesy of Brenda Lowe

I was a little disappointed with the braised veal cheeks. The side side shrimp and carrot ravioli was undercooked and floury, which can be easily addressed. The shiitake tempura was a bit too much on the softer side, although the flavour was good.

The last dish was the cornmeal crusted rainbow trout, served with roasted potato and sauteed arugula. The trout was delicious, moist and perfectly seasoned, with a crispy skin. Topped with smoky bacon and thyme.

Photo courtesy of Brenda Lowe

Executive Chef Scott Kidd has put together a menu of complex dishes with beautiful attention to detail. The dishes we tasted were fresh, original and delicious, with Wine Director Steve Lobsinger perfectly pairing the selection with 2009 Haywire Pinot Gris and 2008 Kettle Valley Naramata Bench Reserve Extra 4079.

The team at Lift were attentive, passionate and hospitable. The restaurant itself is as beautiful as the presentation of the food, and I can safely say that we’ll definitely be back. And soon.

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