Wednesday night, 300 foodies lined up at Catch 122 Restaurant in Gastown to kick off the sold out Tasting Plates: Gastown Edition. Tasters grabbed their Tasting Plates cards and headed off on a tasty trip around the neighbourhood.
Dinner, desserts, and drinks were on the menus as we ventured through the city’s oldest neighbourhood to try some of the city’s newest restaurants.
It was a night of two parts, though as a few of the locations excelled and a few let themselves down with excessively long waits for seats and then food that did not live up to the reputation of the establishment.
The tasting began at the check-in spot, Catch 122 Bistro which featured a Tasting Plate including 3 flavourful morsels;
– Pressed confit pork shoulder, smoked potato, pork crackling
– House-made Tortellini with Quebec cheese curd, house-smoked bacon, soubise sauce
– “krehm broo LAY” : Cointreau custard, sugar biscuit, lavender meringue, mint (also their entry in Vancouver Foodster’s Crème Brule Challenge)
I paired my bites with Catch 122’s house-made Ginger Beer, a refreshing, spicy glass.
One of the more unique locations on any Tasting Plate event was just down the street Hastings Urban Farm, a farm located on the edge of downtown where we found Hives for Humanity and Martin’s Marvellous who featured Main Street and Commercial Drive Honey served from the comb, with Martin’s Marvellous Rosemary Lavender and Chocolate Mole crisps.
Across the street Burgundy Restaurant, guests were welcomed with a sample of Rustico Winery’s Pinot Gris before we took trip to each of the three food stations around the room. First was a hearty goat cheese fondue with crisp apples and bread, followed by a slow cooked beef bourguignon and lastly a choice of chocolate mousse or Orange Galliano Sorbet
Unfortunately, the next three locations were the ones that left us and, from the murmurs and tweets, others disappointed. All of them felt understaffed so the staff that were working seemed to be rushed off their feet resulting in very long waits at the door and none of them felt welcoming. While they are known to be some of the most popular locations in the city their offerings were tasty but underwhelmed.
Bitter Tasting Room served a Taco of Barbecue Pulled Pork, Fresh Cut Slaw, Pepperoncini Aioli
Salt Tasting Room are pros at small plates so they produced Salt’s Classic Tasting Plate prosciutto, parmesan cheese, their house made condiment, and bread
The Irish Heather had comfort food on the menu, the traditional Irish Steak & Ale Stew on Colcannon (Irish Mashed Potatoes) had a nice flavour but was served room temperature, making it less appealing.
Based on reputation, I am willing to give the three a try again on a non-event night to see how they intend to present themselves.
Around the corner, Milano Roasters Coffee warmed people up with Tasting Cups of Espresso La Futura Macchiato & Espresso Nuovo stovetop (which even though I’m not a coffee drinker, I didn’t mind)
Trees Organic Cafes are famous for their cheesecake and winners of the Vancouver Foodster Cheesecake Challenge. They did not disappoint with a cheesecake duo of classic New York Cheesecake and Almond Marzipan Cheesecake. It was a sweet way to wrap up the night.
If you were one of the many who missed out on a ticket to Tasting Plates: Gastown, act now to get your ticket to the next Vancouver Foodster event, Burger Palooza on May 4th. Followed by Tasting Plates: Main Street on May 14th