August 12, 2008



Location: 688 Dunsmuir Ave, Vancouver
Telephone: 604-899-4470

Growing up in Vancouver, I can still remember the days when the historic Hudson building used to be home to Science World (pre-expo), then for a while it sat empty gathering dust until last year when the whole block transformed. Now 688 Dunsmuir is home to one of the swankiest restaurants in town, a place memorable for its d├ęcor, and professional service. A place that offers the day's freshest fish and seafood, as well as succulent prime Alberta steaks, in a dynamic, high-energy atmosphere. Welcome to THE SHORE CLUB.

Now normally, I wouldn't venture into a place like this unless it was for a special occasion as it is quite pricey but when a work function took us there, I was excited to try it out. First off, THE SHORE CLUB is beautiful, it is a great looking room, the lighting, the bar, the reception area, the private rooms, the kitchen, the tables, the overall ambiance, it gives you a great feeling and builds up the expectation of enjoying a better-than-good meal. Next you see the serving staff, top notch, well dressed in white button-up dinner jackets, extremely attentive without being obtrusive and always there to fill up your glass without you having to ask.

The menu is a one-pager (a nice change from the usual novel you find in most eateries) filled with delicious looking choices but right off the bat I was reminded again that this was an expensive place and that luckily I wasn't paying for this meal.

Sitting at a table of over 16 people, it was hard to see what everyone was having but I will share what my little corner of the world ate. One co-worker ordered the Herb-Dusted Sea Bass baked, with mixed beans, ancho-chili aioli which he said was quite tasty. Another co-worker ordered the server-recommended classic Bouillabaisse with king and snow crab, prawns and fresh fish in saffron broth which she said was "the freshest she's ever tasted". Finally I ofcouse had the thick cut Filet Mignon and a side of Mashed Potatoes.

SHORE CLUB is the sister restaurant to GOTHAM STEAKHOUSE and calls itself a Chop House so I had to give the meat a try. The Filet was good, obviously fresh and delicately seasoned but it did not blow me away. Like my red wines, I like a steak that packs a punch, an explosion of flavor and I didn't get that with the SHORE CLUB Filet Mignon. At prices hovering around the $50 mark for steak, I expect a party in my mouth with each bite. I guess I wasn't invited to the party. Don't get me wrong, it's a good steak, I was just expecting more.

As for the Mashed Potatoes, these were a bit of a disappointment as they lacked flavor and seemed a tad overcooked. For dessert we shared the Key Lime Pie which also left me unfulfilled, nowhere near as tart as I would have liked.

Overall THE SHORE CLUB is a must see, the room itself and the service is outstanding. The food is also quite good but at these prices, there is equal or better and cheaper elsewhere in the city but that being said, if you are going out to impress, it's hard to beat the overall experience that THE SHORE CLUB offers.

No comments: