Chef’s Surprise at the Hermitage Restaurant

Musicians, Artists, film makers – We don’t tell them what and how to make their art, and it seems presumptuous to tell a chef what he can do best on a particular night. Spending $50 on a dinner is a serious evening’s entertainment, certainly not to be frittered away on passing whims. So, my partner and I call Herve Martin, at Hermitage, named a date and a time and asked for $50 dollars each worth of luxury and comfort. It’s an approach I recommend. Tell your favorites, how much you want to spend and leave the rest to him or her.

It was certainly an evening, and we started with a salad of lightly blanched, almost melting but crisp red cabbage and toasted walnuts dressed with walnut oil. – A very appropriate welcome to the advent of winter. A second course arrived: Red snapper, wrapped in cabbage (green this time) and Prosciutto. – The three little filets sitting along side a coulis of sweet tomatoes and balsamic vinegar. A very interesting approach to a simple fish like snapper.

For the main course, a pan-fried veal chop, simple with its pan juices, pommes Anna and a coloring of lightly poached vegetables. A veal chop like this is not a conversation piece but a really profound piece of meat, complete with it’s own handle of bone for picking up and gnawing. By the time we finished it we were almost two hours into dinner. Finally, for dessert, an other simplicity, a perfect finisher – A large semi-crisp crepe, stuffed with fresh raspberries and served with strawberry and vanilla ice cream.

An amazing evening and experience was created from start to finish at the Hermitage restaurant thanks to the expertise of chef and owner Herve Martin.

By Jamie Maw

Vancouver Magazine

October 2006

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