So this year for some reason, AngryRussian forgot that we usually keep our birthday restaurants a secret and told me that he’s taking me to Verre at Coal Harbour. When I said “Oh so I guess we’re not doing the secret restaurant thing anymore?” he said “Oh shoot!”.
Anyways, I had been interested with Verre as a wedding reception venue but that didn’t pan out, so a birthday dinner was the next best thing!
When AngryRussian made the reservation, he was told that for the evening we wanted, the timeslots were blocked off and so we could only have an early dinner. We all assumed (the restaurant included) that meant there was a party booking of some sort for the evening. This was fine, as we wanted to take advantage of their Happy Hour (3-6pm) anyways.
The thing was, when we arrived at 4:30pm, the restaurant seemed barely opened, so bare that AngryRussian thought maybe they weren’t open at all! It was only when we saw another couple go in that we felt comfortable going in. And there was no party after all. We were at the restaurant until around 7pm and the whole time there was just us and another couple in there.
Back to the food. We started with perusing their Happy Hour menu. They had a cocktail feature which turned out to be a homemade Egg Nog drink. However, we didn’t feel like a heavy Egg Nog cocktail was appropriate to start the night before the food, so I decided on the Sencha Quencha ($14) from their regular menu instead. It was a refreshing mix of gin, bitters, green tea syrup, lime + cucumber, splash of bubbles. AngryRussian got his usual IPA by some brewery.
We ordered a couple food items off their Happy Hour menu. First was the Humboldt Squid ($10) and this was FANTASTIC. I always love a grilled calamari and this was a thick calamari steak! None of that tubes and tentacles stuff!
The puttenesca and dill sauce was so delicious and flavorful, and the squid steak was grilled just right. I was in love with this dish, and there were 3 thick slices!
The next item from the Happy Hour menu we choice was the above sad looking Charcuterie ($10). This was a pretty big let down. We should’ve asked what the charcuterie would be before deciding on it.
What was served were a regular and a spicy salamis. TWO SALAMIs, some bread, and if you can find it, maybe a tenth of a granny smith. A tiny granny smith. Verre could’ve at least used two different meats here. Very disappointed with this dish.
After that, we ordered mains off the regular menu. I chose the Duck Ragout Tagliatelle ($25, but they charged us $26).
It looked like a very small portion but it was actually enough as the pasta and ragout were very rich. The sauce was yummy but the pasta was a bit undercooked for me, I thought it still had a slight crunch to it.
But the sauce was the star. There was a lot of duck mixed in and there was more than enough sauce for the pasta.
Last item we ordered was the Bone in Beef Shortrib ($36) and this was the scrumptious. Menu described the dish as served with gorgonzola pomme aligot (smooth mashed potatoes), crispy kale, mulled wine jus.
Didn’t find the crispy kale, but the rest was there. First off, the shortrib was so tender and had the right amount of fat to taste it but not satiate. Kept the meat super tender.
The mash potatoes were silky smooth and cheesy. The wine jus was great with the dish.
We did not have dessert as we were heading elsewhere for my birthday goodies. All in all I was quite pleased with the meal. I quite enjoyed it being so quiet, and that we were kept to ourselves without servers hovering about.
Still puzzled with the whole “no booking after 5pm” bit, and the charcuterie was a very big let down.