Restaurants & Bars

Atlantic Canada

Disappointment at Lumiere

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Disappointment at Lumiere

Reece | Feb 11, 2003 02:42 PM

I just returned to San Francisco from Vancouver and the only disappointing part of the trip was dinner at Lumiere. It began with the absurd corkage fee of $75, in view of their narrow, questionable, and overpriced wine list. One Barolo, not a single Brunello, one Spanish wine, and a totally unimaginative list of the most popular cabs from Napa. I'll leave out the details, but take a look at Gary Danko's wine list to see what this sort of restaurant should stock if they're pretending to this status. The food was completely one-dimensional and, dare I even say, bland. The "ahi tuna sashimi" second course was watery and utterly lacking flavour. The sablefish course was overpowered by ginger, tasted like something I'd cook up for lunch at home on a good day -- enjoyable but nowhere near the kind of sublime experience you'd expect from one of the best restaurants in a major food city. Sadly, not a single course was memorable. The service is a stuffy caricature of the real thing. Although the staff were timely and thorough as one would expect, they were utterly obnoxious and the couples to both sides of us were noticeably annoyed by their pretentious manner. The all-black get-ups are laughably passe as well. Somewhere in between splitting microscopic slices of mediocre Canadian hard cheeses and cringing while our waitress pronounced bourgogne as "bourgoine" to a French couple at the next table, we realized we had been suckered. Having been to Tojo's and the Farmer's Market on Granville Island, Vancouver clearly has good taste and prime ingredients -- we're trying to figure out why Lumiere is unanimously elected the city's best restaurant.

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