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Coast Seafood Restaurant – Vancouver

October 4th, 2009 · No Comments

Coast Restaurant - Vancouver Coast Restaurant - Vancouver Coast Restaurant - Vancouver Coast Restaurant - Vancouver Coast Restaurant - Vancouver Coast Restaurant - Vancouver Coast Restaurant - Vancouver
Friday night, out to see and be seen (well, not really, but this is that kind of place) with the girls for one of their birthdays.

We had reservations, but still had to wait 15 minutes – the host graciously provided us with complimentary prosecco while we waited. We were seated in the back corner of the restaurant, next to some giant kitchen bucket and a mountain of tablecloths – a bit odd that there wasn’t some closet they could store this in.

Our service was very friendly, competent, fast, was quite knowledgeable about the menu and wine list, and very professional.

The food? Overall, the food at Coast is good, but let me provide a few more details. We had the Cod, the Trout, and a caesar salad. My friends had halibut, baked oysters, raw oysters, and a few other fish mains. The price wasn’t unreasonable for a ‘high-end’ fish restaurant in downtown Vancouver. Really, the fish here, for the price, is pretty middle-of-the road.

The cod was good, with a gentle char that gave it a bit of flavour, it wasn’t overcooked, and didn’t offend. The trout’s presentation was terrible, with what looked like a big red stain oozing from the belly of the trout – the joke at the table was that it looked like her dinner had been run over before it was served. The red stain was a very underwhelming sauce that tasted more like ketchup than anything interesting. All the fish were served with ‘lobster potatoes’. These were slightly undercooked boiled baby potatoes that had a small hole drilled in the top that was filled with a lobster-based bechamel sauce. The bechamel sauce was delicious (impossible to not make it delicious), but the boiled potato was just that – a product that I don’t even consider food. Really? for $23, you can provide something a bit more interesting as a side than 25 cents worth of boiled potatoes. Enough whining. The trout itself was pretty good – it was farmed and not quite as good as trout I’d had elsewhere, but for $22, given the rest of the dishes, it was a reasonable deal.

There was complimentary amuse-bouches of manhattan clam chowder (far too sweet and slightly tepid to be good), and complimentary white-chocolate and pop rock-covered cheesecake lollipops, reminding me of Graham Elliot’s pop-rock covered foie gras lollipops.

The rest of the place? I always wondered where all the beautiful people in Vancouver go at night, and it turns out that a lot of them go to Coast on Friday nights. This place could have been on King Street in Toronto it was so busy and full of well-dressed, made up and perfectly-coiffed clients. Whether this is a good or bad thing, I will leave it up to you – but note the well established inverse relationship between quality of food and beauty of clients – a universal rule of restaurants that you ignore at your own peril. My only complaint was that the restaurant was so busy at the start of the meal, that it was very, very loud inside, making conversation somewhat difficult – a few acoustic panels inside the restaurant could probably fix this nicely.

The bottom line – we all felt as though we had been well treated by the staff at Coast. A wait was tempered with complimentary prosecco. The amuse-bouche was a nice touch. The complimentary birthday lollipops were a great way to end the meal. The service was attentive, pleasant, knowledgeable, and very professional. The prices weren’t out of line for ‘this kind’ of restaurant in ‘this kind’ of city.

But does the food stir your soul, make you look to the heavens, and think that the chef really knows, really gets, really understands seafood? No. But as a place to see and be seen, it probably can’t be beat (for now). Caveat Emptor.

Coast Seafood Restaurant
1054 Alberni Street
Vancouver, BC
Tel: (604) 685-5010
www.coastrestaurant.ca


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Tags: Vancouver

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