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Vancouver: Lumière

10-Jul-2006
 
I was first drawn to Lumière when the bar manager, Jaime, left a comment on a post back in May. I took a look at his site and the Lumière site and decided this was a place I really should have been before! I’d been planning to get to Vancouver for a weekend so I made a little note on my "things to do" list.
 
I arrived into Vancouver late in the afternoon, checked into my hotel and took a quick walk around the area. It was a beautiful weekend and I almost hated to go inside but I’d skipped lunch so my stomach gave me a little nudge to get going. In general, Lumière is a place you need reservations – even just to sit in the tasting bar. I had planned to stop in fairly early in the evening but called just as a precaution. With the holiday weekend it turned out that I was fine but always better to be safe.
 
Lumière is located in the Kitsilano neighborhood in Vancouver. That explains why I hadn’t been there before. I generally stay downtown. Once I pull into town I park my car for the duration, walking or occasionally cabbing it if really necessary. I arrived and introduced myself to Jaime. Although I had mostly come to check out the cocktails I was just too warm that evening – the nice weather and my walk had taken their toll. Several cocktails on the menu looked very enticing and I had seen several on his site that I thought of asking for but I settled for Pimm’s Lemonade which sounded (and was!) so refreshing. The addition of mint, with it’s pick-me-up qualities, to this cocktail was exactly what I needed. Although that was the only cocktail I had while there, I watched as several others were crafted and loved the care and attention to detail Jaime took with each one. (Good news for Seattle; Jaime is consulting for a new venue, Vessel, due to open later this summer.)
 
As I’d mentioned, my stomach had been talking to me and so I carefully perused the tasting bar menu. After looking at all the great sounding options, my plan was to order two or maybe three appetizers so that I could try a bit of everything. First up was Barbeque Duck Broth with Pork Dumplings.<This plate arrived and even before actually eating it I was in heaven. First, the steamy fragrance drifting towards me just made me smile. And, not only was the soup delivered (in a pre-warmed bowl, I might add) but along side it was a trio of condiments for customization.
 
 
I love participating in the creation of my meal!  And, I think it says a lot about the confidence of the chef who allows the customer to tinker with their creation. My three little bowls contained a chili paste, fresh lime halves and an herb pesto. I mixed and matched to my hearts content – even though the broth all on it’s own was flawless. And the dumplings were tender, tasty and perfectly cooked. There was only one thing wrong. This was a much larger bowl of broth (with lots of beautiful dumplings) than I had expected. My plan to try two or three items was in jeopardy! Well, I took a little breather, talked to Jaime as he was handling drink orders for both the dining room and the tasting bar, sipped my wine and eventually, with Jamie’s recommendation, ordered the Butternut Squash Ravioli.
 
Now I must admit that this seems like a fall dish to me with the squash and all and it probably wouldn’t have been my first choice. I was assured though, that it was a favorite and only a small portion so even though I didn’t need more it would allow me to try a little more. Now, I thought that the Barbeque Duck Broth was amazing but I had no idea of what amazing was, at that point! The ravioli was light yet decadent. The squash filling was tender, fluffy and low-profile – exactly what was needed for the rich, earthy truffle butter drizzled over the top. The combination was unbeatable. Add to that the British Columbia Chardonnay that Jaime poured to accompany it and you have the ingredients for heaven on earth.
 

 
After that I was completely satiated. I didn’t need anything else – all my senses had been taken care of and in a non-fussy, yet amazingly detailed sort of way. I needed just one last thing to finish off the evening. A cup of tea. And, of course, it was perfect, too.
 

 

 
Lumière
2551 West Broadway
Vancouver
604.739.8185 
 
 
 

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