One of the most popular restaurants in Vancouver is Published on Main focusing on Pacific Northwest cuisine.
This hip restaurant definitely had a swanky feel once entering but still was casual and approachable. They offer a tasting menu or à la carte and we opted for the tasting menu which was a combination of dishes from their normal menu and off menu dishes.
The first course was an assortment of gorgeous bite sized snacks and happened to be the strongest part of the meal. Every bite was beautiful, creative, and flavorful.
These bites included tuiles with foie gras and hibiscus; soft and chewy steelhead trout candy; and crispy fish skin chip topped with smoked fish dip.
These bites included arancini with black truffle; aebleskiver (savory Danish donut) stuffed with stewed herbs with herb emulsion; pickled scallop with yuzu; and a foie gras and Coca-Cola candy.
The last amuse bouche was a silky cauliflower “panna cotta” with capers.
After the snacks, we received a broth course where a comforting guinea hen consommé was poured over the nettle and bread dumplings. The dumplings, while very tender, needed a little more flavor. I really wanted the nettles to shine.
Side stripe prawns were cooked and chilled and garnished with compressed apple in a refreshing cucumber broth. The horseradish added a nice kick.
Buttery yellowtail was lightly torched on the outside imparting a smoky flavor. The light citrusy ponzu dressing with ginger was the perfect accompaniment to the fish along with the tart kumquat.
These were actually not part of our tasting menu but we ordered them off the normal menu. I really wanted to love these but the milk buns weren’t warmed which I thought was a little odd. It would have made a big difference. The buns were also on the dry side.
Pickerel, a local freshwater fish, was beautifully roasted and served with an acidic preserved tomato broth. Tasty but not revolutionary.
I enjoyed this vegetarian dish where sweet winter squash was roasted and served with a funky koji butter sauce. The currants added chewiness and the candied pepitas added some crunch.
While these ravioli were expertly made, the sauce had that tangy acidic flavor that mimicked the sauces in previous dishes on the tasting menu.
While there was nothing wrong with this dish, it felt a little uninspired and boring.
This was a clever cheese course made from Brunost cheese, a Norwegian cheese that has a sweet caramel flavor with a touch of nuttiness. It paired well with the tart apple.
This was really tasty. Smooth cream cheese mousse, bright silky grape sorbet, and crunchy peanut brittle. Simple yet delicious.
Cocoa crumble with berries were the foundation of the last dessert topped with a cold douglas fir flavored parfait.
While there were no major flaws in our dinner at Published at Main, we both felt that a lot of the dishes have similar flavor profiles or were a bit one dimensional. Our biggest issue with our dinner was actually the wait time in between courses. We are fast eaters, which we mentioned to our server at the beginning of the meal, so waiting 15-20 minutes between dishes can be brutal. Perhaps we would have enjoyed our dinner more if we had ordered à la carte but who knows! Published on Main is still a very solid restaurant, perhaps we’re jaded from all the good eats around the world, so my rating is an 8/10.