Thursday, May 15, 2008


Had an opportunity to drop into Fraiche for dinner last week while in Vancouver. I'm an old Vancouver boy so I was yearning for that view you get from the North Shore mountains. The same view you got when you took some of your first dates up the tram on Grouse Mountain or to Salmon House on the Hill.

I also needed some points in the spouse department as I had been predictably shoddy in recent attempts at Important Day Celebrations or IDCs. She'd accompanied me to the big smoke on this business trip so I surprised her with a dinner res at what must be almost 2,000 feet above sea level.
The room is bright, airy and dominated be the floor to ceiling windows facing south. There's a fair view from just about any seat. If you can't get a window seat for your baby, perch her at the bar where she can enjoy the view above the crowd and the crowd can enjoy the view of her. Change genders on that last sentence if you are so inclined.
At 7:15 on a Tuesday in late April the room was essentially full so make a reservation.

The weather behaved remarkably. The service was spot on. The food was flavourful, imaginative and worth the 20 minute jaunt from our downtown hotel. I wasn't in FM (foodie mode) and failed to take notes but suffice to say we each had a salad. Mine featured roasted beets and I think I'm now moving roasted beets up a few notches on the Top Veg Chart. Hers was centred around a small cylinder of goat cheese that was crunchy-crispy on the outside. Both were great. Our mains were duck for wife and lamb for me. Both were damn fine and were reduced to uttering grunts and squeals of appreciation to the chagrin of tables nearby. We paired them with a St. Francis Merlot I felt was a little flaccid which I attributed to my regionalized palate.
An old associate of ours from a decade ago turned out to be our server so we got a chance to share some laughs in remembrance.
The wine list was intelligent and stimulating. Not extensive but still plenty of varied choices. Hey! Township 7 Merlot. Don't forget to order it on your visit!
I was thoughtful and sensitive without any ennui.
I think we dropped a couple of C notes plus and felt we received a good exchange for our moolah.
Do you know how to get to Salmon House? Yes? Then keep driving up the hill. It's on Chippendale. No? Phone for directions or park in Ambleside (beachfront West Van) and take a cab.
I believe it's just dinners right now but that's changing so stay current! Closed Mondays.

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