Many of us recall when Chartwell was renowned as the finest restaurant in the city, an icon at the Four Seasons, and this was remembered as the IW&FS Vancouver branch celebrated Christmas and the holiday season 2012. Chartwell is now a special function room retaining all its past glorious décor and still offering the excellent cuisine and high standards of service typical of the Four Seasons. Our dinner on Sunday evening December 9 was voted by several as the best Christmas event yet and deservedly so.
Our evening was well attended by members and several guests enjoying Moët et Chandon Impérial champagne accompanied by a tasty selection of canapés–Cashew Crusted BC Spot Prawns with Carrot Chili Sauce, Gourgères with BC Applewood Smoked Cheddar, Lobster BLT with Crispy Pancetta, Butter Lettuce and Tomato Chili Jam and Dungeness Crab and Mango Rice Roll with Spicy Mango Dipping Sauce. After a presentation of awards, we enjoyed a first course of Spiced Albacore Tuna Carpaccio with Pear Salad and Pain d'Épice paired with a 2008 Château La Garde Bordeaux Blanc from Pessac-Léognan followed by a Citrus Butter Basted Oceanwise Lobster Tail with Northern Divine Sturgeon Caviar, Trompette Mushrooms, Leeks and Tarragon Sauce and a 2007 Domaine William Fèvre Chablis Premier Cru "Les Lys".
These delicious courses were followed by Quail Breast with Seared Foie Gras, Poached Quail Egg and Sauce Perigeaux with a 2005 Domaine Antonin Guyon Chambolle-Musigny "Les Cras" and Local Venison Loin with Celery Root Puree, Brussel Sprout Leaves, Chestnuts, Cranberries and Smoked Chocolate Sauce paired with a 2000 Château Lanessan Haut Médoc.
We finished with a 1999 Château Suduiraut Sauternes and a delicious dessert of Dark Chocolate Tart with Nutella Hazelnut Crumble and Ginger Ice Cream–a tasty finish to a wonderful evening.
Our thanks go to Executive Sous Chef Craig Dryhurst for designing such a splendid menu and to executive Chef Ned Bell and his team and the service staff for an excellent execution; to Cellar Master Jim Esplen for his selection and presentation of the wines; to photographer and designer Milena Robertson; and to Dr. Bob Rothwell for his well-prepared but silent accolade, with apologies from organizer President James Robertson.