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Primal Eats Vancouver–Boneta

January 27, 2012

Boneta-Dinner---Main

I hate writing bad reviews. Especially about places that I’ve been really looking forward to trying. Boneta had been on my list for a while. I should’ve taken Alexandra Gill’s very recent negative review as a sign to go elsewhere. But it was Dine Out, I had already made the reservation, and I had my heart set on trying it. And after all, the menu sounded terrific. Well, at least I tried it. And at least it was Dine Out pricing.

Firstly, the service was friendly and nice, but slow. The ambiance – I still can’t figure out why it was so loud in there. It was difficult to have a conversation – everyone seemed to be yelling. Was it the greenhouse-like space that caused all the sound to bounce around? And the menu at the restaurant was missing a dessert that was on the website Dine Out menu – the floating island. Never a good move to promise and then not deliver.

But forget all that. I was there for the food. And that’s where I was most disappointed. The best part of the meal was the appetizer. I have no complaints about the beef tartare – in fact, it was lovely. Likewise, my friend quite enjoyed the scallops. Interestingly, the menu at the restaurant had a few additional items which the website did not, some at an additional cost (like the scallops, $5). Unexpected variety is always a bonus.

Boneta-Dinner---Appetizer---Beef-TartareBoneta---Scallops

Unfortunately, it was all downhill from there. The lamb (with garam masala squash, tallow fried potato, and red onion compote) was overly salty. And I like salt! The presentation was impressive, and the potato was tasty, but I felt like I was forcing myself to finish the lamb. My friend’s lingcod was alright in theory, but the ingredients just didn’t seem to mesh very well, and it too was very salty.

The dessert was the real downfall. I admittedly have a huge sweet tooth. There aren’t really any desserts that I don’t like. So although I had been very excited about trying the floating island, I was also quite looking forward to the milk chocolate pot-de-crème. I’m kind of at a loss for words with this one. I’ve never before not finished a dessert. It was overly sweet and simply not good – I could only choke down a few spoonfuls. I also tried my friend’s selection of petit fours, which were just as bad if not worse. The only half-decent item was the vanilla panna cotta, which was also too sweet.

Boneta-Dinner-DessertBoneta-petit-fours

I’m really not sure what to say. I had really wanted to like Boneta. Sadly, it was a let down.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Doug March 11, 2012 at 7:50 AM

The issue is with the current chef. The original chef who was also an owner too a “sabbatical” to travel to Asia. The truth is he has quit the “new” Boneta and is not returning. I heard from a very reliable source he will be opening his own place. The chef they have there now was the chef at Corner Suite Bistro, he was originally supposed to be the sous chef, but the original chef quit and he was thrown into the chef job. He is now a corporate chef for Mark Brand and all of his other restaurants. And hey I’m in the business I know its a very tough job. The food at Corner Suite was not good at all, they went out of business, not surprisingly. Boneta used to be my favorite restaurant but I won’t be back now. I’ve heard several other negative reviews.

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[email protected] March 11, 2012 at 5:37 PM

Wish I had tried Boneta when the original chef was there…

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