Always Take a Wildebeest by the Horns
With a $161.28 bill, it may look like a feast was ordered for four, but really just for two gluttons who took Wildebeest by the horns. As the name suggests, anticipate both rustic and gamey fare on a carnivore heavy menu. There is a small selection of seafood, but let’s be honest, you didn’t come here for the halibut. It’s nose to tail dining, a trend long lauded on the global food scene (think The Black Hoof in Toronto, or St. John’s in London), but our West Coast menus have been slow to embrace.
The meats are sourced from local farms, as are the seasonal vegetables. The dishes are meant to be served family-style, which made it tough to differentiate between starters and the mains, or at least that was my excuse for rattling off half the menu. Regardless, prepare yourself for a rich undertaking. The waitress raised an incredulous eyebrow after I placed an order of foie gras poutine, bone marrow, lamb tartare, veal sweetbreads, beef tongue and pork jowl. This was after a bowl of smoked castelvetrano olives and truffle popcorn and before a warm chocolate lava cake and apple sorbet.
The buttery bone marrow was simply roasted with a dash of sea salt. So good, it’s since inspired me to seek out my own version at home. Here, tartare is served with a spin, using lamb instead of steak, along with pickled onions, nasturtium emulsion and herb croutons. Poutine, a classic guilty pleasure, was made even more criminal topped with foie gras. To be honest, I can’t elaborate on the beef tongue or the pork jowl, probably because the veal sweetbread put me over the edge. In spite of it all, I couldn’t pass up the apple sorbet with vanilla grapefruit crème anglaise, granola and finished with an egg yolk – it didn’t disappoint.
My ordering was ambitious, excessive even. Dare I say, I was satiated to the point of nausea. The cab ride home was dicey. I kept it together though, since my conscience couldn’t let me regurgitate a meal of such epic proportions.
Wildebeest | 120 West Hastings | Dinner 5 – midnight | Brunch 10 -2 Sat & Sun