Uncorked! C Restaurant Opens for Brunch!
A sneak peek at Champagne Brunches at C Restaurant starting this Easter weekend.
Brunch is one of my favourite meals. It’s usually a weekend activity that’s almost extra special since it requires that little extra effort of everyone waking up a bit earlier. Of course it’s not hard to wake up when the day is gorgeous and the itinerary includes an invitation to “Champagne Brunches at C Restaurant” on False Creek. It’s true! After over ten years, C Restaurant in downtown Vancouver, BC is now re-opening for brunch on weekends and holidays starting this Easter weekend.
I know exactly why I’m a fan of brunch. It’s the ingredients. It usually includes eggs, which I’m a huge fan of, bacon, potatoes, and pancakes or toast, and there’s nothing in that list that doesn’t make my eyes pop. It’s almost an excuse to eat really hearty so early on in the day, and I’m always interested to see how chefs can change up these basic and inexpensive ingredients. I mean how many ways can you interpret an eggs benny? A lot! But how many will actually stand out and leave you with something to remember? Now that’s a quest I’m excited about!
Being that this particular brunch was at C Restaurant, I was expecting something creative, gourmet, local, Oceanwise and of course sustainable. Owner Harry Kambolis was awarded the Green Award this year from Vancouver Magazine’s Vancouver Restaurant Awards, so in a way I was expecting an interpretation of “green” eggs and ham.
The brunch itself was very West Coast, but nothing really new, although pleasant. It was well executed and made with quality ingredients, but at times less creative than I was expecting. The offerings are pretty traditional with buttermilk pancakes, 3 egg omelettes, and corned beef hash, but made with the best ingredients, and it’s about $12. I wish I could comment on the value, but considering the circumstances I’m not certain of the portion size. Chef de Cuisine Lee Humphries prepared a multi course brunch sampler for the event, so I got to try variations of items featured on the regular brunch menu. Therefore the following gave me an idea of what diners can expect, but I’m still not sure how it will be offered on a regular day, so my comments may or may not apply.
Besides the food, the gorgeous waterfront view, Picard & Wielpuetz silverware, and floor to ceiling windows are all part of the elegance. Although I admit without those large windows opening up the space, the atmosphere would feel a bit stuffy. Nonetheless it provides the classy affair that is fit for fine dining and the experience is what makes it memorable for me.
1: Poor 2: OK 3: Good 4: Very good 5: Excellent 6: Tres Excellent!!
On the table:
Kuushi Oyster with Salmon Row & Cornmeal Muffin with Poached Lobster
- Kuushi oysters are probably my favourite oysters.
- It was topped with salmon roe as the salt which also enhanced the oyster’s natural sweetness. I couldn’t ask for anything better.
- The corn muffin was interesting, it had a slight savoury flavour, crumbly texture, and aroma of lobster, but I wouldn’t have guessed it was lobster flavoured unless I knew.
- The corn muffin seemed a bit rustic and I think a brioche with lobster butter may have been more “C-like”, or maybe even a lobster bread pudding terrine… I actually like that idea better!
- The poached lobster was as perfect as they come and the tangy, roasted, smoky, garlic red pepper sauce just completed the Southwestern theme (if that’s what they were aiming for).
- North Arm pickled beet salad, green beans, watermelon radish, shaved ricotta silata, beet pearls, lemon sorbet and cultivated herbs.
- On the regular menu: Beets – North Arm Pickled Beet Salad, shaved ricotta silata, beet pearls, olive oil sorbet $9
- I would have loved to try it with the olive oil sorbet, although as a palate cleanser the lemon would probably work better.
- This was very reminiscent of the delicious pickled beet salad I had at “The Root Awakening Dinner at C Restaurant” last time.
- What a lovely way to wake up to brunch with a gentle palate cleanser that carried quite the zing.
- The salad was bright, refreshing, fresh and lovely with a citrus tang and light flavours which celebrated the simple ingredients.
