Fourteen years ago last night, Reg and I got married. We were living in Ottawa and got married at the Victoria Rose Inn in Gananoque.
After being diagnosed with fibromyalgia in the spring, we knew we had to leave. The brutal weather was breaking me apart. A week after the wedding we filled a small Uhaul of what could fit inside and left everything else behind.
It was not until last night at our anniversary dinner at Locus Restaurant at 4121 Main Street in Vancouver (where we celebrated signing our lease for our new apartment with our new landlord) that I realized how similar the past has followed the present.
This was the first real meal we have had in weeks and it blew us away. Reg ordered the beet salad and I felt like trumpets should have sang when it came out. The presentation was stunning and Reg adored the earthiness. Beets, goat cheese and walnuts. A classic.
With living on sandwiches the last few weeks, I wanted a mega green salad. I was thrilled to see that there was a sea scallop salad on the menu. Perfect! Seafood and greens, exactly the way I wanted to start the meal. I adored how the almonds were toasted to their limits and the wild mushrooms melted in my mouth.
One of the reasons we fell in love with Locus Restaurant is the unusual decor. I loved this wild mask that glowed fiery red on the wall. It reminded me of our favourite movie, Joe Versus the Volcano. I used the analogy of jumping into the volcano when I suggested we just move out west, over 14 years ago.
There is a bit of natural mystery and magic to the place that is also a tad Gothic and romantic at the same time. Honestly, this place is perfect for us.
We almost stayed home last night. We were both so tired and overwhelmed from the “move in day” the day before, it could have been so easy to just fall asleep on the couch. But we could not let such an important day go by without celebrating.
Reg ordered the pan-roasted chicken, stuffed with brie, wrapped in prosciutto, wild mushroom cream sauce, potato puree and seasonal vegetables. Seriously, this dish is the recipe of his dreams!
I really wanted some good old fashioned comfort food so I ordered the hand-rolled basil pesto gnocchi, spinach, shaved parmesan, pine nuts and basil. As you can see, I was craving the colour green since it had been so long since I had eaten food that had grown out of the ground.
The pesto was not too garlicky and the gnocchi? Cooked and seared to perfection. The pine nuts lent their crunchy goodness to these pillowy delights. I fell in love with this dish. I am absolutely going to make it in my new kitchen. Bright, fresh, decadent and rustic at the same time. For me? Perfection.
Coffee and cheesecake brought our delicious evening to a close. Reg choose the blackberry and I got the peanut chocolate slice. The waitress actually warned me that my slice would be a bit frozen and she was right! I tried to delicately hack it apart but after a strong long island iced tea and my inhibitions lowered, it ended up being quite the battle. Sadly, the cheesecake won. I left a piece of it behind.
Locus Restaurant at 4121 Main Street in Vancouver is wondrous. That night they served elk two ways for the dinner special. I loved it during the afternoon but at night you can feel magic in the air. To top it all off, our waitress (upon discovering it was our anniversary) bought us a dessert. What a sweetheart! Artsy, modern yet somehow casual in atmosphere, this is a special spot unlike any other. I give this restaurant five out of five wooden spoons.
The Foodie Conclusion
I can not say it has been easy because it hasn’t. Moving back west was one of the hardest things I have ever done but I know already it was the right decision for me and Reg. We dedicated our lives together and moved across mountains 14 years ago and here we are celebrating again, 14 years later on the west coast.
Locus Restaurant is where we decided to do this journey all over again. We signed the papers which brought us this home. I am sitting in my living room right now writing to you with PC lasagna in the oven. I can see the night falling against the blue mountains through the kitchen window at the back of our apartment. Our house is a disaster but I love it. We are home again.