I’m fairly ruthless about restaurants. I don’t like bad eating-out experiences and I don’t go back. Well, not for a long time, anyway.
I had a bad experience the first time I went to the Raincity Grill about five years ago. I don’t even remember the details now, though I think it was a service deficiency. But I saw no need to return. There is an abundance of good restaurants to choose from.
Then last year I won a gift certificate for dinner there. I kept it around for almost a year and finally decided if I was going to go there at all a summer evening in late August would make sense. The patio overlooks English Bay, so at least I would get a good view. I invited my friend Q to join me, promising her only a free dinner with no guarantees beyond that.
Quintessential Vancouver dining experience? Yes. A patio table on a summer evening. View of English Bay. Lively throngs of people in the streets. The most exquisite food, artfully arranged. Local food with intense flavours. The most thoughtfully chosen wine and food pairings I have ever had. And the ideal server. Mark is his name and he completely wiped out any lingering memory of that last time. I don’t know if I have ever had such a good server. He seemed like a gracious friend, keen to share his knowledge of the food and wine but not overly precious about it, not obtrusive, but there when he was needed.
So now I will go back, even without the gift certificate.