Review: Annalena.

Our final dinner in Vancouver was a beautiful tasting menu serving up New Canadian cuisine. 

AnnaLena is a small restaurant in the Kitsilano Beach area that only offers a nightly tasting menu. In mid 2020, they transitioned to an only tasting menu restaurant focusing on seasonality and ingredients coming from local farms and suppliers.

Their innovative cocktail list was intriguing and a few of them can be made into mocktails which I appreciated since I rarely drink.

“The Most Popular One” Mocktail and “2001” Cocktail.

I got “the most popular one” made into a mocktail which had sweet notes of apricot and a lime foam. Tommaso got the “2001” which had blanco tequila, mezcal, aquavit, tarragon, and pink peppercorn.

Duck Fat Muffin with Duck Pâté, Beet Marmalade, and Black Truffle (9/10).

A delicious first bite where the muffin was moist and tender topped with a creamy duck liver pâté. The beet marmalade added sweetness and the black truffle shavings added earthiness. I could have easily eaten 10 of these!

Crispy Halibut with Fennel and Gribiche (8.5/10).

The halibut had a wonderful crispy crust with super tender meat inside. The fennel and olive salad was fresh and added a kick of acidity while the gribiche (sauce made from hard boiled egg yolks with capers and herbs) added richness.

“Intro” Mocktail.

Another great mocktail was the “intro” with grapefruit, pear shrub, and club soda. Super refreshing.

Smoked Pork Knuckle Broth with Maple Dusted Torn Bread (8.5/10).

This was comfort in a bowl. Unctuous pork knuckle was enveloped in a flavorful broth and finished with a little chive oil. The toasted bread was perfumed with maple syrup giving it a slightly sweet flavor.

Lasagna with Ricotta and Crispy Cheese (8.5/10).

They made a different version of this lasagna for me since I don’t like mushrooms. This had Ricotta cheese with a tomato cream and Parmigiano Reggiano sauce on the bottom. Delectable.

Mushroom Lasagna (Tommaso’s Version).

Beef Sirloin with Miso Onion Soubise and Charred Cabbage (8/10).

Perfectly cooked beef was on top of a sweet miso onion soubise. The charred cabbage added a nice burnt flavor but in a good way.

Parsnip Sabayon with Elderflower and Pear Sorbet and Semolina Cake (8.5/10).

Underneath the parsnip sabayon, there was a semolina cake with a silky elderflower and pear sorbet. A fun dessert with lots of various textures.

Petit Four.

We both enjoyed every dish from the tasting menu. Each dish was thoughtfully curated and more importantly, everything tasted great. Portions were on the smaller side but that didn’t bother us since all the food was scrumptious. From the atmosphere, to the creative cocktails and food, AnnaLena was a great meal so my rating is an 8.5/10.

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