February 1 2017
Day to Night at Nightingale:
There is always time for a midweek luncheon, especially when you are in the company of your hubby and a great girlfriend. Nightingale restaurant in Vancouver is renowned for its unique and delectable spin on Canadian cuisine. Simplicity is apparent in the dishes served, but flavor is plentiful with only the highest-quality seasonal ingredients being served. As we sit admiring the restaurant we all agree it is really a perfect spot for lunch. We ask the waiter to surprise us with some of the most popular dishes, and of course, drinks! Luckily, many of the menu options have been designed as share-plates so we will all get to sample whatever is served.
Quickly, we are brought two beautifully crafted, colourful cocktails. The first, called the Haloma Cove, is creamy, crushed ice with a pink orchid delicately placed on top – such a lovely touch. I close my eyes and sip the tropical concoction and mentally take a trip to some divine, white sand beach. The second, called the Bramble has a gorgeous blackberry purée trickling artfully through the crushed ice into gin.
After holding ourselves back to take photos of the tasty food, we finally dig in and fall in love with all the flavours chosen for us. The main dishes include a bright coloured fresh San Marzano pizza, which in its most basic form is a Margarita Pizza. The delicious thin crust is golden and the mozzarella melted to perfection. Alongside, there is my personal favourite, the potato gnocchi, which melts in our mouths, the flavours are out of this world accompanied by fresh basil, san marzano tomato sauce and stracciatella cheese.
There is also a plate of hearty, yet light braised meatballs, that have a welcome crunch from added pine nuts. Basil and parmesan cheese add a little extra punch of flavour. The meatballs taste homemade and yet also sophisticated. They remind me of something my dad would make growing up as he really loves meatballs and Italian cuisine.
The appetizers arrive in perfect time – I can smell all the delicious scents coming from the kitchen and hungry-anticipation builds in me thinking about what’s next to come.
Three dishes are placed in front of us. A colourful Russian kale salad, oven roasted cauliflower and a baked sweet potato with crème fraîche, jalapeno, scallions and bacon. The cauliflower is nostalgic to me, the flavours of cumin and green harissa taste like my grandmother's Indian cooking, taking me back to childhood. The sweet potato is perfectly brown and crisp on the outside and soft in the middle. It is surprisingly light. The crème fraîche makes the dish pop. I have always served my baked potatoes with sour cream, which I learn now overpowers the flavor, crème fraîche is officially my new favourite.
Now, it’s finally time for dessert, which I initially foolishly declined! The thing that really catches our eye on the menu is the Salted Caramel Pot de Crème, which has whipped crème fraîche, butterscotch, and at the bottom vanilla breton which is a thick, crumbly butter cookie. I have a major guilty pleasure for salted caramel so this treat really hits the spot. The combination of sweet and salty, cookie crumbs and velvety butterscotch is really the recipe to a great dessert. This particular dessert will leave you dreaming about it every time you have an indulgence for something savoury and sweet.
It was such a lovely and enjoyable experience, I honestly am booking a reservation right away for tonight to go back and experience it again. "Hawksworth Unbuttoned," Taylor, the General Manager at Nightingale perfectly describes it. If you are from Vancouver or ever come to the city and visit, I definitely recommend booking a reservation and getting to also enjoy all the delicious dishes they have on their menu!
Until next time Loves,