After spending a day couped up in an exhibit hall followed by a meeting where the drapes were closed obscuring the beautiful waterfront view from the Vancouver Convention Center, I was ready to break away for dinner in the hopes of grabbing some of the waning moments of what was a beautiful Northwest day. So one of my co-workers and I made our way out, and headed toward the first place with blue umbrellas and outdoor seating that we saw. That place was Bellagio wine bar.
The evening started off nice enough as we were shown to a nice outdoor seat with a view of the harbor (or harbour as they spell it here). But as soon as I saw the menu, alarm bells started going off in my head. It wasn’t what you would call low-carb friendly. In fact, there was only one thing on the menu that wasn’t a pizza, pasta or bruschetta; salmon. And while I do like salmon, for some reason, something about this restaurant led me to believe that it wasn’t going to be good. Maybe it was the fact that it was attached to the convention center, and seemed a little more touristy. I can’t say exactly, but I can say within one bite my concerns were realized. The poor salmon, already dead, was brutally overcooked. The lemon dill sauce was neither lemony or dilly; in fact it was oddly sweet as if I got a different sauce than I ordered. And there was a random chunk of slimy skin on the bottom. It was accompanied by a “house salad” which consisted of a pile of lettuce and a little vinaigrette that tasted more like watered down marinara, and a bunch of pasta that I couldn’t eat.
I spent most of the meal mentally kicking myself for not taking an extra couple minutes to find a different place, or at least walking down to the Mill Bistro which had a better view and couldn’t have had a worse dinner. I only have so many days in Vancouver and to waste a meal on this was terrible. I know that my curent dietary restrictions can put me at a disadvantage when it comes to exploring a menu. But I don’t think there is any excuse for a Northwest restaurant to do something as simple as a grilled salmon poorly, especially in prime salmon season. To me, the view wasn’t worth it…I’ll take perfectly cooked fish in a dark windowless room over a dried out piece of fish with a water view any day of the week.
Final Verdict – 1.5 Stars