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Photo Visit – Wildebeest – May 2013

17 Jun

120 West Hastings
Vancouver, BC
V6B 1G8

T: 604 687 6880
www.wildebeest.ca

Brief Description: It should be quite obvious from the name of the restaurant as to what Wildebeest specializes in but in case you need more clarity, think meat, bones, and tongues. It is certainly not a place for the squeamish, or vegetarian.

Wildebeest has been one of my go-to places for brunch since they opened but I obviously hadn’t been back in a while as the last time I was there (a few weeks ago now) they had some new additions to their brunch menu. It was a smart decision to add some new items as it keeps things fresh and interesting for those that frequent the restaurant often.

WildebeestDaily special: Housemade pork patty with egg and asparagus and salsa verde

Sous vide egg on a biscuit, with ham

Both of these dishes were very tasty, and the sous vide egg dish was particularly delicious. I’m unsure if these new dishes are a permanent fixture on their brunch menu as they don’t appear to be on the website menu. However, there are other new items, such as “The Dutch Baby”, cow’s milk ricotta, poached rhubarb, rhubarb jam orange marmalade syrup and the nettle cassoulet, sunchoke granola, confit shallot, poached egg and comte.

Wildebeest

27 Jan

120 West Hastings
Vancouver, BC
V6B 1G8

T: 604 687 6880
www.wildebeest.ca

Brief Description: A recent addition to the Gastown food scene, it should be quite obvious from the name of the restaurant as to what Wildebeest specializes in but in case you need more clarity, think meat, bones, and tongues. It is certainly not a place for the squeamish, or vegetarian.

Although I’ve been to Wildebeest many times for brunch, due to its popularity, I’ve not had dinner there until just recently. It was even busy the night we visited, a Tuesday night in early January, which I wrongly assumed would be a quiet night. Unsurprisingly to me, the clientele on the evening we were there appeared to be mostly men in suits, looking for a meat fix. If you are planning a visit to Wildebeest, be sure to phone ahead or book online.

I’ve written about the the interior of Wildebeest before, and whilst it isn’t anything particularly adventurous, the space has an unforced charm that I like. The dining room is long and open with an open concept kitchen so that, from certain seats in the house, you can watch the kitchen at work. The unique decor pieces that the owners have sourced themselves, such as the rustic wooden wine rack, and the bold lighting feature that includes bare light bulbs in a pulley system, add to the personality of a place that doesn’t take itself too seriously. If you’d prefer just drinks and snacks, try a seat at the bar or the wine bar downstairs.

Wildebeest is not for the picky eater. If you are visiting Wildebeest then I’m assuming you are OK with a menu full of rich, meaty items, including bone marrow, giblets, sweetbreads, and foie gras. Do not bother bringing a vegetarian guest with you to Wildebeest, that would not only be cruel to the vegetarian but also pointless, as the menu is centered around animal products. The dishes are intended to be served family-style so guests should be prepared to share.

Food-wise, I can’t stop thinking about the Smoked Castelvetrano Olives ($5) that we started our meal with. With an addictive smoky, oily flavour we had to order two bowls as I was eating them so voraciously! I highly recommend you start with some of these whilst deciding on the rest of your order.

Crispy pork & polenta croquettes, housemade tomato jam – $6 P1060954Kuri squash salad, miso-cured egg yolk, smoked organic duck breast, orange – $9 P1060956Roasted sweetbreads, caramelized buttermilk, wild mushrooms, porcini vinaigrette – $15 P1060958Poutine with roasted foie gras – $16 P1060960Slow-cooked natural Angus beef short rib, smoked salt, hay jus – $17 P1060962Pumpkin budino, salted caramel ice cream, malt tuile – $9 P1060964Pink Lady apple sorbet, vanilla grapefruit crème anglaise, granola, 63C egg yolk – $8

For me the most notable dish of the evening was easily the roasted sweetbreads. I’m not a particularly brave eater so choosing sweetbreads would not be my first choice yet I was pleasantly surprised with how delicious this dish was. I just tried not to think about what it was. The smoked olives were obviously a favourite, as were the croquettes and the poutine.

