Forty Years of Tradition
I find it hard to believe that O’Doul’s Restaurant has been open on Robson Street for 40 years given the modern décor, great service and amazing food. However, after reading their website I found out that it has been ‘reincarnated’ multiple times with the last being in 1996 to the current fine dining, wine bar and jazz establishment that it is today.
Food & Wine
Executive Chef Chris Whittaker has created a West Coast menu using local fish and shellfish, locally farmed chicken and duck, Pemberton potatoes and BC artisan cheeses. He is committed to local suppliers and to sourcing ethically produced goods that are local and organic whenever possible. The wine list features both old and new world wines and suggested wine pairings include some great BC favorites. In my opinion the best way to enjoy both the menu and the wines is with the Three Course Menu that is featured daily and changes every week or two. We have now been to O’Doul’s three times and I have chosen this option all three times. The menu changes on a regular basis so if you want to know what is being offered you will need to call before you go.
Three Course Menu
The menu offers your choice of appetizer and entrée and the chef’s choice of dessert. On this visit there were four appetizer and three entrees to choose from and at a table of seven, six of us chose to have the three course menu while one (Jeff) went al la carte. Appetizers included a soup, a salad, oysters and a Diver scallop. The scallop was cooked to a perfect medium and served cubes of blue cheese panacotta – unique and delicious. Entrée choices included wild salmon, a steak option and a Wild Mushroom Ravioli with BC Spot Prawns. What ever method the Chef used to prep the prawns for storage (since they must have been bought in May) was truly amazing because they tasted just like the ones we bought off the boat and brought straight home. The ravioli was stuffed full of very tasty wild mushrooms and served with a light cream sauce, more mushrooms and yummy pea shoots. Jeff ordered off the regular menu and chose the Dungeness Crab and Pacific Shrimp Cake served with a mustard puree and also with yummy pea shoots (which I ate). For dinner he had the Maple cured BC Sablefish which was served in a tasty broth with buttered nut squash dumplings. All delicious. And while the broth did not quite match our favorite soy and ginger marinated sablefish with dashi broth served at La Rua in Whistler it was pretty close.
The key to the three course menu is the great value. The menu is available for $45 which is a great price for what you get. If you choose to include the suggested wine pairings (which of course I did) the price is $69 which is also a great value. The wines are from BC and paired with each individual menu item. The pours are a good size (the same size as the regular wine glass) which I am guessing is 6oz and you get to try some wines that would not otherwise normally be available by the glass. My favorite was the Sandhill Small Lots Sangiovese paired with the ravioli.
To top it all off the service was great! We were a table of seven, so a decent group but not a large party by any means and the restaurant was about half full but Lucas our server was terrific and his assistant was very attentive as well. What looked to be a manager was also making rounds of the restaurant watching over the service and the food. Live jazz starts nightly at 8pm. On the weekends it is a band which can be a bit loud for talking but during the week it is a soloist which was perfect for visiting with friends.
As you can see we have absolutely nothing bad to say and O’Doul’s has now become one of our favorites in Vancouver.