Sunday, 25 March 2018

Café Ça Va brings a little bit of France to West Vancouver

Café Ça Va DineOut Vancouver 2018
Past downtown Vancouver and over the Lions Gate Bridge is Lower Mainland's bustling new food scene in West and North Vancouver. I myself do not get out there often enough, but when I do, I am never disappointed. Now Dine Out Vancouver was quite some time ago - two months - but I cannot get Café Ça Va out of my mind. Being a Vancouverite and a Foodie, I have definitely dined at a huge proportion of restaurants in the Lower Mainland. Which also means I have eaten at most of the DineOut Vancouver restaurants. This year, I noticed an exponential increase in $40 menus, but if you actually do the math, in most cases, you are probably saving $4 tops if not even less. Café Ça Va happened to be a new restaurant for me, but also at the more reasonable $30 per person DineOut menu. 

If not for the food, go for the interior decoration because the space is stunning. I loved the white carrera marble tables pared with dark navy blue chairs and tufted banquets. There were gorgeous crystal chandeliers and hidden crystal wall sconces as well as a cute eiffel tower decal on the window. I must commend their interior designer for taking the risk to paint the walls dark navy blue, but also painting the ceiling the same dark colour worked really well and its not something you often see. Oh and did I mention the bathrooms? Yes, there are crystal chandeliers in the bathrooms too and each of three are wallpapered with a different pattern and like the main dining room, the wallpaper is carried onto the ceiling too. My inner Pinterest fanatic was very happy! 

To begin our dinner, we got Mussels & Frites and the Warm Potato Salad. Mussels & Frites is very french and is really about the broth which Café Ça Va  did a splendid job on. It was an aromatic blend of spicy chorizo, fresh herbs and tomato jam. I loved the presentation in the miniature pot and the moment our server placed it in front of my friend, a gasp escaped him because it smelt so good. BTW - I do not eat shellfish; however, my friend is half french and he was impressed. I had the Warm Potato Salad which literally tasted like a hot baked potato with sour cream and chives. The arugula was tossed in a rich creamy chive Crème fraîche and there were these perfectly roasted little gold potato halves. I can see how this menu item can be overlooked by most diners as it sounds like a bbq dinner potato salad, but it is not, far from it, the Warm Potato Salad is a next level arugula salad. 

Executive Chef Behshad Zolnasr decided to surprise us with his Beet and Buttermilk Salad, a vibrant dish of mixed beets and radishes, rye crumble and buttermilk mousse. Gorgeous to look at, but this girl is not a big beet person. I am over Vancouver's beet infatuation! That being said, the salad was delicious. 

French cooking is often associated with butter, baguettes, meats, refined pastries, but there is a lot of pasta too! For my main I had the Roasted Squash Ravioli that came with a brown butter sauce and garnished with toasted pumpkin seeds and crispy sage. I am sorry, but four ravioli pieces are not enough for me. This is why I do not like ordering raviolis, tortellini or agnolotti because you get hardly enough to fill you. The roasted squash filling was sweet and nutty. The pasta was under filled for me and I think it is the reason that the outer edges of the pasta became stiff. 

My friend had the hearty rich Boeuf Bourguignon. The stew was ladled over a bed of sautéed mushrooms, pearl onions, lardon and pomme puree (mashed potatoes). The meat was tender and pulled apart easily; yet still held its shape and had amazing savoury flavour. I sampled some of the mash and it was everything you want in mashed potato: fluffy creamy buttery goodness. 

Being a self-professed dessert connoisseur, the final course is what I look forward to at every meal. Frankly, I would skip the savoury and go straight to sweet if it were not for the adverse health risks if I only ate sugar haha. Café Ça Va is constantly doing a new feature dessert, so I expect there will be something new if I were to go in now. That night I had a poached pear dish and a black and white mousse. 

The poached pear presentation was really unique. The pears were thinly sliced and somehow folded to look like a crepe. I love fruit, but this dessert being just primarily sliced pear was not enough for me and desperately needed a sponge or custard, just something to give it more body. The black and white mousse was interesting and is where I saw Chef Behshad's time working at some of the most renowned Michelin Start restaurants including my Bae Chef Ramsay's restaurant. It was a white chocolate mousse covered in a black glaze and then a dark chocolate mousse enveloped in a white glaze. Throughout our meal the plating has been on pointe, but the glaze was clunky making the mousses just look like lumps on the plate. So the Chef did miss the mark for me on the desserts, but he took a chance and really presented something unique and creative. I live by the motto " you will never know unless you try" and he tried and for that I respect him! 

I will be returning to Café Ça Va for lunch as the service was impeccable - shout out to our server and front of house - and the atmosphere was amazing. I had a really lovely time and I cannot wait for another meal filled with laughter and fun. 

BYES

Beet & Buttermilk Salad
Mussels & Frites
Warm Potato Salad
Café Ça Va | Stunning Bathroom
Roasted Squash Ravioli
Boeuf Bourguignon
Chef Behshad at work
Black & White Mousse
Poached Pears

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