Saturday, 20 March 2010

Big White Restaurant Reviews: A 2010 Update

Back in 2008, I blogged about the restaurants at Big White. Here's this year's update.

Pappa's Roasters is gone, thank goodness. The 4th restaurant in there in 10 years is Gigi's, and this deserves to stay. The food is very good; we went there for lunch twice and dinner once. They didn't do much with the decor that Pappa's had, and the tables and chairs still look a bit tacky, though the bar is quite elegant and nice. They have great and very creative grilled paninis for lunch, excellent salads, and very good soups. They have a 3 of 4 for $10 lunch special, with a half a panini special with two of soup, salad or fries. The panini yesterday was clubhouse with shrimp, and it was excellent, though the bacon was a bit underdone. They also feature a "share" menu in the evenings, which is to say "tapas" style plates to share (how do you share soup?). Tapas is very "in". Which leads me to...

The 6° Bistro, also new for 2010. This place is tiny, seating probably 24; reservations a few days in advance are essential. It's a pretty pretentious little place, with yet another overpriced exclusively Okanagan wine list. There are two dinner seatings, 6 PM and 8 PM. It calls itself a tapas place, but there's no Spanish influence, just a bunch of $10-$15 appetizer sized items on the menu, another half dozen on special, and a few "full entree sized" items. I can highly recommend the beef short ribs, which were to die for. The Risotto is good, and a nice size. We had the Tuna Carpaccio, which was a lot less successful, being nearly minced tuna, with no texture whatsoever. The Beet Salad is very good, with both red and yellow beets. The 2 seating thing makes you feel a little rushed when, at 7:45 PM, the doors are opened, and you are frozen out. The place is run by the guy who owns the Beano's coffee shop in the Village Centre.

Globe remains on my list of places to go, though it's even smaller than 6°, seating probably only 15 or so. It's an awkward place to get to for lunch, and so tiny as to prevent me from making it over for dinner. It, too, is a tapas place, and by the online menu, an actual one at that. One day.

The White Crystal hasn't changed; the food's still fine, the service spotty and the wine list still overpriced. Raakel's is even more seedy than ever, if that's possible, and the service hasn't improved. Sam's is still Sam's.

I've still never made it to Kettle Valley Steakhouse, nor Carver's, nor have I been to Coltino's in the last few years. Another new cafe is supposed to open in one of the myriad of the generic condo complexes being constructed.

Most places we went to this week were busy but not full. Emptiest was White Crystal, fullest was 6° (though they were full Tuesday and Wednesday, they had space Thursday, and the 8 PM seating is more popular than the 6 PM version). Gigi's lunch business is steady.

So welcome Gigi's, I'll return for sure. 6° remains a maybe.

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