Monday, 11 March 2013

Fable- Revisited Yet Again

My husband have been to Fable many times now, both for brunch and for dinner, and I have done reviews on multiple occasions.  Last night, we had the pleasure of dining at Fable again and, after our experience, I feel that a little update is warranted.

Fable has become a real hotspot since opening last year.  The chefs here are two of the contestants from the last season of  Top Chef Canada- Trevor Bird, the runner-up, and Curtis
Luk.  Fable was among the top five best new restaurants in Vancouver as voted by diners in a Scout Magazine poll and I would guess that more awards are in its future.  From its special dinners, including an upcoming dinner on March 31st featuring some of the new Top Chef Canada contestants, to its infamous "Boozy Brunch", Fable continues to impress and diners keep coming.  Without a reservation, tables are hard to come by.

Last night was no exception. Fortunately I had made a reservation mid-week so we got a table within minutes, but otherwise I think we may have been out of luck.  From the time we arrived at 8pm until the time we left at 10pm, the place was packed with diners.  As I have said in previous reviews, I absolutely love the atmosphere here.  So relaxed and so friendly, no wonder the air was bustling with animated conversation.

Service follows right along in the same friendly, relaxed manner.  When I accidentally knocked over my wine glass as I was sitting down, shattering it to the floor, our server's immediate reaction was to laugh and joke "phew, glad it was you and not me" and within 10 seconds, another server was over with a broom to clean it up.  Our main server was very helpful with dish selections (he is an angel for recommending the trout!) and other servers that brought our food explained all the components of the
plates.  On our way out the door, we were given a warm farewell and a welcome back anytime.  They just make you all warm and fuzzy inside.

And so does the food.  Warm, fuzzy, satisfied, content and all other positive adjectives that come to mind.  And the remarkable thing is that they just keep getting better and better!  The food has always been great, but on our visit last night, it was nothing short of amazing.  Here is a little rundown of our meal, which I am happy to recount again and again:

Oysters- Among my husband's favourite foods, these were sure to please- fresh, simply prepared and delicious, with a hint of citrus.

Chickpea fritters- Although we came specifically to try out the new winter menu, my husband could not resist sticking with an old favourite.  These crispy little nuggets topped with a creamy yogurt sauce, pickled onions and dainty pea shoots are a feast for the eyes and the palate.  Irresistible.

Brassica salad- Although I was very tempted to order the canned tuna again (yummmm), I talked myself into ordering one of the new menu items.  And I am glad I did.  This is not your usual lettuce salad. actually, there is no lettuce at all.  Instead, it is composed of a creamy cauliflower purée topped with lightly steamed broccoli, flash fried cauliflower and deep fried cheese "croutons".   Although unique, the best thing about this salad for me was its simplicity.  Whereas others may swoon over the deep fried cheese (actually my least favorite part of the dish), I loved how the broccoli was left totally plain so you could taste its natural deliciousness.  A bold move on the part of the chef but one that shows a true respect for fresh ingredients.

Steak frites- My husband has been on a bit of a "steak streak" lately and has even recently tried to perfect cooking his own steak at home (admittedly still a bit of a work in progress...).  He had tried a similar dish the last time we ate at Fable but they changed things up a little on their winter menu with awesome results.  They have kept the black pepper jam atop the steak (there may have been a revolt otherwise) but they have replaced the potato fondant with potato wedges and the broccolini with buttered spinach (a little of this poking out would have made the dish a bit prettier!).  As I watched him happily smacking his lips as he finished the last bite and asked him why he liked he so much, he was unable to give one reason, but just said that each component worked perfectly together and each element was prepared and seasoned perfectly.  That is certainly reason enough.

Local steelhead trout- I would venture to call this the best dish of the year. Full stop.  Even after all of the good eating I have done this year in Maui and here in Van, you cannot get any better than this.  Beautifully cooked, local fish that melts in your mouth, sitting atop a velvety celeriac purée, with a side of roasted sun chokes and tempura oyster mushroom.  No bells and whistles here, allowing the natural flavours to shine with perfect execution.  I would eat this dish every day of my life if I could.

And this concludes our memorable dinner at Fable.  This place has always left me with fond memories, but this particular meal really went above and beyond.  To have such talented chefs cooking at a restaurant where you feel as though you could kick your feet up on the table is a rarity.  This concept is the perfect fit for Vancouver so it's great success comes as no surprise.  And with food of this calibre, Fable is no doubt destined for bigger and better things in the months to come.  I don't know how they do it, but this place just keeps getting better and better and better...

Fable Kitchen on Urbanspoon

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