I very rarely go out for dinner these days with how busy things are. There are so many items on my checklist that needs to be met before leaving the house. Finally, a restaurant has made me want to go out, the food was good and the staff are friendly!
Dubh Linn Gate is a relatively new restaurant in Strathcona, close to Main and Terminal. Every month they work with a local brewery and comes up with a unique menu to pair with the drinks (last month was wine, winery in this case :D)! I went for the event which consisted of a four course dinner created by Chef Victor and beer pairings by Whistler Brewing Company.
Initial Thoughts and Comments
With the kids and work, I just tend to scrap the idea of going out for dinners. If miraculously I am keen to bring at least one of the kiddies with me, I have so many items on the checklist that needs to be fulfilled besides having good food: is the restaurant in close proximity? Easy parking? is it small children friendly? Is there good customer service (usually I’ll need more attention)? Etc.
There are lots of street parking around this area. Unfortunately when I got there at 6:30 all the surrounding spots were taken; however, there’s an underground parkade with lots of spots and an elevator that leads right next to the restaurant.
This was a beer pairing and dinner event so I was anticipating beer ‘tasters’. To our surprise, we were given a full glass of beer right when we sat down and full size glasses for every single course 🙂
The pork was tender and flavourful. The honey jelly added a unique touch and texture. The cheese was nicely fried, though I would’ve preferred the cheese to be melting on the inside (it was solid).
It was nice to see a rather delicate second course at a pub. There was a good variety of greens on the plate that was from a local farmers market. The salmon fritters were fried perfectly and crab meat tasted fresh. The grapefruit went really well with the salad and the beer was paired nicely together.
I don’t have much knowledge on beer but I really enjoyed this pairing. This grapefruit ale is easily the best tasting beer I’ve ever tried. Many people have recommended fruit beer to me in the past and they honestly never taste anything like fruit! This one actually is heavy on grapefruit taste at first, then the slight bitterness of beer comes afterwards. If I didn’t need to drive I would’ve finished that glass! They currently have this one on tap. If any restaurant has this beer on the menu I’d choose it !
The chicken was tender and grilled very nicely. The papaya and tangy taste of the slaw was keeping me going as I was getting very full. The portions are very generous !
The cake was moist and full of flavour as well as the ice cream. Personally I would’ve opted for more ice cream and less cake but no one’s complaining, there was still lots of beer if I wanted something more refreshing. I’m not much of a beer drinker, the Black Tusk Ale was too bitter for me. All the other beers I had no problem consuming!
Environment & Customer Service
There are two outdoor patios to this restaurant and I was impressed with the one in the back where we sat. It almost didn’t feel like a pub at all. It was nicely secluded and quiet. The seats are nice and wide and I had more than enough room for my baby car seat.
If anyone wants a more ‘pub’ feel and louder environment, inside would definitely give off that vibe and there was live music too!
The chef himself came to speak about every dish which added a nice intimate touch and asked us how everything was. They also spoke about the beers and the thought process on how they decided to pair it with the food. Personally I like to hear the thought process on how food is created/put together 🙂
The waitress was definitely very attentive when she saw I had brought a newborn with me. I was really impressed when I asked for hot water to heat up the baby’s milk and she was very concerned whether a regular cup wouldn’t be big enough. She came back with water very quickly and made sure the water didn’t overflow when I put the bottle in. Her and another waitress came by to check up on us a couple times to see how we enjoyed the food and how the baby was coping with the environment which was also really nice.
This restaurant gave me a different perspective on what to expect at a pub. Typically, I only think of loud environments, heavy and oily food. Dubh Linn Gate is much more than that. The dishes appears fancier than your average pub. The food is satisfying but isn’t heavy or overly oily.
I can often tell when someone has put in a fair amount of effort in their food and clearly it shows in the dishes. Everything was made from scratch, cooked nicely and fine details are evident.