Over on 4th, in the spot once occupied by one of my favorite Vancouver restaurants, Refuel (and my absolute favorite Vancouver restaurant, Fuel, before that), a new restaurant has opened its doors. Almost. The official opening is apparently a couple of weeks off, but lunches and dinners are being served as part of Fable’s soft opening. Given my disdain for waiting, I decided to go ahead and check it out last night, ever-mindful that the place was probablyy still in the process of working out a few kinks. Sure enough, there were a few hiccups over the course of our meal but, overall, Fable shows great promise.
The restaurant is the brainchild of Trevor Bird, one of the three remaining chefs competing in this season’s Top Chef Canada finale. Its farm to table concept (Farm + Table = Fable. Get it?) is reflected in a menu highlighting local, seasonal ingredients. Joining Trevor in kitchen is fellow Top Chef competitor Curtis Luk, the master of the macaron, an avowed Stargate fan who dropped by this blog last month to set the record straight (April 22, 2012: Beta 5! A Top Chef contestant checks in! Switching over from horror to mini-series mode!).
The room has been transformed but there are still recognizable elements that made me nostalgic for Refuel. The wait and kitchen staff, however, are all new.
We walked in and were promptly greeted by Trevor who was overseeing the action (and, on this night, the kitchen would see a lot of it). After perusing the menu, we elected to leave our respective foodie fates in the hands of the head chef by going with the seven course Chef’s Tasting Menu. Trevor swung by the table to discuss any food issues we might have (allergies, vegetarianism, and other similar illnesses). We informed him he had carte blanche – with one request. We had to try Curtis’s famed macarons for dessert.
Our server was pleasant and informative, checking in on us throughout the meal without being intrusive. That said, there were a couple of – well, I hesitate to call them snafus. They were more odd choices. For instance, we ordered bottle water for the table and received two – one for each of us.
Ultimately, not a big deal because Akemi and I like to stay hydrated through our dinners, but certainly unexpected.
On to the meal:
I asked the waiter about dessert and he told me we would be having the bread pudding along with the macarons (as per our request). After confirming that we would be served two dishes (a bread pudding and a macaron plate), I went ahead and ordered two extra desserts I’d been eyeing: the lemon pot de creme and the flourless chocolate cake. Moments later, our next course arrived: TWO servings of bread puddings. Fortunately, I’m a professional when it comes to eating desserts…
As I said, Fable is still a week or two away from its official opening so I’m sure that it’s still in the process of testing, refining, and perfecting. If I was in charge of fine-tuning, I’d double-check the seasoning, swap out the flat iron cut for a sexier cut, lose that white chocolate ganache and, in the unfortunate event one of my servers broke a glass, I’d make sure he apologized to the neighboring table (not us on this night).
Overall though, this restaurant holds a lot of promise. I look forward to checking out its lunch offerings sometime next week. After Trevor, no doubt, wins the Top Chef title.