Review: Unwine’d

by gigi on February 13, 2008

It was Dine Out season again in Vancouver so it was time to hit the restaurant circuit again. :) To be honest, I am not a big fan of Dine Out the past couple of years, just because I feel that you don’t get a true indication of what the restaurant is really like and you also have to deal with the crowds and rushed service that inevitably comes with Dine Out. Nonetheless, I go because it is a reason to go for dinner with friends and catch up on what’s going on in our busy lives. :)

Jason and I met up at Unwine’d restaurant downtown during a weeknight. It is located right next to the Holiday Inn on Howe St. The reason I picked Unwine’d was because I heard rave reviews about its Dine Out menu last year, which was also only $15 for a three-course meal. This year, it was raised to $25 but it still looked interesting enough that I wanted to give it a try. When I was making the reservations, I was given several restrictions so I thought the restaurant would be quite busy. However, when we got there, it was only about 1/3 full.


In Dine Out, you are generally asked to pick all three course selections right at the beginning. I chose the crab cake to start my meal. It came on a bed of mixed greens and was topped with some flavoured mayo and pears poached in red wine. The crab cake was crispy outside and packed with crabby goodness inside. The poached pears were still a bit crunchy, which is just what I like and also complemented the crab cake nicely.


For my main course, I had the Beef Wellington. I was actually debating between this and the Ahi Tuna but Jason said that since I have never had Beef Wellington before, I had to give it a try. I also bumped into some people from work when I first got to the restaurant and they told me that I should specify to the server how I like my beef since they don’t really ask. With this in mind, I asked my server to make sure my Beef Wellington was medium rare. When my dish came, the puff pastry outside was nice and fluffy but the beef inside was medium or medium well throughout! :( I was a bit disappointed with this as I really don’t like my beef to be overcooked. To be fair, I suppose it is hard to judge the wellness of the beef when it is encased in a puff pastry but my co-workers later told me that their Wellingtons were rare! I suppose quality control issues still need to be worked out here. My side of rosemary yams was also a bit cold although the potatoes were pretty good.


Last, I chose the key lime cheese cake…mostly because I have a weakness for citrus desserts. Jenkins always likes to say that my citrus dessert choices only have a 50% success rate and unfortunately, this turned out to be one of my duds. I could hardly taste the lime flavour and the cheesecake was drizzled with some multi-coloured fruit coolies coulis which did not go with the cheesecake at all. Even more odd, there were some chunks of cheese on the side of my plate that I thought were actually mango chunks. Biting into the saltiness of the cheese really shocked my palate, which was expecting something sweet.


I have to say that I was disappointed by Unwine’d. With the exception of my crab cake appetizer, my meal really didn’t meet my expectations. However, the regular menu did look interesting and I did hear rave reviews from my friends who attended Dine Out here last year so I would still be willing to give this place another try someday. In the regular menu, most items seem to be under $20, which seems to be fairly reasonable.

1180 Howe St, Vancouver
Tel: 604-682-5225

Food: [rating:2]
Service: [rating:2.5]
Price: $$ (both our menus were $25 for 3 courses)

Unwine'd on Urbanspoon

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