- It was 4 types of sweet and tender pickled beets that just played right into the lemon sorbet which melted nicely as a dressing, and the feathery ricotta gave it a hint of saltiness.
- Each ingredient carried its own flavour and this was a palate cleanser I’m sure to remember.
- A palate cleanser salad just as memorable and a bit similar with the sorbet dressing is the Abedogh Kiar at The Apron.
- House made brioche confit, crisp prosciutto, 120 minute poached egg, truffle chive hollandaise, and Parmesan
- On the menu: Eggs Benedict – hollandaise sauce, potato hash and fresh fruit $12
- It’s incredibly saucy, rich and very enjoyable with great textures, but the description seemed more glorified than the end result.
- The house made brioche was panko crusted and cooked in 100% duck fat.
- It was airy light and completely crunchy, but the sweetness, flavour and texture of a brioche was completely lost. It could have been any bread, and I found the panko a bit redundant and wouldn’t have guessed it was confit as opposed to any other frying oil.
- The poached egg was a delicate bubble that burst out into a golden river of yolk with a gentle poke of my fork. The texture of it was silky smooth and melt in your mouth delicious with the white part being a bit jiggly.
- I did love the silky texture of the egg with the crunchy brioche, but I wanted something to soak up the leftover pool of yolk.
- The crisp prosciutto was a nice salty bite, but the hollandaise could have used more truffle or a lemony zing to stand out from the egg yolk which acted more as the sauce.
- I couldn’t taste the truffle infusion in the hollandaise, and that would have helped separate the layers.
- I did also appreciate the bite of salty Parmesan and truffle, but because they were both single shavings I just saved it for the last bite, which ended up being the most memorable.
- It was still delicious and I could have eaten 2, but just little things here and there. Different, but with some similarities is the Chanterelles on Toast at Tapenade Bistro.
- Grilled tenderloin with sauteed potato, mushrooms, and Dungeness crab hash, sunny side quail’s egg and red wine sauce.
- On the regular menu: Steak – Grilled Flat Iron Steak with sauteed mushrooms, tomato pancakes, sunny side egg, mushroom jus $18
- This is their heartiest brunch offering and I loved it all, but would prefer a demi glace as opposed to the red wine sauce… +200 calories.
- The steak was tender, medium rare and nicely seared and the quail’s egg was finished with a little Maldon salt.
- The hash had semi-crispy potatoes that were probably Kennebecs due to its creamy texture and the oyster mushrooms gave it silkiness, juicy crunch, and sweet flavour. I loved the tender chunks of crab that weren’t flaked, and also used for their “Dungeness Crab Benedict” for $15.
- The red wine sauce was well reduced and a bit sweet and berry-like and overall it was a solid steak and eggs with no surprises.
- These were adorable! I commented on my previous post (see here) for C Restaurant about how I wasn’t a fan of its “Society like” desserts, but for brunch I found them appropriate and fun!
- This is perhaps the only mint chocolate chip ice cream I’ve ever liked. One of my favourites was the mint ice cream from The Capital Grille, and C just trumped it.
- It was noticeably fresh and made with fresh mint and the flavour was incredibly aromatic. It was a refreshing palate cleanser and dessert.
- The chocolate was crunchy, crispy and bittersweet and it was amazing.
- The chocolate cone was crunchy and chocolate dipped on the inside only, and the bottom was filled with whipped cream. I could have eaten five, but people were looking.
Chocolate Dipped Candy Orange – n/a
- These were handmade by owner Harry Kambolis’ mother, and if I know anything about Greek mothers, I’m not rating this.
- I dislike candied fruits and chocolate, especially cherries and orange, and this one was honestly really good.
- I think it’s because it was made so fresh that it was very different in texture and flavour.
- It wasn’t gummy or sugary, but had a firm chew and there was the perfect play of sweetness and desired bitterness from the zest and chocolate.