The Oakwood Canadian Bistro – May 11, 2013

After coming highly recommended from various food industry associates, and being on my “to try” list for a long time, I finally got around to trying The Oakwood Canadian Bistro.

The atmosphere reminded me of a modern hunting lodge/cottage.  The evening did not get off to a good start.  I believe that all restaurants should train their staff to greet guests, offer water, etc. immediately when they notice the guests have settled down in their seats.  We sat there for 10 minutes watching other tables get served while servers would walk by our table and not say a word.  No “hello”, no “I’ll be there in a second”, no “would you like something to drink,” etc., and I hate complaining in a restaurant.  I will almost never send something back. However, sitting there for so long was irritating, and finally, I had to ask who our server was.  The gentleman I asked was apologetic, offered the first drinks comp’d and resolved the situation right away. Problem solved.  Everything else went smoothly for the rest of the night.

We started with the

Fried octopus, bacon aioli, pickled shallots, komatsuna – $10


The octopus was perfectly fried and seasoned.  I do not know what they seasoned it with but it was sweet and savory and SO GOOD.  I could not really taste the bacon in the Aioli but it was still good.  I could eat a bucket of this stuff.

For my main dish, I had the

Duck cannelloni, shaved foie gras, fried sprouts, cranberry and fennel gels – $24

photo 1

The first thing I noticed about the dish was the presentation.  You do not see this type of presentation very often in Vancouver – very nice! The duck cannelloni was good. The shaved foie gras was a nice change from how foie gras is traditionally served. I smeared it on each bite.  The brussel sprouts were OUTSTANDING. The texture was perfectly crispy, and in between the layers of the vegetable were bite after bite of seasoned goodness. Amazing. The gels did not add value to the dish. Overall, very good dish.

My wife had the

Flat iron steak, sunchoke chips, chimmichurri, roast bone marrow – $19

photo 2

I tried a bit of her dish. First, I love bone marrow. I used to go to the butcher with my dad as a kid, and at that time, bone marrow was not popular in North America. They used to give it free to us or charge 25 cents per bone. Now, its a delicacy. Anyway, I like my bone marrow plain, maybe a little salt. This bone marrow, while good, was too seasoned such that the bone marrow flavor was lost. However, my wife loved it.

The steak was also good. Cooked perfectly, and tender.  This is a popular dish in many Spanish countries.  In Puerto Rico, we had a similar dish quite often called Churrasco, and when you’ve had it that good in an authentic locale, its hard to compare at home.  Therefore, to me, the dish was good, but I would not order it here.

On a side note, the drinks here are very good. I ordered a Bourbon Sour and negroni and both were good. The negroni was especially good.

Overall, I would rate this place 8.5/10

See more at:

The Oakwood Canadian Bistro on Urbanspoon

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