Horizon’s Restaurant – Fine Dining Joke…

So Kelly and I went to Horizon’s Restaurant, nestled up at the top of Burnaby Mountain, overlooking the City of Vancouver. The Restaurant is actually inside Burnaby Mountain Park, where on a clear night you can see the entire city. Unfortunately, that’s all they really have going for them after our experience.

The reason why we went there was because we wanted to try out their “West Coast Feast” promotion. It is supposed to showcase the finest in West Coast Cuisine. If we didn’t like any of the selections, we could always use a coupon from our Entertainment Book. Well, when Kelly phoned to get the reservation, they booked us at 7:30: An hour and a half too late for the West Coast Feast and for us to use our coupon. I think they did that on purpose. At any rate, we weren’t going to let that stop us from having a fine dining experience at one of Vancouver’s famous restaurants.

When we arrived, we were seated right beside the lounge area. It was noisy and there was a fair amount of traffic in this area. It was a spot for tapas and beers, not for fine dining. The table was on the small side. I couldn’t even open up my whole menu without knocking something off the table.

After waiting about 10 minutes, we finally get a waiter. Usually the host makes sure you are seated properly, then your waiter is out within minutes to get you a drink, or explain a few of the evenings specials. Instead we get bad news that we had to be seated by 6PM at the latest for their “West Coast Feast” promotion. Now at some of the high end restaurants, a good waiter will suggest alternatives, if we were still interested in sampling some of the food that was on promotion,or even a good wine to get you going. None of the above. Dejected, we stick our noses back in the menu and wine list and try to decide for ourselves. Meanwhile, we get some bread to munch on.

Waiter comes back and we order our wine, and our appetizer and main courses. Within 10 minutes, we had our appetizer; a dish of seared scallops, asparagus, with some other greens. The scallops, unfortunately, were a bit cold. The taste was OK, but nothing awe inspiring. Our mains were even less inspiring. Kelly’s seared Ahi Tuna dish was mediocre at best. The Tuna was cooked too much, and just didn’t have much flavour to it. The overcooking made the fish lose its melt in your mouth characteristics. It was served with a bowl of clearly microwave nuked rice. The indent from the container was still there. I ordered a Seafood bowl in a tomato sauce. The seafood just didn’t taste all that fresh, and the sauce was average.

As dessert time rolled around, I was really jonesing for a good cheese platter. Every fine dining restaurant has a cheese plate. When he brings out the menu, we were shocked to find it ommitted. I asked the waiter where their cheese plate was, and he says they haven’t had one in a long time. Hmm… I guess it has been that long since you were able to call yourselves fine dining. We settled for the bumbleberry crunch with vanilla bean ice cream. That seemed OK. I think the waiter asked me a few too many times if I wanted coffee or tea. I guess they were having some sort of promo or staff incentive.

At the end of the evening, dissappointed and unfulfilled pretty much described our feelings. We expected fine dining, and all we got was food. I could clearly out cook this place in my own kitchen. When the bill came, the feelings of dissappointment became even more prevalent. Never have I gone out to a fine dining establishment, spent this much money, and had not been impressed. I might have paid up to a THIRD of what we paid, but no more. I’ve eaten at much finer places for less. We were actually contemplating leaving no tip. Buddy Waiter didn’t go above and beyond, and just seemed like he wanted to go home or sell me tea or coffee. What a Fine Dining Joke!