Last night, Fondy and I visited the final destination on our Dine Out Vancouver tour: Chef Angus An’s fledgling Gastropod on 4th Avenue. It was our second visit to the restaurant, the first being a generally positive dining experience several weeks back. This time out, our choices were limited to the DOV $25 and $35 menus. We both opted for the former, Fondy starting with the “tuna mille-feuille” while I went with the intriguing espresso beef stew. The mille-feuille – alternating slices of tuna and marinated daikon with a confit pepper yuzu dressing – was an item that hadn’t exactly won me over on our first visit. It failed to impress Fondy this time out although for different reasons. While I found the flavor of the marinated daikon overwhelmed the subtlety of the tuna, Fondy found the dish refreshing but had a problem with the conflicting textures. The stew, meanwhile, albeit interesting, was a little too boldly salted for my taste. Like the last time we ate here, although the appetizers failed to impress, our main courses certainly did. Fondy had the pan-roasted chicken with Israeli couscous: the chicken tender and crispy-skinned, the Israeli couscous (with spinach, chorizo, capers, and topped with parmesan cheese) the surprising highlight of an excellent dish. As for me – well, if it’s one thing this restaurant does exceedingly well, it’s fish: the ling cod with almond foam on our first visit, and my Salmon a la Gastropod on this visit. Two nori-wrapped pieces of incredibly medium-rare salmon were accompanied by a wasabi sabayon, fresh and flavorful pea shoots, and a warm citrus bulgar salad. Probably the best salmon dish I’ve had in years. For dessert, I ended with a very good coffee brownie accompanied by some vanilla crème fraiche and caramel ice cream. Fondy so loved her buttery Gastropod Banana Bread – toasted with Earl Grey syrup and cardamom ice cream – that it actually inspired her to talk about attempting the dish at home.
Service was great – prompt, friendly, and informative as the waiter gave us the lowdown on the upcoming menu change going into effect next Wednesday following Gastropod’s extended D.O.V. hours.
Overall, another generally positive experience. Again, the appetizers weren’t up to par with the mains but, hopefully, that will change with the introduction of some new menu items. My only significant quibble with Gastropod is the restaurant’s annoyingly tight seating. We were seated on the upper level at the back of the restaurant and were practically rubbing shoulders with our neighbors to either side.
On the Stargate front, I’m almost finished my rewrite of Reunion and am, admittedly, a little worried. While the script offers plenty of action, it is primarily a character-driven story. It’ll be interesting to see what kind of notes we receive from the network. The other scripts are coming along nicely. Martin kicks off season 4 with Adrift, continuing the events of the visually stunning season-ender First Strike. Carl’s Lifeline, the big op eppy, is next. Reunion will follow third and then – well, we’re still working that out. On the production schedule, Rob is first up with Doppelganger, a.k.a. N.O.A.S., assuming both writing and directing duties on this one. Alan’s The Seer script is being revised as we speak. And sometime soon, Monday I hear, Paul will have Travelers ready, a gift for all those of the Shep-whumping persuasion.
At lunch today, we did Thai buffet with the rest of the office. Meh. The highlight of the meal was the jar of goose liver pate that Martin brought in for me and that I subsequently shared with the rest of the writing department – or, more specifically, the members of the writing department willing to eat it: Martin, Alex, and myself. A picture-perfect moment presented itself later when Carl tried the 100% cocoa Domori chocolate bar I brought in. Look at him luxuriating in the richness and depth of that pure cocoa flavor.
Okay, whose got something to say…
Anonymous writes: “You’re a pretty interesting guy, you know that?”
Answer: Oh, I’m alright interesting I guess.
Carolina writes: “Joe, you always mention food, but what about what goes with it… drinks… do you have any favorite?”
Answer: To be honest, I’m not much of a drinker – although I do use various liquors in my ice creams (eggnog-flavored Advokaat and the more neutral vanilla-flavored Galliano are especially good in this respect).
Marla writes: “…do like some Chinese food and Japanese food, but can’t eat Indian food. Which is Thai food more like?”
Answer: I’d say it’s close to both Chinese and Indian, but far removed from Japanese.
Page Branson writes: “I look forward to hopefully more anime recs in the future (My personal favs: Read or Die, Battle Angel Alita, Evangelion, Ghost in the Shell:SAC).”
Answer: I’m presently working my way through Fighting Spirit and aim to get back to Full Metal Alchemist which I started before the holidays. My faves: Berserk, Cowboy Bebop, Noir, Evangelion, GTO, Kino’s Journey, Last Exile, Revolutionary Girl Utena, and Samurai Champloo – to name but a few.
PalmerEldritch writes: “Joe, ever read any Philip K. Dick?”
Answer: How did I know you were a Philip K. Dick fan? Yes, I enjoy his work and my writing partner Paul is a particularly big fan. The Eye of the Sybil and Other Classic Stories is sitting on my office scifi shelf, just waiting to be read.
Anonymous #2 writes: “Have you guys considered producing a ‘deleted scenes/bloopers’ DVD?”
Answer: Ivon Bartok, our Special Features producer, and I have put together a deleted footage commentary for the upcoming DVD release. It will include deleted scenes from Morpheus, Memento Mori, and Quest I.
Suz writes: “Will we see Carson Beckett in Season Four. Yes or No?”
Magic 8 Ball says: “Reply still hazy, try again.”
Valerie writes: “Is there any possibility Jonas could come back to the stargate universe?”
Magic 8 Ball says: “Cannot predict now.”