gigi’s note: Unfortunately, Plan B closed in March 2009!
At Victoria’s recommendation, a few of us decided to meet up for dinner at Plan B in Yaletown when Lawson was visiting. None of us had been to Plan B before so our server helped us walk through the menu. Although there are some meal-sized entrees, most of the dishes at Plan B were tapas style and were best shared.
We decided to each pick one or two dishes that piqued our interest from the menu. I’m always a big charcuterie fan so I decided to pick that. The mix of cured meats also came with some lightly buttered crostini, pickles, olives. The salami-type meat on the right (below) was pretty standard but sometimes it’s nice to have something familiar. I enjoyed bundling the meat with a pickle and then pairing it with either a crostini or olive…or sometimes even both.
The salade nicoise was another one of my picks. The tuna chunks were lightly grilled and very fresh tasting. My favourite part about this salad was the very lightly cooked egg which served as a salad dressing of sorts. We broke the yolk and spread it over the salad. Although it may sound a bit odd, it was quite tasty and imparted a nice creamy flavour over the salad.
The seared steak was another great choice. We seemed to be on a roll with picking our dishes that day. The steak was thinly sliced and served on a bed of spinach with fingerling potatoes and tomatoes. The potatoes were nicely roasted with a slightly caramel-like skin. There was also a small dollop of grainy mustard and a smear of horseradish sauce. I normally don’t like horseradish sauce but it had a very mild taste which I enjoyed quite a bit.
Victoria chose the Croque Monsieur, which came with a side of fries. If you are trying to be healthy, this probably isn’t the best choice. I had Croque Monsieurs a few times when I was in France and it seemed to be a popular street food. This version was fancied up a bit but was basically a French version of a grilled cheese sandwich. The only difference was that the cheese was on the outside. I’m not sure if mustard is included in the traditional version of this but I found it gave a slight punch to the sandwich. The fries were lightly seasoned and not too oily, which I liked.
We also decided to order some mussels to round out our main dishes. The mussels were steamed in a roasted tomato and saffron broth. Although this was tasty, I felt that the saffron flavour could have been a bit stronger. The mussels themselves were quite fresh and juicy. The bread was a bit charred but had a nicely chewy texture that prevented it from getting soggy when dipped in the broth.
We were finally ready for dessert. I’m a big lemon dessert fan so I decided to go with the lemon tart. There was also a big dollop of lavender foam, which was separated from the tart by some raw chocolate or cocoa bean pieces. Although I couldn’t taste the lavendar in the foam, its bubbly lightness actually made for an interesting texture contrast with the lemon tart. The slightly bitter cocoa bits actually brought out the lemon flavour of the tart, which I also found interesting.
Victoria chose the coffee and rosewater creme brulee. I can’t remember her exact comments about the creme brulee but she did enjoy it quite a bit. The churros were also something different and its crunchy texture provided quite a contraste with the creaminess of the creme brulee.
John was looking for something on the lighter side that day so he decided to go with trio of sorbets and ice creams. Our favourite flavour was definitely the passion fruit (below left). Its flavour came out very strongly and really made you feel like you were somewhere tropical. We also liked the coconut, although it didn’t even taste like coconut.
Plan B was pretty quiet when we were there for dinner. If you eat there between 4-6PM, you can also get extra points if you book the reservation through OpenTable.com. The dishes are on the small side though so you should be prepared to order more than one dish per person unless you are not very hungry. They also seem to change up their menu choices occasionally so you may want to check what’s on the menu to see what’s in season.
1144 Homer St, Vancouver
Price: $$ to $$$