The Farmer’s Apprentice

For New Year’s I scored a reservation at the newest restaurant in Vancouver called, The Farmer’s Apprentice. We read about it in the Globe and Mail which sang its praises. We dropped by in the afternoon and I must say, it looked like an little coffee house. A tiny, narrow room, with only about 12 tables and small narrow bar. David asked me if we should go somewhere else but it was too late to get alternate reservations. “It will be an adventure. So what if I am over dressed. It won’t be the first time, eh!”

We arrived early (of course) and were told to go for a walk for 5 minutes. When we returned, there was a line up. We were the last to be seated and, you guessed it, it was at that “bar table.” David asked if it would be possible to have a different table but every seat in the room was taken. “Think of it as if you have the “chef’s table,” said Paul, our affable head server (and partner as we later learned).

It turns out he was right. We watched the ballet of chefs and sous chefs, servers, preparers, and the all important dishwasher, create a masterful meal. Chef David Gunawan was participating in every act of preparation from cooking to plating to serving to washing. This beats West Jet’s slogan of “even the pilot cleans the plane.” Here everyone is part of the experience, even those who would prefer to be behind the scenes.

I felt privileged to be there. I must say, Paul made the evening. He knew we were disappointed so he found my sweet spot – the food and the experience – and focused on the details. He  emphasized how the food was made and the why the flavours worked with the wine pairings, although they were not all wines. There was a pear beers and a beet, apple Cassis served in a shooter. Awesome!

It was a seven course meal with some courses consisting of a single scallop with fennel juice and served on toasted barley.  Piquant and flavourful.  This was followed by cured ribeye, tarragon, salted pears sliced so thin you could see through them. My favourite was the pheasant with quince, wild mushrooms and juniper.

Each dish was so creative, you wanted to embrace every morsel allowing the flavours to unravel in your mouth as you deciphered the ingredients one by one.

Just when you thought life couldn’t get better, they served a little bubbly at midnight. I didn’t want to leave. Best New Year’s Eve ever!

The Farmer's Apprentice Restaurant

The Farmer’s Apprentice Restaurant

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