With many people counting down anxiously to Christmas and the requisite Christmas meals, why wait for a great meal when you can try out the great new seasonal menu at EBO Restaurant in the Delta Burnaby Hotel and Conference Centre?
Executive chef Dan Craig has been working with new food and beverage services manager Richard Wischnewski and the Delta Burnaby's director of sales and marketing, Sebastien Theriault, to create a plethora of holiday dining options that can only mean good news for discerning Burnaby diners.
Running until Dec. 23, the fresh and festive three-course dinner for $45 per person will be on offer nightly from 5: 30 p.m.
For those who love lunch instead, the festive lunch buffet for $28 per person runs from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily (excluding weekends) from Dec. 3 to 21.
But the fun doesn't stop there, as Christmas sees EBO hosting a Christmas Eve and Night buffet for $49 per person, with seating times at 5, 5: 30, 7: 30 and 8 p.m.
On Christmas Day, brunch is $42 per person, with seating times at 11 and 11: 30 a.m. and 1: 30 and 2 p.m.
If you're not full by then, New Year's Eve will feature a tapas buffet for $75 per person, seating at 5: 30 p.m., and the next day will feature a $42 New Year's brunch, with seating times from 9 a.m. to 2: 30 p.m.
"It's certainly an ambitious plan," said Wischnewski. "But chef (Dan Craig) and I have such a great working relationship that we're very confident that we can continue to exceed our customers' expectations."
Nodding approvingly is Delta Burnaby general manager Eda Koot, who is happy to let Wischnewski, Theriault and Craig do their things.
"I'm very lucky to have such a talented chef like Dan," said Koot. "His cooking is unparalleled, but it's also his leadership qualities. He wants to train and inspire the people in his kitchen. There's such a strong respect in his kitchen and they are creating some unbelievable dishes.
... I'm very comfortable with what Dan, Richard and Sebastien are doing."
When the Burnaby NOW sat down recently with the EBO and Delta Burnaby team, we were wowed by the nuanced food selections, wine pairings and overall service.
As Koot and Theriault entertained us with stories, Wischnewski was working a crowded dining room and Craig was cooking up a storm.
We started with the appetizer before the appetizer, the delectable amuse bouche of puffed parmesan cracker, longanisa sausage and red pepper and it was a great way to start the meal, especially since Wischnewski also came with the Purple Villa martini, featuring raspberry vodka, cranberry juice, lime juice and a little champagne to give it that extra kick.
With martinis in hand, we could then dig into our appetizers, which started with a divinely-plated house-cured schinken-speck, cornichons and grain mustard; torchon of foie gras; cranberry toast, compressed pear and fig jam. Perhaps even more memorable is this dish is served on wood reclaimed from an old wine barrel.
The lean pork schinken-speck was the star, while the foie gras was a very close second. The Delta recently hosted an event where local chefs shared ideas on how to serve foie gras and Craig has incorporated those lessons into his menu.
Our next three appetizer dishes show off Craig's innovative touch with locally sourced ingredients.
I couldn't get enough of the albacore tuna and dungeness crab, served with avocado and compressed watermelon, while Theriault is licking his lips with the carpaccio of Wagyu beef, enoki mushrooms, compressed pear and light horseradish.
It's not just protein that Craig excels at presenting, as the surprise of these dishes is the poached beetroot, featuring both yellow and red beets, served with goat's pride Camembert cheese, pinenut butter and granola and yuzu fruit.
"You usually only get yellow beets in the fall," said Wischnewski, "They really are a treat."
"We're always looking at ways to make this more than just a hotel restaurant," said Koot. "We want to be known as a local restaurant serving the best fine dining in the city."
Craig is certainly doing his part and there's no better evidence than our main course, a 22-ounce 28-day dry-aged rib steak, served with several delectable sides, including orzo and aged cheddar macaroni and cheese, confit potatoes, asparagus and peppercorn sauce.
The steak is exquisite, literally melting in our mouths, but the sides are almost as good. Koot has the roast halibut, served with a Chanterelle mushroom risotto and lobster emulsion, and it's so good that she doesn't even share it with the steak-eating men of the table.
For more of this review, see www.burnabynow.com for Alfie Lau's blog.
The EBO Restaurant is located at the Grand Villa Casino at 4331 Dominion St. To make a reservation, call 604-453-0788.