photo: Clockwise from left: Justin Hall of NK’MIP Cellars and Executive Chef Karen Barnaby of The Fish House,Cold-smoked bison carpaccio, Cedar-planked salmon

credit: Anya Levykh

The Fish House in Stanley Park, I am mildly ashamed to admit, is a place that I have not frequented in recent years, apart from the occasional visit for afternoon tea. But it’s a place that was brought back to my attention last week by their recently launched Klahowya menu, which honours the Klahowya First Nations Village in Stanley Park. The word itself can mean “welcome,” “how are you?” or “goodbye” in the Chinook Jargon (not to be confused with the Chinook language) of the Pacific Northwest.

It really shouldn’t have taken a new menu for me to venture here. Executive Chef Karen Barnaby—and her renowned cookery—is worth a much longer trip than the 15 minutes I had to drive to reach the park. And, as an added bonus, the parking is still cheaper than in the rest of the downtown core.

As for the menu, The Fish House has teamed up with Nk’Mip [pronounced “in-ka-meep”] Cellars to create the wine pairings for the $48 three-course table d’hôte. Starter was a lovely cold-smoked bison carpaccio, topped with fresh and compote mountain cranberry (or lingonberry), as well as pickled milkweed pods. The pods were a revelation. Picked when they’re young and green, these are then brined in cider, and have a soft, white fleshy interior that contrasts perfectly with the crisp exterior. You can find them at Hills Foods in Coquitlam, and they make a great change from the typical gherkin/cippolini route. This was paired with Nk’Mip’s Winemakers Series 2008 Pinot Noir ($12), a deep red quaff of cherry and spice with a nice, soft finish.

Main was cedar-planked sockeye salmon (wild, of course), with a cedar-scented beurre blanc. Moist, and perfectly cooked, it was topped with sea asparagus, which I’ve been seeing everywhere lately—the season is almost over, so get some while you can! Sides included garlic mashed potatoes, mashed Kabocha squash, asparagus, golden beet, and kale. Wine pairing was the 2008 Riesling ($9) from the same series as the Pinot. This varietal wouldn’t have been my first choice to pair with salmon, but the crisp acidity of the wine really balanced the richness of the dish perfectly.

Dessert was my favourite course. A creamy elderberry swirl cheesecake sat over a crunchy hazelnut crust, topped with fresh raspberries and mountain cranberries. I could only pick at it, as I was pretty topped up by that point, but I am definitely going back for more.

The menu is available until September 6, and reservations are recommended.

8901 Stanley Park Drive | 604.681.7275 | www.fishhousestanleypark.com


Restaurant Deals

DB Bistro Moderne is offering their signature steamed Quadra Island mussels and frites, plus a nice cold beer, for $20 all summer long. The restaurant has also dropped their regular menu prices to reflect the recent implementation of the HST, so you don’t have to pay more.

2551 West Brodway | 604.739.7115

Comments are closed.