Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Lunch in the Park - Part 2

The open part of the kitchen at Seasons in the Park.
Once again my grandparents wanted a big extended family lunch, and it was decided this time to try a restaurant closer to where they lived.  It's not often one can have a house with a front yard facing a major city park, but Vancouver's Queen Elizabeth Park, arguably second in significance only to Stanley Park, makes the surrounding area's real estate market, hot as it already is, possibly even hotter.  Though the distance to the restaurant was absolutely walkable, chauffeuring duties for the grandparents dictated otherwise on an overcast yet pleasant day

Seasons in the Park was one of four restaurants belonging to the Sequoia Company of Restaurants, and one of two of theirs located in a Vancouver park (the other being The Teahouse in Stanley Park).  On a previous trip, my parents had lunch at Seasons with the grandparents, but I was surprised when they told me they weren't impressed.  They did mention, however, that a major function was being held at the restaurant, and therefore likely most of the attention and overall quality was directed to the function and less to the other customers.  This time there were no functions jockeying for attention, which hopefully meant the service and food would be a better and truer reflection of this restaurant.  With a hilltop location, adjacent botanical gardens and views to downtown Vancouver and the mountains beyond further north, it's quite understandable why this place would be in demand for functions.
Truffled Mushroom Soup
For starters I ordered the Truffled Mushroom Soup.  I fell to my craving for mushrooms, and the aroma of white truffle oil is absolutely intoxicating.  The soup was puréed to a velvety texture, and the flavouring was just right for me.
Tuna Salad Niçoise
For my main course I opted for a special of the day, the Tuna Salad Niçoise, going for a lighter dish compared to a lot of what I'd been eating so far on my trip up to this point.  This was indeed a colourful (and delicious) dish with the rich golden yolks of the eggs, the lightly seared tuna and the grape tomatoes contrasting the greens.  The creamy dressing and the olives provided the punch of flavours to give this dish some more life from the perspective of taste.

Overall I was impressed with what Seasons presented me, and it appears the restaurant restored my parents' confidence in it.  I now also appreciate the reputation I've heard of Sequoia's restaurants, and I hope I get the opportunities to try the other places under Sequoia's umbrella.  I also don't know how the restaurants are allowed to be located in Vancouver's parks, but, for the time being, it's two for two in terms of quality, and it has me curious about some of the other restaurants that make their homes in public greenspaces..

Name: Seasons in the Park
Address: Cambie St. & W. 33rd Ave. (Queen Elizabeth Park), Vancouver, BC 
Cuisine: Continental
Price Range: Lunch/Brunch $15-$50; Dinner $15-$65
Accessible: Yes

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