The Raincity Grill
1193 Denman Street (near davie)
The Raincity Grill opened in 1992 and ever since has been bringing us delectable inventions while promoting a smaller impact on the environment and an increased support of the local community. The raincity is most certainly upscale and only creates meals with local seasonal ingredients (by local, I mean mainly, British Columbia). The Raincity menu focuses on seafood, game, poultry, and organic vegetables. Yes, their ideas are good in theory…but is it worth the price? Yes and no. The food and service are both warm and wonderfully outstanding — but I tend to go when they are having prix fixe specials — dine out, early bird dinners, and the like. I have no qualms about paying a discounted price of $20 for their amazing butternut squash soup and the dream worthy pork tenderloin served on a bed of risotto. But I, like many others, cannot always afford to drop $40+ on a meal.
If I could afford it – I would go weekly. That’s some of the fun in local seasonal — the menu changes are frequent and a good way to learn about where you live. Canada’s asparagus season comes a month or so later than it does in the US – and one can learn to live without mangoes and bananas. Halibut is year-round in the pacific northwest; as is romaine. Butternut squash soup also appears frequently on the menu.
The soup (pictured) is a wonderfully thick concoction that is served with…no, that’s not mould, but a gentle pairing of thyme emulsion and chive oil. As you can see – the Raincity is no slouch in the presentation department.
I’ve also been privileged enough to try the Salmon — to be more precise, the Johnston Straight Silverbrite salmon which was served with chorizo, turnip, rutabaga and lentils. I also grabbed a bit of the Cornish Game Hen — I didn’t order it myself, becaue I’ve always viewed the game hen as merely a rich person’s chicken dinner. But this roasted hen served with green parsley oatmeal was, simply put, amazing.
And the last thing I tried was the mushroom linguini — I tend not to order things at restaurants that I could make myself at home for a fraction of the cost. But there is no way in a million years I could have made this. The linguini is the best meal I have had out in a looooong time – and the very best thing I’ve eaten at the Raincity. This was not just mushroom linguini — this dish was what God must order when he goes out to eat. He says “I’ll have the linguini — with mushroom ragout, braised onions, chervil beurre blanc, and thyme cream”. And then he takes it out onto the small patio and eats his linguini while overlooking the sunset at english bay.
Though I have not yet been to the Raincity for brunch – the menu looks lovely and if I was ever awake in time I could certainly go for a lamb sausage omelette or brioche french toast with pear and mascarpone.
Aaaaahhh the Raincity – lovely upscale local dinning with a conscience.
Open: for dinner beginning at 5pm, lunch occurs 11.30-2.30 monday to friday. Brunch is available on the weekends from 10.30-2.30
Reservations are always recommended.
Parking: They have a valet in the evenings.
Special Bonus: The Raincity usually has a takeout window rocking. You can swing by and for a mere $10 pick up an environmentally friendly cardboard box stuffed with mouth watering deep fried halibut, crispy steakfries, and coleslaw. They’ll also throw in a bottle of local mineral water and some wooden cutlery. It’s perfect to take across the street to enjoy on the beach.
I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I
Ella Fitzgerald – The best of the songbooks
Barbara Kingsolver – Animal, vegetable, miracle
Not too preachy, this book is a great way to learn more about the importance of sustaining one’s self and community through not just eating but living locally.