The Kiru squash and duck breast salad fell flat for me, and I found the short rib to be incredibly fatty, although the flavour was good. The desserts were incredibly interesting – no traditional, old-fashioned desserts here. I found the pumpkin budino and salted caramel ice-cream to be more my thing than the Pink Lady apple sorbet dessert – egg yolk in a dish just doesn’t sit well with me.

Final Thoughts: Menu-wise, Wildebeest is certainly interesting and innovative, and the service is friendly and welcoming. Overall, I found the prices a little high for the serving sizes. If you are ordering for the table, then you are recommended to order about six dishes, which makes the cost add up fast. You’d also need to add a salad if you wanted any greens with your meat dishes as they typically do not come with any sides. Be prepared for a rich, meat-focused meal.

Photo Visit – Brunch at Wildebeest (again) – December 2012

23 Dec

120 West Hastings
Vancouver, BC
V6B 1G8

T: 604 687 6880
www.wildebeest.ca

Although we were just at Wildebeest last week, B and I visited for brunch again yesterday and we were happy to see that the restaurant was quite busy. It’s always good to see non-diner brunch restaurants having a busy service. There were a few indications that the restaurant is still finding its feet for the brunch service (my sausage was cool inside and a bill error) but, that aside, it is still worth a visit. I think it is a nice touch that they are giving complimentary mini-scones to the table, once you have placed your order.

Mini donuts with cranberry jam – $4

P1060793Croque Madame – $13 P1060795

Scrambled eggs and smoked bierwurst – $12

Omelet – $13

Thrice cooked fries

From my previous post: “The brunch menu is short and sweet and ranges from a simple eggs and bacon or bierwurst breakfast to the more adventurous pork jowl, long pepper oats, bourbon barrel-aged maple syrup, and poached egg. For the less adventurous, there is apple bread French toast, or an omelet, with foraged & cultivated mushrooms, Comte, and arugula salad. Prices start at $12 and go up to $23 for the whole hog; the Wildebeest brunch.”

Wildebeest on Urbanspoon

Photo Visit – Brunch at Wildebeest – December 2012

18 Dec

120 West Hastings
Vancouver, BC
V6B 1G8

T: 604 687 6880
www.wildebeest.ca

I am likely going to kick myself for writing this post but, thanks to a recommendation by a friend, I have discovered another great brunch spot in Vancouver. They are few and far between but, after two successful recent visits, I am adding Wildebeest to my brunch hot-spots list.

I was sans camera the first time that I visited Wildebeest so I didn’t capture pictures of the brunch that time around. However, on my last visit, I was armed and dangerous with my camera, and an appetite.

I love the decor – the space is very cool and rustic. I learned that the owners had toured up and down the West Coast looking for inspiration and had created some of the unique pieces themselves. The food focus should be quite obvious from the name of the restaurant, but in case you need more clarity, think meat, bones, and tongues. It is certainly not a place for the squeamish (or vegetarian).

The brunch menu is short and sweet and ranges from a simple eggs and bacon or bierwurst breakfast to the more adventurous pork jowl, long pepper oats, bourbon barrel-aged maple syrup, and poached egg. For the less adventurous, there is apple bread French toast, or an omelet, with foraged & cultivated mushrooms, Comte, and arugula salad. Prices start at $12 and go up to $23 for the whole hog; the Wildebeest brunch (pictured below).

Scrambled eggs, bone marrow, parsley salad, and toast – $15

Wildebeest brunch; Angus beef bavette, smoked bierwurst, bacon, scrambled eggs, and toast – $23

On my last visit, I ordered the Wildebeest brunch. I found the steak to be perfectly cooked and seasoned (flakes of salt sprinkled over the top), the eggs were creamy and, again, well-seasoned, and the smoked bierwurst is a must-order. Speaking of must-orders, the thrice-cooked potatoes that are served alongside dishes, are absolutely divine. I could eat just a plate of these and be extremely happy.

Brunch is served on weekends from 10am to 2pm.

Wildebeest on Urbanspoon