– by Shawn Conner/photos by Robyn Hanson
Last Thursday night, March 10, I was fortunate enough to find myself at the Cactus Club location on Broadway near Granville, feasting on a specially prepared dinner for six.
My girlfriend had won the dinner, valued at $400, for leaving a comment in answer to a question (about favourite wines) on the Cactus Club Facebook page. Her parents, sister and sister’s boyfriend, and myself went along to sample the Rob Feenie specialties that the restaurant chain hopes will position it as “casual fine dining” restaurant, i.e. a cut above franchises like Milestones and Earls.
Mission accomplished, as far as we were concerned.
Incubating in the warm yet brooding back room while rain poured down outside the south-facing windows, we were treated to one of the tastiest, most flavourful meals I’ve had in a long while.
The well-thought-out and enthusiastically introduced (by manager Andrew Pace and executive sous chef Kevin Snyder) wine-and-food pairings included BC plonk (mostly whites, though a robust Merlot complemented the meaty third course) with starters tuna tataki and goat-and-feta flatbread, a second course of butternut squash ravioli topped with a succulent prawn, and a headline act of hunter chicken and strip sirloin steak.
Two irresistible desserts, an apple galette (French for “crusty cake”) and peanut butter crunch bar (along with some vanilla bean gelato) finished us off.
Robyn Hanson‘s pics do far more justice to the food than my words ever could. Suffice it to say, that night the Cactus Club won over some converts who will no longer think of it as just a wings-and-beer kind of joint.
See more mouth-watering foodie photos on Robyn Hanson’s Flickr page.