Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Mosaic Bar and Grill × VanEats: Mosaic Harvest

VanEats Mosaic Harvest Prix Fix Menu
Exam week, the only period of time during the school year where we actually have nothing to prepare for.  To celebrate, a group of us made a reservation to redeem the VanEats passes we purchased months ago. Yes, on a Tuesday night. We're not bad students, we promise! What is VanEats? It is a website that features exclusive dining passes for prix fix menus that are only available with the pre-purchased pass. This particular dining pass was for a beautiful three-course dinner for only $27. That is including tax! Mosaic was also offering a Dine Out Vancouver menu that contained similar dishes, but it costs $38. Lemme hear a "SCORE!!!"

Collectively, it is the Crumpet's fourth time at Mosaic Bar and Grill and the third VanEats dining pass (see here and here). It's no doubt that this restaurant is one of the best in Greater Vancouver. We're probably one of the last bloggers to review this particular Autumn Harvest menu, but nonetheless, we must contribute our praise. Our thoughts for each and every item on the VanEats menu is below!

Complimentary Scones
Shortly after ordering, we were provided with a generous amount of scones. More than we could eat. They were served warm and toasty (looooove!), moist and tender inside. Mmmm~ There was a distinct smoky flavour to the scones; my best guess would be that they were smoked salmon scones. Second best guess would be bacon. These miniature scones were the perfect start to the meal! But since a full dinner was coming up, we tried to limit ourselves. So hard...

Fall Salad
The two Crumpets had the Fall Salad as an appetizer. Thinly sliced raw carrots, beets, turnips, and mixed greens elegantly sat atop smears of tangerine dressing. The vibrant colours make it visually appealing. The green dots were, I think, green onion puree, but it didn't taste like much. Overall, the salad was a bit bland. I would've probably liked the salad a lot more if the dressing was more tangy. It's not a terrible salad, but it isn't one that left a vivid memory.

A la Minute Smoked Skuna Bay Salmon
The A la Minute Smoked Skuna Bay Salmon is a must order when at Mosaic. The accompaniments to the fish change throughout the year, but it a dish we would recommend first comers to try. The texture of the fish is in between sashimi and smoked salmon. No worries, it's completely cooked!  _____ thought the smoked salmon was okay, kind of had an odd smoked taste to it but the wasabi sauce was good pairing with it.

Roasted Chestnut Bisque
While the description sounded delicious, the Roasted Chestnut Bisque was not very well liked. It didn't really suit Clumsy One's taste. She says, "At first I forgot that they pour in the soup later, so when I looked at that pathetic piece of lettuce thing with that brandy cream smeared on the side I thought, "is this it?" Hahaha. Yes, but it was an odd creamy-ish soup." Those with an acquired taste for brandy may enjoy the soup a lot more.

Seared Baja Ocean Wise Scallops
Over half of us had the Seared Baja Ocean Wise Scallops as our main course. 

The Clumsy One's thoughts: "I like the scallops, I wish there were more of them though. The ham was salty but sort of appetizing in a way, and figs I gave away. The sauce didn't really have much flavour on the plate now that I think about it... That's just me though."
Mosaic has been praised for their perfect scallops so Coconut Crumpet, being a seafood lover, had high expectations for this dish. Again, the plating was artistic and elegant. The savoury flavours of the four large (not super large) scallops and prosciutto contrasted the sweetness of the sweet potato puree and dried mission figs. I really enjoy the juxtaposition of flavours, textures, and temperature so this entree lived  up to its expections. Even though we thought the prosciutto was too salty, the dish deserves the praise its gotten. Another minor nit-picky suggestion would be that fresh figs would've made the dish even better. Probably will have to wait for summer to get in-season figs. Cue Olaf singing "In Summer". Ahh, we love Frozen~

Grilled Curried Cauliflower Steak
Our waitress made sure Peanut Crumpet knew the Cauliflower Steak wasn't actually steak, as unknowing customers have been disappointed.  This was a disappointing dish as the curry sauce was "salty like the sea". So unfortunately, despite having tasty components like dates and pine nuts, the overly salty sauce ruined the entree. Because of this dish, Peanut Crumpet felt the quality of Mosaic has slightly decreased since last year.

Sous Vide Peace Country Lamb
The third and final entree is the Sous Vide Lamb. Sous vide is a special cooking method in which the cut of meat is sealed in a plastic bag and placed in a hot water bath to cook. This ensures the meat is cooked evenly and yields a super moist result. P ordered it medium; one piece was done to her liking while the other was on the rare side. The raw areas of the second piece wasn't so pleasant for her. She enjoyed the broccoli rabe (aka broccolini).

Pumpkin and Nutmeg Creme Brule
Both desserts were equally as tempting so we ordered two of each! The Pumpkin and Nutmeg Creme Brule was excellent! The custard was thick, creamy, indulgent and had a level of spice that would please those that enjoy warm spices while being mild enough for those that don't to thoroughly enjoy it. The caramelized layer of sugar was not too thick, as when it is thick, the shards can be extremely sharp. It was just enough sugar to satisfy a sweet tooth and round out a meal. The pepitas (shelled pumpkin seeds) went perfectly with the dessert; I scooped up all the seeds from the platter and dumped them into my creme brule. 

The biscotti/cracker things on the side didn't taste like much at first. But when I went back to them after finishing off my creme brule, their subtle sweetness came out and it kind of helped wash down all the flavours from the meal. Chewy from all the seeds and nuts, I love textural food!

Slice Mosaic Chocolate Cake
The Clumsy One (nickname re-confirmed after the cutlery incident, haha!) doubted me when I told her most people end up packing half of Mosaic's Signature Chocolate Cake home. When dessert was served, the two with the cake even challenged each other to a race to see who could finish their cake first. This massive slice of cake has alternating layers of dense chocolate cake and rich ganache. A thin shell of melted chocolate coats the exterior of the cake, which is hiding at the base. The cake itself is a bit dry, but with the frosting it tasted very good. Some diners have hailed this cake as the best chocolate cake in Vancouver. While it is a pretty good chocolate cake, since the cake was a tinge dry, we don't think it was the best (that's a very subjective term anyways.) When the need to doggy-bag half of the cake home, you will be provided with a sturdy box and a nice bag. Good quality stuff, ya know. Just as a note, a full sized piece of cake, as seen in the photo, is part of the VanEats menu but only a 'mini' slice is offered for the $38 Dine Out menu. Another reason why VanEats happens to be the better deal.

Fruit Plate (vegan dessert)
I encouraged Peanut Crumpet to ask if the restaurant could subsidize some sort of vegan option for dessert. Our waitress was prompt to check on the request for us and came back offering a Fresh Fruit Plate. It wasn't anything spectacular but the act of accommodating dietary restrictions contributes to the restaurant's good service.

Our waitress for the night was fabulous! Always with a smile, her service was cheerful, helpful, and efficient throughout the three and a half hours we spent occupying that table. She periodically came to ask how our food was, if we wanted anything else, and to come refill our water. As I was describing the menu to The Clumsy One sitting next to me, she joked about how I knew the menu inside and out.  "On Urbanspoon?" she asked. Yup, I've seen like all the other blog posts on the Mosaic Harvest menu. We made sure to leave her an appropriate amount of tips for her great service. I probably should've combined the amount into bills instead of leaving a pile of loonies and toonies... Sorry!

VanEats passes for this particular menu are still available on their website. They can be redeemed up until end of February. For $27, this is a better deal than Dine Out Vancouver!

Mosaic Grille & Bar on Urbanspoon

Love from Coconut Crumpet & Co.

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