Saturday, March 21, 2009

Almost Downtown Dining Week at The Copper Pot

Zed and I were debating about whether or not to participate in the Downtown Dining Week put on by the Downtown Business Association - the event was poorly planned and advertised, and at $50 a head the evening could get expensive. However, seeing that The Copper Pot was on the list of participants, we decided to give it a try last Saturday evening.

We arrived at the restaurant slightly after our 7:30pm reservation, as we had forgotten to take into account the LRT testing going on that evening as well as the Oiler's Fans heading to the game. At any rate the host greeted us at the entrance, hung our jackets, and seated us at a semi-circular booth facing Ezio Farone Park and the River Valley, with views of the Legislature still available to our left. We were provided with both the Downtown Dining Week menu (as they had noted from our online reservation) as well as the regular menu.

Our server quickly appeared with water, bread and information about the evening's feature - duck two ways: confit and a seared breast, served with risotto and Swiss chard - then left us for a few moments with the wine list. We both ended up with a glass of white, Zed with one from France, and me with one from the Okanagan.

As we compared the DDW menu with the regular one, we began to feel slightly limited, and unlike Original Fare's Fork Fest deal of $35 for a three course dinner, we both agreed the $50 offer would not put us any further ahead. So in the end we decided to share an appetizer of the calamari, Zed ordered the NY steak and I went for the featured duck dish.

Our wait in between placing our order and receiving our food was slightly lengthy, but we appreciated the server stopping in between to let us know what was happening (this occured between each of our courses). Either way, our calamari arrived crispy and hot, served with some home made tzatiki. While we agreed it wasn't quite as good a Culina's version with the coconut curry sauce, it was still an enjoyable way to begin the meal.

After a bit of a delay, our mains arrived - Zed's steak looked great, perched upon some mashed potatoes, carrots and asparagus. A "good steak" seems to be Zed's staple when it's available, and he found this one to be better than many he's had in the City, cooked perfectly to the requested medium rare. Although the steak looked great, the smell of the duck confit dominated the table - this was my first experience with duck, and I was glad that the taste lived up to the wonderful smell. The accompanying risotto was smooth and creamy, although I found it slightly salty; the Swiss chard was the perfect pairing, still slightly bitter with a bit of crunch.

Zed's Steak (taken with the flash by mistake)

The featured "Duck Two Ways"

We were especially glad once arriving at the dessert menu that we had foregone our plans of Downtown Dining Week... as soon as our server said Maple Syrup crème brûlée, Zed was hooked, and so we ended up with a trio of crème brûlée that included vanilla and Earl Grey as well as the maple syrup. Dessert was as good as it sounded. I ended up enjoying the Earl Grey the most (the tea was a nice strong flavor through the custard), while Zed, as expected, went straight to the maple syrup.

Trio of crème brûlée

Our trip to The Copper Pot was definitely a success - the host and server were great, stopping by to re-fill water and inquiring about our food just the right amount, and although we had to wait a bit between each course, in the end, we didn't feel it had affected the evening in any negative way. Mostly though, we were both relieved to find that the food lived up to the view... two for one is far better.

The Copper Pot Restaurant
Capital Place
101, 9707 110 Street

**I'm sorry the pictures are so strange - I forgot to turn the flash off when taking the photo of Zed's plate, and after that I hurried to put the camera away. The others didn't turn out... I'm blaming the mood lighting...


Chris said...

Your pictures are totally fine, but I feel your concern. I'm no camera expert, nor do I have a nice camera so I'm usually in the same battle of light vs. quality. I laughed when you mention quickly tucking the camera away. :)

Branching out already and going for duck eh! Looks like a solid meal.

Isabelle said...

Thanks for the review! That's really good to know, since I had read a few negative comments about Copper Pot on Chowhound. I've never ordered duck in a restaurant but it sounds delicious ... and Earl Grey creme brulee ... yum!

Court said...

I've never been to Copper Pot before, but it sounds like a decent choice for a fancy night out. I love duck and creme brulee! I have the same issue with pictures in rooms with "mood lighting." No flash = blurry pictures when it is dark.