Last Sunday, I had the privilege of sampling the menu at West for the Dine Out Vancouver 2007 event.

Right off the bat, I was impressed–impressed by the prompt service in taking our coats and showing us to our table, impressed by the interior design of the restaurant. With dark leather paneling on one length of the room and an entire floor-to-ceiling wall of wines filling the other length, the ambience is warm, classy, masculine. Apparently, West is known for its wide selection of good quality wines, and I was visually convinced.

As we waited for our appetizers, the server gave us some freshly baked bread and an incredibly fragrant olive oil to dip it with. I had never tasted such fine olive oil.

For starters, we all had the Mosaic of Chicken and Foie Gras with Pickled Winter Vegetables, Red Wine and Lime Syrup. It was an earthy, but complicated creation that kept my taste buds on their toes. My entree of choice was the Smoked Sablefish with Choucroute, Ventreche Bacon and Juniper Butter, paired with a glass of 2005 Mission Hill “SLC” Chardonnay. The sablefish was very meaty, surprisingly and satisfyingly filling … for fish. The meal was finished off with a titillating Gingercake and Panna Cotta with Maple Poached Apple and Pecan Ice Cream. I was very reluctant to share this multi-textured dessert. As with the appetizer, there was a lot going on in my mouth.

Over dinner, we decided that this restaurant would be a great place to go for a dinner date. If you really liked the guy, then dinner would be a bonding experience where two people get to share something good with each other. If there wasn’t much chemistry, then at least the the two of you can talk about how good the food is.