If my special one were a spoon, and I were a dish, I’d definitely run away with him (even though he’s a lot faster than I will ever be)! I’d run away with him because he makes me laugh until my laugh becomes a high pitched gasp for air; he always sees the positive side; he is a very “special” dancer; he is smart beyond his years, and because he is the perfect dinner companion (just to name a few reasons)! He’s always eager to share our meals, and he patiently waits while I fiddle with f-stops. In short, he is the best, and I am the luckiest! Though it may be too sappy for some, we celebrate our anniversary each month, and what better way to celebrate than with a shared meal! For the September installment of our swooning, we chose a place that was new for both of us, as well as long overdue for both of us: Spoon.
I was pleasantly surprised to discover Spoon has a small courtyard area, but unfortunately, I was way too chilled to partake in the courtyard experience. As such, I was less impressed with the intentional formality of the interior. A wash of beige and dim lighting does not automatically equate to fine dining and masked the more unique furniture accents in a curtain of drab. Fortunately, the food delivered more than just a display of formality.
We began our meal with two cocktails. I opted for the smokey hints of Laphroaig, but I also sipped heavily from the bubbly bourbon. Both cocktails exhibited what I view as a quality blend- a distinction of the various flavor parts of the whole.
Vancouver in a Glass
Famous Grouse Scotch, Tupelo honey, lemon, ginger, Laphroaig Single Malt Scotch
5 O’clock Shadow
Averna amaro, Buffalo Trace bourbon, mint, lime, demerara sugar, ginger beer
The Bread Basket
Cornbread and chive biscuit
Duck Two Ways
Crispy conﬁt cake, duck liver mousse, grilled peaches, balsamic reduction
The bread basket at Spoon shows an extra level of dedication with its cornmeal and biscuit offerings. Though well prepared, Duck Two Ways may be just a little more fattened duck than one should eat in one sitting.
Roasted Local Corn Soup
Butter poached Maine lobster, forest mushroom + sweet corn saute, tarragon creme fraiche
The combination of sweet corn, tangy creme fraiche, meaty mushrooms and lobster is the perfect harvest harmony!
Pork Two Ways
Grilled tenderloin, braised pork, Anson Mills white cheddar polenta, corn + zucchini + tomato saute, caramelized ﬁgs, port reduction
I usually find it difficult to be excited about pork tenderloin, so I was skeptical. My special one prevailed, and I was glad he did. The two porks combined with equal contributions of flavor and a contrast of texture. There is nothing bland about Spoon’s tenderloin.
Crispy Skin Skuna Bay Salmon
chorizo stuffed pattypan squash, olive oil poached cherry tomatoes, creamed corn, mushroom + eggplant puree, blistered tomato reduction
Housemade Ice Cream
Corn! Bright, yellow, corn ice cream! If you’ve been with these grains before, you know this is something I’ve already thought about quite a bit, so I was eager to try another ice creamier’s version (as far as I know, I just made up the term ice creamier). Sweet corn in every frozen bite! I loved it, but after all, my genealogy resembles a cornstalk more than a tree. Hurry to Spoon, and try a scoop for yourself!
All in All
Was it a great anniversary dinner?
Did Spoon live up to the hype?
I salute Spoon’s commitment to local purveyors, and I recommend the food and the drinks, but the overall experience? Though it may seem like pure pickiness, the beige and forced formality of the dining room really dimmed my desire to return. The demographic of people who appreciate good food is not limited to a class of diners who flaunt their wealth via boring blazers and snide behaviors, so why cater to those types in design? No, I’m not saying every restaurant has to be clad in reclaimed barn wood (though I do love reclaimed barn wood!), but the bounds of restaurant design could use a push.
What do you think?