A group of media were invited to settle in for cocktails, conversation, and a Fall menu tasting earlier this week at Loft at Earl’s Yaletown as chefs Dawn Doucette and David Wong gave us the lowdown on the inspiration and preparation behind our multi-course dinner.
[Tuna sushi cones]
Gorgeous renovations have turned Earl’s Yaletown into a sleek, yet cozy lounge with an adjacent dining room.
Clean white brick, exposed wood beams, leather banquettes, Dutch design firm du jour Moooi’s black horse in corner, simple wall lighting, neon sign at entrance, all evoking a warm, welcome atmosphere with the bar as focal point of the room, dividing lounge and dining spaces.
[Bees Knees: Hendricks gin, Cointreau, honey, fresh lemon, Angostura bitters]
[Earl’s Signature Caesar: Smirnoff vodka, clamato, signature spices]
[Cabin Fever: Crown Royal, tawny port, ginger, pineapple, fresh lemon, spiced bitters]
We began with tuna sushi cones and tuna tostadas, both on Earl’s appetizer menu. Lots of flavour and fresh ingredients packed into both dishes, perfect for sipping with a glass of white wine or one of several hand-crafted cocktails on the drinks menu.
Each Earl’s restaurant works with a local craft brewer; in this neck of the woods, that honour goes to Whistler Brewing.
[Salmon salad, Szechuan lime glaze, with soba noodles, zucchini, carrots, red pearl onions]
Earl’s salmon salad has a moist, delicate, slow-baked salmon portion containing a Szechuan lime glaze, served with soba noodles, zucchini, carrots, and red pearl onions tossed in a tamarind dressing, with a cilantro yogurt swirl perfect for dipping. The crust is divine as is the glaze.
Chef Dawn Doucette came to our table to describe our next dish: Spatchcock chicken. The chicken is brined, then marinated in fish sauce, herbed, and cooked to order, seasoned in a lemongrass glaze.
[Spatchcock chicken, lemongrass glaze, Thai peanut sauce, julienne vegetables]
On the side is a spicy, aromatically-seasoned julienne salad with some thick, gorgeous Thai peanut sauce, and house-made naan bread.
[Earl’s gourmet burger, falafel burger with baba ganoush, homemade hummus, feta cheese]
A couple of burgers are also part of Earl’s fall menu, one for vegetarians, another for meat lovers. The falafel burger comes with baba ganoush, homemade hummus, and feta cheese, while the hefty gourmet burger is packed with mushroom jam, tomato, shaved lettuce, onions, bacon, and in-house smoked cheddar cheese.
[Spring Creek Ranch Sirloin, asparagus, peppered frites]
Northern Alberta’s Spring Creek Ranch provides a tender sirloin cut to pair with grated-cheese topped asparagus. Frites are a side option and complete the trio together with the tender beef and al dente asparagus.
Chef David Wong’s the new kid at Earl’s Test Kitchen: he’s been at Earl’s for six months, worked previously as chef at the Fairmont Pacific Rim, and taught at Vancouver Community College’s culinary department.
Our bountiful meal was capped off with a hazelnut bar with feuilletine bottom, finished with Maldon salt, dehydrated oranges, salted caramel sauce, and a small scoop of vanilla bean gelato.
[Hazelnut bar, salted caramel sauce, dehydrated orange, Maldon salt, vanilla bean gelato]
As Chef Wong says, a dark chocolate dessert doesn’t seem complete without Maldon salt. Agreed.
[Earl’s Test Kitchen chefs Nick, David Wong, Andrew Hounlsow, Bowen Lansdell]
Earl’s offers globally-inspired and seasoned dishes for all tastes. I can see coming here and having all my fellow diners at the table finding an entrée to suit what they’re after in a meal, from Asian to Mediterranean.
And according to their marketing team, each Earl’s highlights their region’s best products throughout the year.
Dining at Earl’s Loft Yaletown is a beautiful thing, even though things Can Get Messy. The Loft at Earl’s Yaletown is located upstairs from Earl’s at 1095 Mainland Street. The space is available for private events as well as being open to the public on Friday and Saturday nights. Earl’s Yaletown is open for lunch, dinner, and weekend brunch.