Update Dec 20, 2010: This restaurant is now closed.
One of the more famous restaurants in Vancouver is closing up shop soon due to its lease ending. I have heard about this restaurant for years but never had the opportunity to go. It is fantastic that I get to share this experience with Wendy in the restaurant’s final days. On top of that, Wendy won a raffle draw from Sherman’s blog for a $50 gift certificate which sweetens the experience even more! So thanks Sherman!
It was a bit unclear how to get there as we didn’t know if we should go up the ramp at the end of Clark or not. We had to pass through the port authority (quite a confusing experience itself) and had to wait for quite a while for a long train to pass at a crawling rate – and I do mean crawling. I felt like I was driving in one of those movies where the entire city has been abandoned and I have to make it to a safe-point (sorry, too much Left 4 Dead gaming lately). We finally arrived and I know for sure that if we were there during the day, the scenery of the water would be beautiful, but tonight it was almost pitch black so we did not have the pleasure in seeing it.
We were led to a cozy spot in the corner by a window. Once we sat down, we knew that there may be trouble. Why? the chair sank in incredibly low once we sat in it. It was like no one replaced these chair since 1971. I could feel the stress on my lower back right away. Needless to say, Wendy too. Later into the dinner we ended up just sitting on the front wooden bar/frame of the chair. Not good at all.
We ordered one appy and two entrees. Our server was a waitress whom declared that she’d been there for ‘very long time’. She definitely knew her menu as we were able to hear her inform other tables what were the best things the Cannery had to serve.
We were served the bread soon after we ordered. The waiter poured the “lobster oil” mix into a sauce plate in front of us. It was supposed to be one of Cannery’s famous offerings. The second bottle was balsamic vinegar and a bit was added into the mix. The bread itself was largely uneventful (and cold!) but I really enjoyed the lobster oil. It had a good mix of saltiness and sweetness. I would like to buy a bottle home but I don’t think I would use it all too often.
Roasted Mussels was the choice for the appy. It was served on a pan with lots of mussels and the aroma was very enticing. The mussels themselves were very very plump and juicy. The sauce was fragrant from the pine nuts, capers and chorizo sausage. Wendy commented that the pine nuts were very buttery. However we both felt that it was much too salty- the broth itself was salty enough, but they also added a good amount of sea salt on top too. If they could cut back on that it would be perfect. Nonetheless we enjoyed it very much.
The Salmon Wellington is a Cannery classic. This is the description of the entree by Cannery – “a Cannery classic – local salmon, fresh shrimp meat and mushroom duxelle, baked in golden puff pastry, pinot noir sauce”. I was very satisfied with the Wellington. The salmon was slightly dry (though expected) but the pastry was crispy yet soft when bitten upon The pinot noir sauce’s flavor was not overwhelmingly great by any stretch of the imagination but it complimented the fish for a passing grade.
Wendy’s BC Smoked Black Cod was a decent serving after we were half-stuffed from the bread/lobster oil and the roasted mussels. I had a quick bite of it and the fish was very smooth to intake and the texture was pleasing. The ‘smoke’ flavor was intense as well. There was one thing to note. It became evident that it was more salty that Wendy would like. The entree was still good but Wendy states that she can get an equivalent quality of fish at the Steveston Seafood House at a lower price.
Visiting the Cannery was good experience for us. The food was fairly good, the service was excellent but the back-breaking chair left us feeling quite sore. However, I personally don’t see the ‘specialty’ of the Cannery apart from its history in this great city. Even if the Cannery was not going away, I don’t think I will suggest it as a point of return in the near future. Despite that, we’re very very happy to have won Sherman’s raffle. If not for him we probably never would’ve visited this place at all. So thanks again Sherman!