I once worked a summer in a car dealership. The location was brilliant, right beside two main arterial roads with 10,000's of cars per day whizzing by, and it wasn't long before I so envied my very kind and generous new boss and his business acumen.
As a lot attendant, Mr. Do-Whatever-I-Was-Asked, I sometimes caught myself daydreaming about one day, not only owning my own dealership, but THIS dealership. The owners of Wildtale Coastal Grill can scratch that daydream off their own to-do list! Former Glowbal Grill Chefs were quick to pounce on the revered Glowbal Grill's space, when it relocated up the street in Yaletown, and Wildtale was born!
Created as a celebration of coastal living, and the bounty we are blessed with living on the Pacific Ocean, Wildtale's main fare is seafood. Our host brought us a complimentary taster, a lovely seared scallop in a beautiful, lemony risotto. It was a very enticing symphony of flavours between the scallop and risotto. We ordered some Baked Dungeness Crab Cakes served with a jalapeño aioli and roasted red bell pepper coulis, an exquisite tuna tartare and a dozen oysters the selection of which we left up to our gracious waiter. We could have excuses ourselves after our appetizers and I would still recommend you visit the Wildtale!
The crab cakes had a crunch and freshness I look for, nay insist upon, whenever I partake and the oysters, I'm told as I don't like, eat nor even touch them, were extremely fresh and the variety amazing. The tuna tartare is, for me, a litmus test for a seafood restaurant; done well and I know the rest of my meal will be amazing, done poorly, too much onion, lemon or what-have-you, and I'll order a chicken dish. Be forewarned! I will order a gosh darn chicken dish at your seafood establishment if you fail with your tartare! I happily rank Wildtale's tuna tartare among my top five of all time and I've ordered it in 5 diamond restaurants. Fresh, well balanced and tangy; it was excellent!
Keeping with the local theme we ordered our drinks and both were made from ingredients from idyllic British Columbia. Gin from the Longtable Distillery, a short 10 minute walk up the street, formed the basis for the delightfully constructed orange/ elderflower cocktail and Fat Tug from the Driftwood Brewery on Vancouver Island. If you haven't tried either I implore you to hit your Googles right now!
Our main courses arrived with subdued panache. I spotted them from across the room and watched as they sauntered up seductively without ever breaking eye contact. It was love at first sight, plain and simple! Placed in front of was a lovely AAA cut of sirloin steak with some crisp, flavourful fries. My partner drooled noticeably as her Slow Braised Lamb Shank with whipped potatoes, grilled asparagus in a white mushroom pan jus was placed in front of her.
The steak was cooked to perfection, blue rare, and was seasoned very well! The crisp, homemade fries were the perfect accompaniment and I devoured everything with gusto. In a generous mood my partner decided to share some of her lamb and, after a gentle nudge with a dull spoon, it collapsed off the bone in a moist, juicy pile. Perfectly cooked and flavoured expertly it was a perfect 10!
Words: Scott Allan
Photos: Jenn Chan