Eating Out: ensemble Tap in Vancouver

This past Saturday night, my husband and I went to our friend Victoria’s (of Victoria’s Food Secrets) birthday party which was held at ensemble Tap in Vancouver, BC.  Before we left for the restaurant I checked out the restaurant menu.  I tend to do this most of the time, even before I decided to be a primal food consumer, but now more than ever I study the menu.  All of it looked very tasty and enough of it was Paleo-friendly.

Aside: I enjoy eating out for a number of reasons, and was looking forward to this party because:

  1. I don’t have to cook.
  2. I get to eat my meal at my pace (because I leave the kids at home!).
  3. I get to socialize with friends I don’t see very often.
  4. I get to try new flavours (and later try to reproduce them at home).

eTap has a wide variety of dishes to satisfy most palates and eating styles.  The atmosphere is casual – the main floor has long tables to share, along with smaller ones for more intimate parties.  We were in a semi-private area upstairs at the back which afforded us a great view over the lower eating and bar areas.

We arrived on time (somewhat of a miracle) and I had a chance to really study the menu.  Which in the end didn’t matter because my choice for the main was somewhat impulsive.

For an appetizer, my husband and I shared Housemade Sausage Platter which consisted of chorizo, Thai and caraway sausages with charcuterie mustard and fresh pretzel.  It was delicious – my favourite flavour of sausage was the Thai – if only I could make it at home!  We left the pretzel alone, except for one small bite to see if we were missing anything. It was good, but not good enough to eat it all.  We did also get to try a bite of the Spanish Style Fried Calamari which was greenish due to the herb crust; very tender (very important in my opinion), and not too many tentacles! Overall, great texture and flavour but I wasn’t sure if there was some kind of breading mixed in with the herbs so I didn’t eat more than one bite.

Sorry the pictures are from my phone!

For my main, on the recommendation of our very helpful server I chose the Beet Salad with
Shaved Fennel, Watercress, Horseradish, and Sherry Vinaigrette.  I added seared tuna to complete my meal.  The beets and the fennel are a delicious combination but I would have liked a bit of a sharper horseradish – it was quite mild to my taste buds.  The seared tuna was like butter. Yum!

I really enjoyed the food at eTap and it was great to catch up with old friends and acquaintances, some of whom we had not seen in at least five years.  I would definitely recommend this restaurant to anyone.  Plus it is conveniently located in the Scotia Bank Theatre building at the corner of Smithe and Burrard in downtown Vancouver.

In the interest of full disclosure, one of our friends is a part owner in the restaurant, which we found out afterwards. But writing about the restaurant was my own idea and I paid for my own meal.

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