Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Charlie's Restaurant & Bar - Desserts

Restaurant: Charlie’s Bar & Restaurant

Cuisine: Pizza/Mediterranean/Italian
Last visited: March 9, 2010
Area: Vancouver, BC (Yaletown/Downtown)
1265 Hamilton Street
Price Range

1: Poor 2: OK 3: Good 4: Very good 5: Excellent 6: Tres Excellent!!

Food: 4
Service: n/a
(Media dinner)
Ambiance: 5
Overall: 3.5
(Food is generally good, but just not worth it)
Additional comments:

  • Chef Brian Ritchot
  • Chef from Montreal, one from Spain
  • DJ’s/live music on weekends
  • Contemporary, sleek, posh atmosphere
  • Great for drinks, appies
  • Specializes in gourmet pizzas
  • Mediterranean/Italian options
  • Longue like atmosphere
  • One large projection screen TV
  • Open late
  • Pizzas available for take out
  • Dinner service only

**Recommendation: Short Rib Pizza, prosciutto di Parma 18 Month, Duck Pizza, Banoffee Pie

I was invited to a media dinner at Charlie’s Bar & Restaurant so the food served this evening was complimentary. However there were no expectations from Charlie’s Bar & Restaurant and the review represents my true and honest opinions.

This review focuses on the dessert for the evening. All the desserts are made in house from scratch which I really appreciate it…and quite frankly expect from a restaurant like this. However I don’t think any dessert here should exceed $8-9 because I’d be paying the same for desserts at slightly more expensive restaurants like Lupo Restaurant + Vinoteca down the street.

I get confused between Charlie’s Restaurant and Bar being a gourmet pizza place and being a finer Mediterranean restaurant. The desserts got me more confused…some are traditional British and some seem more French...but it's a Mediterranean/Italian/Pizza place...right?...regardless I’ll tell you what’s good…

The dinner & drink portion of the review.

On the table:

Chocolate Ganache 2/6

  • Pistachio, chocolate wafer and mint sorbet $11
  • A bit unusual to see at a restaurant/bar serving gourmet pizzas. It was a bit refined for the style and I couldn’t figure out how it fit in.
  • The dessert was quite good and basically a twist on mint chocolate ice cream. It was a deconstructed version with gourmet execution.
  • It was very rich dark chocolate ganache slices sprinkled with cocoa powder and topped with thin dark chocolate wafers.
  • There was some pistachio and skor graham cracker crumbles around the plate that aided in the presentation rather than the flavour.
  • The mint sorbet was refreshing but bitter. The after taste was significantly bitter.
  • I wouldn’t want the whole thing to myself, but I’m not a big fan of chocolate mint ice cream. 1-2 of the small squares is enough.
  • $11 for this portion I would feel ripped off…but apparently they usually serve it with another piece. (The size of the biggest one in the photo)

Banoffee Pie 4.5/6

  • Banana, dry caramel and coconut ice cream $10
  • I really liked this! You don’t see this traditional British dessert served at many places so I enjoyed it here.
  • I loved how they served it with coconut ice cream. A gourmet twist on traditional pub food…wait is Charlie’s a pub now?
  • I don’t think the tart shell was made in house, but I’m not sure. It was a crumbly shortbread like cookie crust, but it didn’t taste homemade. It was filled with bananas, dry caramel and topped with cream.
  • The “dry caramel” tastes like dulche de leche – it was like caramelized condensed milk and very thick.
  • It was creamy and very sweet with lots of caramel so I'm glad there was ice cream to break it up.
  • It was served with 3 warm caramelized bananas.
  • I'd pay $10 for it, but I still think it's reaching a bit. Especially since most people would be use to seeing it at pubs for half the price. I did like it more than the chocolate ganache.

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