Lumére is possibly the best restaurant I have ever been to in Vancouver, but a birthday dinner there for 6 people came to $1800. DB Bistro, the sister restaurant to db Bistro Moderne in midtown Manhattan, owned by Daniel Boulud, in partnership of the owner of Lumére. While they both serves French food, DB Bistro offers a much more affordable and less intimidating menu. Dress Code is casual. Peter from Eat-Rotic took the photos.
The bread came in white and whole wheat. It wasn't warm and the butter is solid hard (3/5). Tarte fine provencal, tomato fondue, eggplant caviar, smoked mozzarella, pistou and arugula salad, balsamic dressing was beautifully plated. I appreciated the artistry and innovation put into making this dish, but the food was a miss. The tarte was hard, chewy, and lack flavours. The side salad was good though (3.5/5).
"Grandpa Country Pork Terrine " was an interesting dish. It was a simple cold slab of pork thing with dubious color and texture. Perhaps our Asian palate could not adequately appreciate this dish and I knew it must had been hard to make. Regardless, the presentation was lacking and it needed more flavours, perhaps in the form of a sauce (2.5/5). Cauliflower, curry and apple soup was another, at best, interesting dish. It was not quite French and the flavour of ginger was overpowering. (3/5)
With very unimpressive appetizers, we hoped the main course would blow as away. Rock Hen duo came with some of the best whipped mash potato I ever had in Vancouver. The hen itself was a little too salty, and Jean hated it, but I bet Dennis would have love this dish. Plating was okay; chicken can be a little hard to present well (3.5/5). Grilled Swordfish was definitively not French; it was Asian. We should have known with the description "wok vegetables glazed with ginger and mandarin orange, shiitake dressing and sesame tuile". It was pretty good and beautifully presented, but fell way below our standard for Asian food. The fish was dry. Helen, whose family owned a Chinese restaurant, disapproved the fish. It was fusion cuisine done wrong. (3/5) I had Roast potato gnocchi with vegetables and preserve meyer lemon hollandaise. It was beautifully presented, but I did not like it. I even passed the food around the table and it was greeted by furrowed brows from those who tried it. The texture was off and the sauce was a miss. (2.5/5).
Could DB Bistro match Kettle of Fish's godly Panna Cotta? No, but the desserts were delightful. Lemon tart was cute (looked liked a tooth brush. and the perfect dessert for women. I loved the various textures and flavours: perfectly balance between tart, fruit, and sugar. (4/5) Bittersweet chocolat bar was one of the best chocolate bar I have ever had. (4.5/5) Rhubarb, vanilla ice cream with oat crumble was a step below the other two, but still quite good. (3.5/5)
The service was amazing. We were wonderfully pampered. Our waitress was very stealth and very good at picking the right time to approach us to ask if we wanted more beer and if every was okay. Our water glass was never empty and yet we never noticed when it was been filled. Food were all served at the same time. When someone goes to the washroom, the waitress would stealthily refold and rearrange that person's napkin and chair.
The restaurant was jewel box with beautiful dark wood, soft leather seats, crystal chandelier for each table. There was enough privacy and space given to each table. There was private dinning area was lined by their wine cellar. This is a restaurant suitable for proposal and wedding reception.
Overall Experience: (4/5)
Although I am rather biased against BC wine, especially red wines, but the wine pairing for menu was cleverly done and, in fact, it even enhances my dishes. The wine list is very extensive with a wide spectrum of reasonably priced premium wine. Their beer selection is amazing as well. Peter, who always makes a point to check out the restaurant's washroom, appreciated the gorgeous private individual washrooms.
I suspect that the food is better outside the Dine Out Event, but there is really not much excuse to the substandard food we experienced, but I would be more than happy to give this restaurant another try in the future.