bacchus restaurant & lounge

I never thought that I would one day find myself dining at Bacchus Restaurant and Lounge! This is one among a handful of Vancouver restaurants that I have always--always--heard good things about, so I was really excited when F took me there for dinner one evening!

Located at the upper-crust, boutique Wedgewood Hotel in downtown Vancouver, Bacchus is a fairly small restaurant with a very classy, refined ambiance, and a touch of old world charm. The waiters wore red vests and long aprons, the lighting had a perfect, golden glow, and there was an in-house pianist who not only tickled those ivory keys but also belted out jazz standards every so often.

The dinner menu had a fairly decent selection, so it took me a while to decide what I was going to get, but it all worked out in the end.

My meal started off with the Spinach, Endive and Anjou Pear Salad, something that F had considered ordering originally, but my order apparently threw him off, so he ended up ordering something else.

The salad was nicely coated with a rich, creamy, blue cheese and honey lavender dressing which was very, very tasty. However, I am still a bit of a blue cheese wimp, and the richness of the cheese started to feel a bit too much for me, so I had to give the rest of my salad to F. But I still maintain that the salad was very tasty!

F ordered the Chicken Liver and Cognac Brûlée which didn't look like much at first glance, but the flavour was amazing!

Served with Okanagan fig chutney and toasted thyme brioche, I would never have guessed that the savouriness of the liver pâté would blend so beautifully with the sweetness of the crusty, torched sugar topping! Definitely a lovely, new flavour discovery for me!

For the main course, I ordered the Roasted Loin of Cervena Venison. I've always wanted to try venison, so this was my opportunity to do so.

The first thought that went through my mind as the dish was served was somewhere along the lines of, "What the---? Three small slices of venison! That was it?" Never mind that the dish came with fondant potato , red cabbage, celery hearts and a juniper and thyme jus! For $35, where's the meat?

For the same price, F had the Duo of Brome Lake Duck which looked pretty darn good, and certainly had a lot more meat than what was on my plate! *sniff, sniff*

The dish had roasted duck breast, braised duck leg, sautéed spinach and blackberry sauce. I got to try a piece of the duck leg and, coming from a duck lover, it was delicious! My three pieces of venison paled in comparison to this duck dish!

As we waited for our dessert, we were presented with a bowl of almonds and oranges, which I thought was different, as I've never been served nuts and oranges at any restaurant before.

I didn't partake in the almonds or oranges, however. I was too focused at this point with finishing off my meal with something sweet.

We ordered a simple, chocolate fondant to share.

Served with vanilla ice cream, the fondant was quite ordinary and unremarkable. Nevertheless, it did provide a sweet ending to our meal, so I guess it served its purpose.

Having checked off Bacchus on my restaurant bucket list, my first impression is generally quite good. The ambience is fabulous and the service is great! I love the warm lighting, the live piano tunes, and the professionalism of the staff! The plating and presentation of their dishes were quite lovely, and though there were some stand-out dishes like their Chicken Liver and Cognac Brûlée, I would say that the food we had overall was deliciously good, but not exceptionally great. Their menu items felt a little too safe. For the price point, I would have loved to see more creativity and inventiveness in their dishes. Just sayin'!...

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