1138 Homer St, Vancouver BC V6B 2X6
I’ve always enjoy birthdays – my own, others, and just in general. The reason being that I like the idea of beginnings as well as an excuse to celebrate. The older I get the more I realize all I really want in order to celebrate sufficiently is a good meal and a glass or two of wine.
So as I rang in my 30th, I was delighted to be able to do the above things with my partner on the Friday night of my birthday. Brix & Mortar has always been on my list of must-try restaurant because I have heard so many good things, one of them being the beautiful courtyard adorned with ivy crawling up the brick walls inside a heritage building. So we got dressed up and made our way over to this Yaletown icon for a late dinner.
Upon arrival we were seated out in the courtyard and instructed to view the menu with our smart phones. I was fine to oblige but it made me think of the reality of our changing world in these times. After perusing the cocktail menu, I settled on The Mistress, a Hennessy and bourbon concoction with a plum base. My partner chose the Three Holy Mountains, a gin and sake play on a sour with some foamer. Both drinks were delicious and I was happy to pay*** for them (they’re not cheap, but they’re not out of this world expensive).
Next, we ordered an appetizer of prosciutto-wrapped scallops with duck fat risotto. I love both risotto and scallops and generally order them whenever I’m at a nice restaurant as a treat. This dish did not disappoint. The scallops were perfectly cooked and the risotto had a nice fried-rice feel to it, a little departure from the regular Italian-style that I’m used to but beyond tasty. My only wish was that there was more!
I had been craving lamb since my last visit to Nuba so wanted to continue on the game-meat train. I also wanted to try their sticky ribs because our server made them sound pretty damn good, so because it was my birthday, my partner ordered the ribs so I could try it. More on that in a second. Back to the lamb – it was served on the shank and braised for 24 hours. The meat was very tender and fell off the bone easily. The flavour was nice but quite mild, surprising for lamb. The vegetables were plain but the polenta was quite hearty and cheesy. It wasn’t the best lamb I ever had but a decent rendition. The portion size was quite large too.
NOW, onto my partner’s order: St. Louis Sticky Ribs – these were out of this world. They had an Asian flare and I could smell it as they placed the dish down in front of him. He definitely had the better selection but I was happy that he shared with me. The ribs were sweet and smokey with a Chinese-five spice seasoning to it. It was served with an entire corn cob and some potato salad. Think super elevated Tennessee meets Chinese BBQ. Wow, I was pretty blown away by the flavours and would definitely come back for this.
We paired our entrees with a nice bottle of 2017 pinot noir (Vignerons de Buxy Cote Chalonnaise) obviously from France, just imagine me with my pinky up. It was on the drier side but went pretty well with our meat dishes. I have been drinking cabernet sauvignons for the past few months so thought it be nice to change it up. We didn’t want to finish the bottle so took it home for some cooking later on.
Dessert was definitely limited here but I didn’t want to celebrate a birthday dinner without a happy ending, and I am a bona-fide dessert gal. So we opted for a chocolate olive oil cake, not my favourite but better than carrot cake or panna cotta. I wasn’t feeling either at the time. The selling point to the chocolate cake was the peanut butter icing, which was definitely the best part. The cake was what I expected, a bit dry and a bit boring.
Overall, I had a wonderful birthday – it was nice to sit across from my partner and celebrate a milestone. I definitely enjoyed the company most, but the courtyard was beautiful and the food and drinks were good as well.
***I didn’t actually pay, by the way.
- The Mistress $16
- Three Holy Mountains $17
- Vignerons de Buxy Cote Chalonnaise Pinot Noir 2017 (Bourgogne, France) $60
- Prosciutto Wrapped Sea Scallops $18
- Braised Lamb Shank $32
- St. Louis Sticky Ribs $29
- Chocolate Olive Oil Cake $8
Beats: In Da Club – 50 Cent