Disclaimer: All food in this review were complimentary. Opinions are my own.
It is well-known that the Shaughnessy Restaurant is one of the more unique places for a dining experience in Vancouver. Located in the 55-acre Vandusen Botanical Garden, the Shaughnessy Restaurant offers an intimate and soothing environment for an elegant meal with stunning views of the garden. I recently joined BiteBC as a blogger contributor and attended a menu tasting at the Shaughnessy as they are a BiteBC participating restaurant.
West Coast Dining
The Shaughnessy offers Pacific Northwest cuisine with a focus on fresh and seasonal ingredients. An average dinner for two would be arounnd $80. However, with the Bite BC app subscription, you can receive a deal on your meal at the Shaughnessy. The current BiteBC deal is a free entree when you order two entrees and two appetizers.
What I Tried
The tasting consisted of selected appetizers, entrees and desserts:
Appetizers: Smoked Mediterranean Olives ($11), Salt and Pepper Squid ($15), Mussels ($19)
Entrees: Maple and Bourbon Glazed Steelhead ($28), Cioppino ($28), Duck Confit ($30)
Desserts: Lemon Shortbread Parfait ($9), Apple Crumble ($9), Flourless Chocolate Cake ($9)
To start, we had the smoked Mediterranean olives with spiced artichoke dip and herbed crisps. The bread was nice and crispy while the dip was tasty and mildly spicy.
The salt and pepper squid had a nice, light batter and was chewy but still tender. The chili-lime aioli was a tasty dip and went well with the squid.
The mussels were in a coconut curry sauce which gave it a slightly sweet taste. I was impressed with the plumpness of the mussels.
Moving on to entrees, we had the maple and bourbon glazed steelhead with caramelized cauliflower and crushed olive oil potatoes. I loved the crispy skin of the fish while the meat while still moist and tender. The dish was overall rather a sweeter and comforting dish.
Next was the cioppino with fish, scallops, prawns, mussels, clams, spiced tomato and fennel broth. This was a lovely ensemble of seafood items with bread to soak up the delicious broth.
The duck confit had a sizable piece of duck leg. It came with a grilled orange salad, hazelnuts, citrus jus, and a parsnip puree worth dying for. The duck meat was tasty and tender, but I found the parsnip puree to be the star of the show with its melt-in-your-mouth deliciousness.
To finish off a lovely meal, we tried the lemon shortbread parfait with lemon curd, shortbread crumble, lemon ice cream, and torched meringue. I loved the play on textures with this dessert and the lemon flavour was strong and tasty.
The apple crumble had a nice citrus flavour. It was paired with French vanilla ice cream.
The flourless chocolate cake with pecan praline and vanilla ice cream was a definite favourite at our table. The cake was nicely dense and had a great chocolate flavour. It also had a great play on textures.
Overall Impression of Shaughnessy Restaurant
All in all, the dining experience at the Shaughnessy Restaurant was solid. My top picks of the meal were the salt and pepper squid, the duck confit and the flourless chocolate cake. The setting of the restaurant, of course, makes it a nice place for an intimate and romantic dinner.