I’ve always been a strong supporter of the local dining scene and independently owned restaurants. Thus in the first few years of Dine Out, my friends and I made it a special event to check out restaurants we never been too. Dine Out was first conceived to drive business during the industry’s low season. Now it seems that Dine Out has a big divide of supporters and critics. Over the years, it has developed a reputation that diners would find sub standard food, quality, and service at restaurants during this time. My first experience with this was when I went to Bridges during Dine Out many years ago. The waiter we had was snobby, nonchalant and inattentive, and the food was small in portion and unmemorable. It was a surprising and disappointing pattern from one restaurant to the next which led me to stop doing Dine Out for at least 2-3 years.
I believe in giving things the benefit of the doubt and being open minded. I think in essence the idea of Dine Out comes from a good place, brings the limelight to hidden gems, and encourages people to try different foods. And who cares if the ‘bridge and tunnel’ people come out…they’re coming out to Vancouver and spending money on our micro economy.
So off my soap box and onward to my Dine Out restaurants. My girlfriend made the painstaking effort of asking for suggestions and preferences from friends and organizing the Dine Out dinners. To support her and spend time with everyone else, I said I’d tag along (seriously, I felt myself cringe when I told her yes). One of the Saturday nights I was available for was dining at Stone Grill.
I haven’t been to Stone Grill for several years now as I got tired of paying the dollars for novelty. When we arrived, it was surprisingly quiet for prime dinner time of 6:30pm but when 8pm rolled along it was full. We were brought to our table right away and had a friendly sweet girl as our waitress. The dine out choices comprised of the same formulaic set menu of soup or salad, choice of seafood, meat, or vegetarian, and then a dessert. I picked the seafood platter.
First came the basic caesar salad, nothing really to describe here. The 400 degrees celcius heated stone had the basic salmon, tuna, halibut, and scallops with a side of vegetables and potatoes. As with most of the food on the stone grills, there’s minimal seasoning and sauces as they want to keep it ‘healthy’ but it came along with the ‘unhealthy’ sauces of melted butter and terriyaki.
For dessert, I picked the apricot ice cream
As pretty as the presentation looked, it really tasted like vanilla ice cream with canned apricot slice on top.
We had great service but food wise was nothing special. I am incredibly spoiled by the variety of cuisines in this city and frankly Stone Grill is not fine dining. It really needs to adjust its price points of its regular menu to reflect the cost expectations of diners…especially diners who are more discerning about the local food scene and have more choices now.
Next restaurant coming up….Bacchus
Stone Grill Restaurant
1661 Granville St