A lesson in creating and enjoying a mindful indulgent experience.
What is mindful indulgence? We believe mindful indulgence to be an opportunity to open the full capacity of your senses through the dining experience. There is so much beauty within the nuances of a restaurant that sometimes go overlooked. When is the last time you thought about how the way the atmosphere of a restaurant makes you feel? Or truly appreciated the small details such as the plates and cutlery? This year we seek to champion this state of mind, and to help you discover the enchanting world that awaits when you awaken your sensibilities. On the food end, we encourage you to think about the healthiest menu options available. It's important to recognize that the diner is always in control of the decisions he or she makes on ingesting—even if a menu seems impossible to accommodate your dietary needs. We hope to demonstrate this through an on-going effort that, with a bit of notice, even the most exacting of kitchens will welcome your restrictions with a kind heart
A grand private booth was set, creating an intimate dining experience for two. Views of the beautiful streetscape glistening through the large-scale windows on the left, and to the right, the bustle of the upper floor of the restaurant, lit by cascading geometrical, pale golden lights. Crisp white table cloths and luxurious surrounds lending for not only a feeling of a special experience forthcoming, but the desire to linger over each dish, in conversation. And so often, gathering over delicious plates is reason enough for a reservation out, but for this evening, we took time as it was, to appreciate the intermingling of the five senses in a wonderful new way.
After a re-fresh in the new year (see previous article for more details) there was a desire to re-think and to create a different experience within the realm of dining this year. So often, due to health choices, or perhaps dietary restrictions, a restaurant may be overlooked. But so often, with a little contact beforehand, consideration and accommodations may be made to the menu selections.
In this case, there was to be a great focus on the beautiful seafood and beef, and as (now) more thoughtful diners, we so looked forward to enjoying the many aspects of the restaurant experience. Certainly famed for its steak, Black+Blue prizes itself in its particular cuts of meat, and upon entering, the custom made meat locker (for dry-aging) instantly created a feeling of connectivity with the plate; an appreciation for every bite that was consumed.
What could have not been predicted was that well-respected Chef Josh Wolfe would be such a part of the dining experience that evening. Beyond his talent lies a great deal of passion for people, and a delight in the exchange of meaningful conversation. Tonight was no exception. And incredibly warm and hospitable as the entire staff was that we encountered, so was Chef.
To start, we focused on raw flavours, beginning with a selection of 6 Kushi oysters—sourced from Baynes Sound, B.C). To follow, was the Jumbo Tiger Prawn cocktail and Seared Tuna Jalapeño—both of which, were lovely and so fresh in flavour. We also ordered the Wagyu Beef Carpaccio (without parmesan), and were incredibly delighted with the off-menu creation consisting of tataki style Japanese Wagyu, decadent Italian black truffles and truly divine Northern Divine caviar. Throughout the service, our waiter was kind enough to offer some beautiful suggestions for wine to go along with our dishes, which certainly added to the progression.
Shortly after, came out the Beef Tenderloin (the leanest cut of meat)—but rather than mashed potatoes, we enjoyed a selection of more seasonal vegetables to go along with the beef—along with Twin Lobster Tails (sans the bérnaise sauce). And after such decadence, not a thought was given to anything perhaps seen as “missed” but rather, greater focus was found within the flavours of meat, the vegetables, the additions that made an outstanding and delicious plate. And to finish, rather than a classic dessert, we set our desire towards a wonderful Black + Blueberry martini and an elegant glass of champagne. In every right, the evening felt like a tailored experience. Hours had gone by, but was was brought along with us was an incredibly satisfied palate, full minds and hearts. And we very much look forward to our next reservation.