Lifestyle & Parenting

Blacktail Florist

April 4, 2014

Don’t go to Blacktail Florist looking for a spring arrangement. For food made from the best B.C. has to offer, however, this Gastown eatery should be your next dining destination.

roocuke

Designed by Craig Stanghetta (Homer St Café, The Acorn) the restaurant’s second-floor space is cleanly cosy in a white cedar-y, Scandinavian sort of way. You know, lit warmly and decorated with the type of ferny underbrush spotted on your weekend hike. As for the menu, an extremely localized focus has chef Jimmy Stewart drawing on provincially grown ingredients, with an entirely regional wine list ensuring both drink and food spring from the same soil and are thereby spiritually in-sync.

A starter of mushroom caps topped with cured duck ($4) perfectly matched the savoury meatiness of both, while cucumbers filled with verbena cream and slivers of crispy pig’s ear ($2) were refreshing and pretty. Salmon belly topped with pop-rocks ($3.50) was gimmicky in accordance to the rule of all things topped with pop-rocks, but the pork hock sandwich ($2.50) evoked Montreal smoked meat admirably.

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A generously portioned earl-grey braised bison brisket ($14) melted all over its accompanying chard and demonstrated that Blacktail Florist has triumphed in uniting herbivore vibes with carnivore tastes. Halibut cheeks ($14) were perfectly cooked but, despite pillowy dumplings, a poached-egg gnocchi dish ($12) suffered a soupy execution (and was arbitrarily filed on the menu under “meat”).

One of the most charming things about Blacktail Florist (aside from huge windows set to be thrown open on summer evenings, making it the romantic date ticket of the season) is Stewart’s dedication to cohesion. Dessert was a sublime cinnamon chocolate parfait (more of a semifreddo, really) with goat-milk rice pudding ($9), and the bees responsible for the accompanying honey drizzle also pollinated the same rice used in the pudding. Or maybe the chef rode the goat to work that morning? Anyway, there was a pleasing synchronicity, and it was lovely.

dessertfawn 2

Botany and gastronomy align to mutual benefit in this creative and beautiful new restaurant. —Adrienne Matei

Blacktail Florist, 200-332 Water Street, Vancouver, 604-699-0249, http://blacktailflorist.ca

Can’t wait to taste? Try Blacktail bar manager Connor Gotowiec’s recipe for the Fawn—a sparkling wine cocktail enlivened with sweet blackberry syrup that makes us think of Baz Luhrmann setting the Gatsby party scene in the heart of Stanley Park:

ingredients:

15 ml Beefeater gin

30 ml Dubonnet 

20 ml Homemade blackberry syrup (2 lbs fresh blackberries, 5 cups sugar, 5 cups water)

Sparkling wine

syrup directions: Over low/medium heat, add blackberries to a medium sized pot. Allow berries to reduce. When berries turn slightly pale in colour, strain pulp through a sieve. Reserve blackberry reduction (approximately 2 cups). Discard pulp. In a separate pot, bring 5 cups of water to a light boil and gradually add 5 cups of sugar, allowing it to dissolve. Once sugar is dissolved, set aside to cool. Add blackberry reduction and stir until thoroughly mixed.

drink directions: Mix all ingredients together in a shaker with ice. Shake vigorously and fine strain into a champagne flute or coupe. Top with sparkling wine. 

 

The Blacktail Florist on Urbanspoon

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