Restaurant: Encore Restaurant Lounge
Cuisine: American/International/West Coast
Last visited: March 26, 2010
Location: Aldergrove, BC
Address: 27279 Fraser Highway
Price Range: $20-30
1: Poor 2: OK 3: Good 4: Very good 5: Excellent 6: Tres Excellent!!
Food: 4, we apparently ordered the best things though (Dessert: 1)
Service: 5 (I had a wicked server)
Ambiance: 2 (red lighting just doesn’t work for me)
- Family style casual finer dining in Aldergrove
- Independently owned
- Attracts families and 45+
- Made in house items
- Great value, good portions
- Dated atmosphere
- Hard to find – poor signage
- Busy, popular to Aldergrove locals
- Selection of home made desserts
- More restaurant than lounge
- Bar area
Geez I didn’t know the numbers got so high! My friend recommended it and the drive alone was an adventure. Freaking far… it’s super easy to drive right by because the only signage is on the door and there’s no lights. Definitely a place that has been around for ages that only locals would know about.
If it’s appropriate to say, or even if it’s not, I’m still going to say it. It’s “fine dining” Aldergrove style. It’s casual, unpretentious and where you would go when the family wants to have a nice dinner. It’s almost like Swiss Chalet – something of that level but it’s not a chain and there’s candles . Very suburban, fit for the family or “let’s bring grandpa for his 60th birthday” type of place. It’s not fine dining and it’s quite dated inside and out, but don’t underestimate the food. It’s actually better than good and I was impressed.
I got the feeling they have a talented chef that wants to get very creative ad experiment but can’t because he needs to stick to ‘white bread and butter’. I don’t think the clientele is very adventurous either and they probably prefer the classic good ol’ steak and mashed potatoes. Which is fine – and I’m not judging, but just stating.
My server was awesome! She was so blunt and when I asked her recommendations she didn’t hesitate to say “no” or “yes” or “don’t get that” – I loved it! I just didn’t like the recommendations for the desserts… that was not good.
**Recommendations: Crab Cakes, Boneless Beef Short Rib, Seared Halibut
On the table:
- This was just a regular store bought baguette. The highlight was the balsamic vinaigrette they used. It was so reduced and flavorful – great brand!
- You can get refills of both at no extra charge.
- Confit Portabella, cream cheese $6.95
- This was basically a deconstructed stuffed portabella mushroom.
- The portabella was baked and it was bit dry and wrinkly.
- The ball of cream cheese had some mixed herbs and it was nice and salty. There was a lot though. It melted nicely over the mushroom and it was nice to have the flakey filo pastry roll. The sauce was just a simple Portabella pan jus.
- Avocado salsa and spicy aioli $9.95
- I thought the most crab I would see in a crab cake was going to be at The Shore Club in downtown Vancouver. Those were good crab cakes and so were these!
- The waitress highly recommended these as I was debating between crab cakes and prosciutto wrapped prawns. She said those are good, but these are better.
- It was almost 100% crab – no fillers or at least very little. I couldn’t taste any except for some fresh parsley and seasonings.
- It was crispy, flaky and lightly breaded. The sauce was a chili mayo and it was tangy, spicy and great with the crab cakes.
- The avocado salsa was more like mashed up avocados rather than a salsa, but it was still good. Everything worked.
- This was a meal on it’s own. they were the size of hockey pucks, but thicker. Totally worth it!
- Rice pilaf, sweet pepper ragout, pesto cream $19.95
- This was the server’s #1 recommendation for the mains.
- The halibut was a thin fillet and it was huge. It was very tender and juicy and flaked away like cod rather than halibut. So moist and very buttery.
- The pesto cream was very home made. I could definitely taste the fresh herbs and it was also very buttery. It wasn’t too nutty in flavour but was still very flavourful. It wasn’t thick though.
- The rice was surprisingly good! Each grain was well flavoured and it was cooked in a chicken or vegetable broth. It was missing the onions, celery, and bell peppers etc – but it tasted good.
- The sweet pepper ragout tasted like roasted red peppers from a jar. It was really sweet and caramelized and mixed with some onions.
- Pomme puree, braised king mushroom and truffle jus $19.95
- I was really surprised with this. I would make a 30min. drive for this and the crab cakes.
- We asked for a knife, but never used it at all. You could use your fork and just shred away at it. So tender and so juicy. There was a little fat around the meat but it wasn’t chewy and just melted in your mouth.
- They used a good amount of truffle oil and I could taste it as much as I could smell it. Delicious!
- My only have a few complaints or I guess recommendations. Beside the plating – which needs work, I wish the pan jus was more reduced. I know it’s a jus, but the flavour could have been even more intense. I also could use more oyster mushrooms because there wasn’t many.
- The mashed potato was nice and creamy and very smooth. It was simple and traditional , but the truffle oil and sauce just took it to the next level.
- Blueberry coulis, raspberry gelatin, candied nuts $6.95
- This is basically layered sundae sauce in a martini glass. Ick! I could stir it up like hot chocolate.
- I could not taste the raspberry gelatin at all and every single layer was watery.
- There was no cake nothing. I don’t even know where the lemon part came in. I asked the server and she said there was a lemon custard layer – which I couldn’t taste AT ALL. It was just sweet.
- Liquored enriched mousse, whip cream $5.50
- For some reason we didn’t read the “mousse” part – if we did we wouldn’t have ordered it.
- This was the thickest chocolate mousse ever. It was stored in a fridge that was too cold. Unlike the lemon parfait there was resistance putting my spoon into it.
- I couldn’t taste any liquor and it was just sweet. I missed a bitter note, but I think it was just milk chocolate. It didn’t really taste bad, it just had the texture of wall plaster.
- I had to dig to the very bottom to find the pears which were totally overpowered by the thick chocolate mousse. I couldn’t even taste the pear. The were about 5 thin slices which were very tender, but wasted with this dessert