r.tl (Regional Tasting Lounge, Yaletown)
You may recall that a couple of weeks ago, we had the uber-successful Twestival Vancouver, the third in a row that my good friend Rebecca Bollwitt organized. As you may recall, I sponsored two silent auction items: one was an evening with me for dinner and a theatrical performance
For those of you curious about the other one, it is a three-hour workshop on strategy alignment. I was lucky and grateful that both The Arts Club and r.tl (Regional Tasting Lounge) were willing and able to partner with me to offer a great silent auction item.
The successful bidder on the evening with me for dinner and a show was Jason Sanders, who joined me this past Friday at Regional Tasting Lounge (r.tl). I had never been to r.tl, but was really looking forward to it because, when I first contacted Danica Jeffery (their PR), I was informed about what Regional Tasting Lounge was about, and it sounded like it would be a fantastic restaurant to try out.
I had never heard of a restaurant that changed their menu every 3-4 months with different countries’ cuisines as the themes. r.tl has (from what I learned this past Friday night) gone already through French, Greek and Italian cuisines. We were greeted by Alain Canuel (the General Manager/Sommelier of r.tl), who suggested we try a few dishes and pair them up with a few cocktails.
Or wine, whichever we preferred. I’ll be very honest in saying that, given a choice between wine paired with my food or cocktails, I’ll always go for the cocktails. And the ones that Matt Martin (the mixologist of r.tl) prepared for us were both delicious AND lethal. I am actually surprised I was able to walk in a straight line after dinner, to be honest.
I was really excited to take a lot of photos of our food but my iPhone photos don’t make justice to the food we had at r.tl, quite frankly. We started with an olives platter followed by a ceviche platter ($16). For those of you interested, ceviche‘s origin is presumably South American, but you’ll always have it amongst some of the favorite dishes of Mexican palates. My brothers, parents and I love ceviche!
Since we had to make it to Paradise Garden at the Stanley Theatre, we told Darryl Crumb (Executive Chef of r.tl) we really needed to be out the door by 7:30pm at the latest, we chose our dinner dishes and a quick intermission (dungeness crab & prawn cakes, $15). I ordered the 8oz beef tenderloin with chimichurri spice, chipotle butter, warm potato and herbs salad ($29, though I felt guilty: I ordered it well done).
Jason chose pan roasted cornish hen breast & leg with hot sausage, caramelized lime with pan gravy ($22). I am quite used to Argentinian-inspired steak, so I really enjoyed this version of beef tenderloin (the chimichurri may not have been quite Argentinian, but Darryl made this steak amazingly flavourful. The cornish hen breast was also really good, although I prefer stronger flavors myself. The dungeness crab cakes were delicious as well, although by then I had very little space in my stomach! We shared a custard for dessert that was delicate and fresh.
The drinks, you ask? Well, I started off with a San Sebastián (brandy, sherry, cointreau, organic apple & lemon juices sparkling, orange bitters, orange zest, $11), moved on to a Pistachio Sour (grappa, sherry, pistachio paste, lime juice, orange blossom water, egg white, half salted rim, $12) and finalized with a Va Va Voom (vanilla vodka, saffron syrup, peach liqueur, passion fruit, organic apple, lemon juice, egg white, $10). Of them all, I think the one I prefer is the Va Va Voom and then the San Sebastián. I paired the first one with dessert, otherwise I feel the flavours would have clashed. I loved coming to r.tl for dinner and drinks.
But I would have just as easily come just for the drinks or just for the dinner! I want to thank r.tl staff, PR and owners for partnering with me to sponsor this silent auction item, and Jason for bidding. I would hope I’m good company for an evening out! And the photo below is what our dinner would have looked like if I were a professional photographer and had a better camera than my iPhone camera!
You can find r.tl on Twitter as @rtlyaletown. r.tl also has an iPhone app, where you can check the menu, tell your friends and find about special deals!
Disclosure: Our dinner and drinks (Jason and mine) at r.tl were complimentary courtesy of r.tl Regional Tasting Lounge, as a contribution on their part to the success of the charitable fundraiser Vancouver Twestival. I wasn’t paid to write this review, nor was I required to do so either. In any review I write or publish on my site, I retain editorial control at all times. Should you have any questions/concern feel free to contact me via e-mail through my contact form.