The other night (Tuesday December 16th) we went to Hy’s Steakhouse our favorite restaurant in Vancouver. This may seem odd to those of you who know that I do not eat red meat but yes, it is my favorite place to eat in Vancouver. While my food selections are limited the food is great and the service is always good but it the atmosphere that I like the most. While it was cold and windy last night as we walked down Georgia, when we entered the building you could feel the warmth of the main Hy’s dining room and walking down the ramp towards the grill stacked with steaks the temperature went up about 10 degrees. The room was full as usual so make sure that you have a reservation, even on a Tuesday night.
As usual we started with the Cheese Toast for two which never disappoints. Made with Gorgonzola and cheddar it is rich and creamy and a bit greasy and absolutely delicious. The wine list is long, resembling a phone book, and has something for everyone with many good options from BC in all price ranges as well as extensive choices from the U.S., Australia, France, and Italy and smaller lists from other countries such as Portugal, Spain and Argentina. Once we had chosen the wine we ordered the ‘made at your table side’ Caesar salad. While each server has their own techniques and uses the ingredients in slightly different portions the results are always excellent. The dressing has a bit of spiciness to it from the capers, Tabasco and anchovy paste but it is the garlic and especially well chosen Parmesan cheese that give it its flavor. But if you are not a fan of garlic, stay away from the Caesar, I recommend the Beefsteak Tomato salad instead which is my favorite alternative when I do not want to have ‘garlic breath’ for a few days.
My main course choice is always easy – the Scallops and Prawns, a Lobster Tail or the Fresh Fish Selection of the Day. The daily feature was Halibut with a coriander and ginger sauce and since I am not partial to either of those ingredients I went with the Scallops and Prawns. The accompanying wine sauce is delicious. I chose to forgo the side options and opted for just vegetables instead so that I would have room for the shared Gorgonzola Macaroni & Cheese. Usually a great dish with loads of flavor this time the pasta was undercooked and the top a bit dry, a small blip in an otherwise great meal.
Jeff’s main course choice is always more difficult than mine because as a steak lover there are just too many options. Should he have ‘The Only’ because it is always good, or the Gorgonzola Filet for the flavor, or the Prime Rib which he has never tried because his favorite prime rib is at the Keg and he does not want to be disappointed. On this night he chose the Cajun Rib Steak because it is ‘prime rib like’ in its cut and tender like a filet but the marbling of the cut ads a different flavor. The famous Hy’s Cajun Seasoning was rubbed right into the meat. Although the portion was too big at 16 oz, the steak was cooked to a perfect medium and now he can have steak and eggs for breakfast.
We have been to every Hy’s location in Canada. The Whistler location is worth a visit and offers a ‘steakhouse’ atmosphere which is unique to all of the other restaurants in Whistler but expect the menu and wine prices to be slightly higher for the same items. The same is true for Toronto. The old Winnipeg location also had great ambiance but the new one is lacking the same feel. But if you are in Vancouver and have not had a chance to visit the Vancouver location it is worth the trip whether you are a steak lover or not.
Food – GOOD, Service – GREAT, Atmosphere – GREAT