Sunday, July 15, 2012

Eat here: Oru

I love, love, the Fairmont Pacific Rim in Vancouver: From the ethereal design to the waterfront setting, the luxe rooms and the impeccable service. And now, after eating at Oru, where new chef Darren Brown is kicking some serious Pacific Rim ass, my relationship with the hotel has crossed over into stalker territory. 
Installed a few months ago, Brown retrofitted the kitchen, broke down some walls to make it more transparent (literally and figuratively; for instance, they pickle their own everything and 
are now making their own charcuterie), so if you thought that hotel dining wasn’t for you, think again. The menu is created using almost exclusively local products, which these days, gladly, 
is no big whoop. But food like this? Huge whoopee! This is one of the best meals I’ve had in ages, and for my vegetarian pal, one of the best she's had, ever. 
The best bite of the night was the first one: "North Arm Farms Sunchoke Soup", a velvety veloute of pure roasted sunchokes topped with a truffle foamed milk and cocoa-morel powder. Sounds a bit old school, but tastes like a Ph.D in deliciousness. "Notch Hills Beet Salad", pickled and poached baby beets, beet chutney, chimichurri vinaigrette, and Cabrales blue cheese, was also a tasty local spin on an old favourite, while the Filet Mignon Oscar topped 
with fresh Dungeness crab, was 5-star decadence.

As a side note, when I visit B.C. it takes all the willpower I’ve got not to hole myself up in a dark room with a trove of the amazing local cheeses and wines we can’t get in Ontario. So, imagine the intense joy I felt with the all-local wine matches – from Blue Mountain to Joie, and the all-local artisanal cheeses in the fromage to chariot. (Best idea ever!)
In conclusion, ahem, if you’re lucky enough to visit Vancouver, not only should you stay at the Fairmont Pacific Rim hotel, but you should definitely eat at Oru.
I'm fairly certain you'll like it.

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