I am back from my weekend in Vancouver, and I wanted to thank the Chowhounds to steering me to some places I wouldn't have found by myself. Here's the overview.
West - We canceled Lumiere to revist this one. As on my first visit, the charcuterie was the real standout. The tasting menu started with a perfect Chicken Liver and Foie Gras Parfait on apple jelly. We sat at a chef's table, which I wouldn't recommend unless you have a strong desire to ogle. The service was warm and professional, excellent execution of difficult things on every level. For the level of work they are doing, this place is a bargain.
Fortune - Chowhound find! Thanks for sending me here. I have not had much dim sum to compare to this, but it was very enjoyable. The menu approach, though a bit less festively novel than carts, does allow for fresher stuff.
Samurai - Chowhound find! We felt like theives after this one. Normally I would be afraid of a sushi place with 99 cents on the price list, but this was great. They do not have the perfect presentation of tonier places, but I would sacrifice perfect beauty for fresh, tasty, fast and cheap. (I think an ex said the same about me once.)
Rasputin - A russian place recommended by a Seattle friend. Not bad, but I wouldn't go out of my way for it again. They seem to be exacting revenge on the invading French dictator by serving a pile of sweetened crisco and calling it a Napoleon.
Bacchus in the Wedgewood - I'd love to curl up here and read a whole novel. It's elegantly comfy.
Provence - Nice, simple grilled squid at the bar,and an indulgant Croque Monsieur eggs benedict for breakfast the next morning. Good, but no fireworks.
Blue Water Cafe - We stopped in to try the sushi since we thought we might expect great things from a restaurant associated with West. The service staff here could learn from the quiet dignity of their colleagues. Our server spent the entire meal telling us what a fantastic experience we were having. He listed accolades the restaurant had received and ones they expected to recieve in the future. He took every opportunity to educate us on points of cuisine that, to my mind, were not necessary to mention. When we ordered sake he made sure to point out that they only served the finest sake, and therefore we should not expect it to be served hot. He spent altogeher too much energy on hype. We ordered the Stamina roll, which he confidently told us was the best sushi we would ever have. It was fine, a little bland. He also LIED to us about the smoked salmon being smoked in house. When I walked past the sushi chef I noticed him pulling the salmon out of a mass produced package. It was fine and all, but not worth the hype and cendescension.
Thanks again for the recommendations.