Antiques Blog

Cote de Boeuf

For all you vegetarians out there, this is not a blog you’ll find particularly interesting. But to my fellow carnivores, you will love this! A week or so ago a friend invited me out to dinner. We chose the relatively new ‘Umbertos’ as neither of us had been yet.

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There I was, all dressed and feeling fabulous, car so sparkling clean it was blinding. I pulled up to the front of Umberto’s and handed the valet my keys.

“Excuse me Sir…just so you know” said the Valet “You drove up the bicycle lane”

“What” I said “Oh I’m so sorry, I thought it was the entrance to the Restaurant”

Meanwhile a group of outdoor diners were laughing as I spun around to check for ‘bicycle lane’ signs.

“But there’s no signs” I said “This is all very confusing”

“Don’t worry” said the valet “You’re not the first to do it.”

“So if I’m not the first, then why hasn’t something been done to fix the problem” I thought to myself

“Have a nice dinner” said the Valet as I hurried by a group of smirking onlookers.

I arrived early so I had a chance to peruse the menu. I found something that raised the taste buds to a standing attention. They called it ‘Fiorentino’ but I had a hunch it might be what the French call a ‘Cote de Boeuf’ (Cut of Beef). The description was right but I had to know exactly. No other restaurant in Vancouver that I’ve been to has ever produced a real ‘Cote de Boeuf’. What is a Cote de Boeuf you might ask. Picture this, a 38oz bone in cut of porterhouse steak roasted to perfection then sliced in manageable and edible portions.

Cote de Boeuf - Parisian style.

Cote de Boeuf – Parisian style.

I asked my waiter about the dish and he knew exactly what a Cote de Bouef was. He confirmed that it was their version but it was virtually the same thing. I couldn’t wait. In fact, when my dinner guest arrived I insisted we order the dish. It was perfectly done! Nice and rare and enough for four people, let alone two. In fact, we never finished the whole thing.

I’m not promoting Umberto, although I think he deserves it. I’ve been going to Umbertos since my early 20’s when he was the only restaurant in town that would allow me to bring my royal black standard poodle along with me to dinner. (If any of you remember the Mark James clothing store for men on Broadway, Mark had a couple of them lumbering around his store.) (Also, just to mention, I did not and never did have the ‘pom pom’ cut on my dog..)

My dog Sebastian looked exactly like the bigger of the two dogs only completely black.

My dog Sebastian looked exactly like the bigger of the two dogs only completely black. I would strap him into the front seat of my car with my seatbelt and onlookers thought there was a passenger in the car.

Yes, I know there are more hip and trendy places, but frankly, anyone that can make Lobster bisque (to perfection) and a ‘Cote de Boeuf’, deserves to be mentioned. (Even if the loud and self entitled table next to me were so obnoxious that my dinner guest and I had to literally shout to talk to each other). There’s nothing more annoying and frankly we hurried our dinner just to get away from these people. Ugh!

Seriously, other people are trying to enjoy their dinner and talk without shouting at each other.

Seriously, other people are trying to enjoy their dinner and talk without shouting at each other.

That’s one difference (among many) that I love about dining in Paris. (unless it’s a bar or bistro) people respect other peoples space and would never raise their voices to attract attention.

The interior of Il Giardino

The interior of Il Giardino

In any event, if you’re looking for something special and you love meat, I highly recommend a trip to Umbertos. But arrive hungry you’ll need the room.

Bon Appetit

Mark LaFleur
The Antique Warehouse
226 SW Marine Drive,
Vancouver, BC

See you next week!

See you next week!

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