Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Farmer's Apprentice

The concept of "Farm-to-Table" has been a newly popular restaurant concept sweeping through numerous major cities across North America. In this type of restaurant, owners partner with local producers in delivering the freshest ingredients possible for everyday dining. Therefore, the menus are often different everyday depending on availability. I had the chance to visit Farmer's Apprentice, a 20-seats Farm-to-Table restaurant located just outside of Downtown Vancouver. Due to its limited seating capacity and fewer demands, the cooks in the restaurant also serves as servers, presenting their product elegantly to the guests. As we sat down, I immediately felt a sense of being in a summer garden though it was winter at the time. 

The furnitures and decorations all pertained to the theme of local farm-style and freshness.

The owner handed us today's menu and told us about the portion sizes. At Farmer's Apprentice, all dishes are meant to be shared instead and served at random orders, depending on the time it takes to prepare. This was very different from traditional restaurants where people order individual dishes for entreés. 

The adorable classic metal cup.

To "start', we ordered the kale, fermented walnut, buratta and celeriac. No short names were given for all the dishes, and ingredients were listed instead. The kale was lightly sauteéd and bathed in vinegar, along with sautéed cabbage, etc. This was the first time I've tried kale prepared like this, and it actually blended quite well with the other ingredients. 

 Today's special: pig bone marrow, with mini toasts on bottom.

When the owner quickly went over today's specials, this dish was the only one that got stuck in my mind. As an adventurous eater, we were curious of the taste. Frankly the marrow did not have much taste to it, but the caramelized onion and sauce added flavor to the overall dish. 

poached pear, cake, caramel gelato, vanilla ice cream.

The dessert looked like a piece of art, a little big too beautiful to eat. A spoonful of pear with gelato and cake gave a combined sensation of warm, cold, and soft at the same time. 

The restaurant did not really have a culture association - not French, German or American. However, it was unique from the service style, interior design to its food. I especially loved the sharing concept since I believe that good food are meant to be shared, and Farmer's Apprentice has utilized the idea through its artistic dishes. 

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