Have you ever sat back watching Iron Chef, marveling over the numerous imaginative dishes, and thought: “Damn! I wish I could find a restaurant that actually served food like this!” Well, Marty G. and I are fortunate enough to have found just such a place. Fuel Restaurant is a little over a year old and yet, in that short time, it has established itself as one of Vancouver’s premiere dining destinations. We love the place and, apparently, the feeling is mutual. Owner/Sommelier Tom Doughty and Owner/Chef Rob Belcham apparently look forward to our semi-regular visits as it gives them the opportunity to test out some of their more adventurous culinary creations
Last night, Martin and I decided to set aside the regular menu and place our fate in the skillful hands of Chef Belcham and his team. “Surprise us,”I suggested. We started with the house-cured prosciutto which was, in Martin’s humble opinion, the best prosciutto he’s ever had. And I find it hard to disagree. The prosciutto’s smokiness was beautifully contrasted by its underlying subtle sweetness, the exquisite pink shavings literally melting in our mouths. Soups followed: the German butter potato and rosemary soup for him, and a lovely duck consommé for me. For our next course, I received the Jeruselam Artichoke Risotto with the house smoked duck. The risotto was wonderful, but that house smoked duck was truly intense and outstanding. Although neither Martin nor I are salad-guys, we did enjoy Martin’s heirloom beetroot and butter lettuce salad thanks in no small part, to the accompanying house-made ricotta, fireweed honey, and lime. Next, they brought out the big guns: a pan-fried foie gras for me, and a foie-gras and duck confit terrine for Martin. “This here is dangerous,”Martin noted as we cross-sampled both dishes. While there was no underestimating the artery-clogging potential of the pan-fried foie gras, the richness of the terrine was deliciously deceptive. Although we were nearing our satiation point, we welcomed the next two dishes: a perfectly poached piece of wild salmon for Martin and two plump scallops in a can’t-get-enough-of-the-stuff salsa verde. Well, that did it. We were stuffed. Martin and I sat back in our chairs, fully satisfied. At which point Tom came over and cleared the candles and bread off the table, “making room” he informed us. There was more. Martin and I exchanged concerned looks as Tom set an enormous knife down. Clearly, there was some serious cutting ahead. Tom ducked back to the kitchen and returned seconds later with the piece de resistance: an incredibly tender stuffed lamb neck served with thinly sliced truffled potatoes cooked in garlic confit and clarified butter. Yes, we were full. And, no, we couldn’t help ourselves. We finished all of the lamb. As they whisked our empty plates away, I warned Martin: “If I’m not in the office by ten a.m. tomorrow, assume I’m dead. Please send someone to the house to take care of the dogs.” And then came dessert – a roasted dolce de leche pound cake with pumpkin confit and cinnamon cocoa sorbet for him, and the Manjari dark chocolate mousse with hazelnuts and salted caramel for me.
“This would be a great place to have a special Stargate dinner,”Martin suggested as our meal (and his wine pairings) wound down. “You should just get a bunch of people from your blog to together during the Creation Con.” Tom and especially Chef Belcham (who, it turns out is a fan of the show) loved the idea. Hey, maybe we can convince him to create a foie gras and duck confit Stargate for the occasion.
I’ll say it again. Another fantastic meal at Fuel. We’ll be back next Wednesday.
What follows is a breakdown of the pics from the memorable evening –
#1: Martin presents the house-cured prosciutto. It was so good that I actually felt sorry for Fondy who was missing out.
#2: Martin shows off the German butter potato and rosemary soup.
#3: While I do the honors for the duck consommé.
#4: Martin marvels over his heirloom beetroot and butter lettuce salad.
#5: I show off the Jeruselam artichoke risotto with the house-smoked duck.
#6: Martin is hypnotized by the duck confit and foie gras terrine.
#7: Hot! Hot! HOT PLATE of foie gras!
#8: Hey, check out Martin’s poached salmon.
#9: Ooooh. Scallops!
#10: Martin shoes off his killer knife skills.
#11: The piece de resistance!
#12: Stuffed lamb neck.
#13: Tom Doughty comes back to make sure we’re still alive.
#14: A coy Martin G. and his dolce de leche pound cake.
#15: The Manjari chocolate mousse with hazelnuts, salted caramel, and fake smile.
Today’s blog is dedicated to Shipperahoy’s puppy Spaz who is recovering from surgery. Get better soon, Spaz!
Aelfgyu writes: “Greyias and I have been discussing Carson’s return. […] We’ve finally worked it out, however. Prepare to be amazed!”
Answer: Brilliantly incorrect, yet amazing nevertheless!
Promogirl writes: “Did the actors pose in any way for it?”
Answer: Nope. The artist worked off various stills.
Erika writes: “Did you listen to Torri’s interview? […] I am not sure if I want her back now considering how you and the rest of The Powers That Be treated her.“
Answer: Let me be clear. Weir’s role was originally envisioned as a parallel to the Hammond role on SG-1. And so, unlike the team, it wasn’t intended that she head off-world every episode. Like it or not, the character of Weir was intended to play a supporting role to that of the team. Still – while Brad was running Atlantis, he was very supportive and protective of the character, working hard to make sure she got her fair share of stories, and to suggest otherwise is not only disingenuous, but a slap in the face to a guy who was the driving force behind episodes like Before I Sleep, The Real World, and The Long Goodbye. The decision to make the change came at the end of season three simply because that’s when we started making plans for season four. No conspiracy. Just simple logic. Finally, as a point of interest, do you know how many actors find out their role on a show has been diminished or done away with? The season wraps, the actor leaves for hiatus, and then his or her contract isn’t picked up. Their agent does the math for them. To many producers, this a much easier and less confrontational way of handling the situation which, obviously, lacks the professional courtesy and respect of a face to face meeting.
Marielabbott writes: “Any chance Weir might be figuring prominently in the mid-season two-parter?”
Charly Kinder a ecrit: “ Je vous souhaite plein de restaurants !”
Answer: Lulu trouve votre Frenchie tres cute.
Padawan Aneiki writes: “Just out of curiosity, what’s your process for selecting the nominees for the BOTM?”
Answer: I just scan my bookshelves and pick out whichever titles catch my interest.
Promogirl writes: “Can you give us an inkling as to the number of episodes we’ll see Amanda in?”
Answer: Carter’s presence on Atlantis in season 5 will be dependent on two things: 1) Amanda’s availability, and 2) The stories we come up.
Tess writes: “Will you or any of the Stargate gang be in attendance at the 2008 San Diego Comic Con?”
Answer: No doubt someone will be there representing the Stargate franchise.
Brendan writes: “So when you were deciding about who was to replace Weir…did you guys honestly think of creating a new character???”
Answer: This possibility was considered early on but quickly dismissed. It was decided that we already had a number of terrific established characters to choose from and, in the end, the Carter character got the nod.
Anne Teldy writes: “Will my namesake be eaten by space cows in “Broken Ties” or are you going to torture me by making me wait for it?”
Answer: Nope, not Broken Ties. Whispers maybe.