Re-Visit: Wow, you’ve got something there! An Improved Blacktail Experience

Dishes cohesive
Gone the needless trendiness
Straight forward good food
Much has changed at Blacktail since my last visit in July.  The “Florist” has departed and he took his celery with him (thank goodness)!  New chef, Geoff Rogers, quickly re-worked the menu and in short order received praise from Vancouver’s food mavens, Alex Gill and Mia Stainsby.
Despite the complimentary chatter about the revamped Blacktail, I was still hesitant about returning; the place still isn’t cheap.  However, a staff lunch gave me the opportunity to experience the improved Blacktail.

The lunch and dinner menus differ only in the “Large” section, with dinner entrees in that section being more substantial and meaty.  Our group selected the duck & waffles, bison tartare, tuna salad and we received a surprise at the end of the meal.
The duck & waffle dish was alarmingly beige in appearance but fortunately was much more interesting flavor wise.  In my last visit, I thought the restaurant was being trendy and nouveau for the sake of it and not because it was making a dish better. 

 

 
With the duck & waffles, the sweet candy apple gel was a necessary component to offset the richness of the foie gras & duck liver mouse.  It was an interesting and enjoyable flavour combination of richness, umami and sweetness.
The bison tartare was silky smooth but with a bit of textural bite.  The mixture was studded with complimentary bits of tartness.  The vibrantly colourful dabs and dots of kale and truffle aioli boosted the flavour of the great tartare.

 

 
The spelt cracker aptly held the tartare but melted away with just a few chews – perfect fit for the bison. 

 

Based on the menu the tuna salad seem like a classic nicoise salad but the dish was not as advertised.  It was missing the pickled beans and egg.  Instead orange and red hued grape tomatoes, and sliced radishes adorned the salad.  
 
 
The tuna was melt in your mouth soft.  The greens were nicely dressed in a tart dressing.  The salad was solid despite not matching the menu description.
Lastly, our attentive server realized our group was celebrating a special occasion and unexpectedly a complimentary After Eight dessert arrived at the end of our meal. 
This delicious dessert perfectly replicates the ubiquitous Christmas favourite chocolate mint wafer.  Mint & chocolate is a classic pairing and the dessert doesn’t deviate or try to add anything trendy to it. 

 

 
The chocolate brownie went well with minty chocolate mouse.  The dramatic white meringue jags jutting out of the dessert, simply add another layer sweetness. 
The food we tried at Blacktail was straightforward, delicious and presented beautifully.  Any reservations I had about returning to Blacktail for dinner are gone.  I look forward to returning for an evening meal.  

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