23A First Avenue South
Williams Lake, BC  V2G 1M4

250-398-7170

M-Sa: 11a – 8p/ Su: closed

Trattoria Pasta Shoppe on Urbanspoon

July 26th, 2011

As it turns out, Mr O had never been to Trattoria’s before… and it’s been over a year since I last ate here… so of course you can guess where we had dinner tonight.  It’s a seat-yourself establishment and menus await you at each place setting.  The interior is cozy and rustic with well-worn hardwood floors and framed pictures scenic Italy.  Dominating the space behind the counter was a chalkboard listing the many choices of Italian soda that’s available, and the mismatched chairs lends a hand in creating an inviting homely environment, akin to eating at your auntie’s home.

Pasta is the obvious star of tonight’s menu, but there’s a variety of salads to choose from if you happen to have a lighter appetite.  Mr O was intrigued by today’s special, which was linguini with a spicy Italian sausage, and I ordered the Tortellini Pesto.  For starters we decided to try the bruschetta.

My knowledge of Italian cuisine is admittedly not the greatest because I don’t often find myself eating Italian food.  This was my first time trying bruschetta, which is something I’m only familiar with all thanks to the Food Network.  Conferring with Mr Wiki, bruschetta can be referred to either the bread itself, according to hard core Italians, or the topping, according to our Americanized (er… Canadianized?) culture.  The baguette rounds our appetizer came with were neither toasted, nor rubbed with garlic or any seasonings, so the leading role here is played by the topping… which was amazing.  Imagine fresh tomatoes, garlic and basil all chopped up and macerated together in a magical harmony by good olive oil and fresh parmesan.  It’s refreshing and full of wonderful subtle flavours, which was not at all what I expected since there’s garlic and parm at play here.  Only five baguette rounds came with the starter though, so I graciously gave away the odd one out to Mr O.

...bruschetta for two...

When his dinner-sized meal arrived at the table, I had to halt him for a moment before he was able to dive right into the pasta.  It was full of mushroom, bell peppers, spring onions, and fresh tomatoes, stirred into a pesto cream sauce.  The slices of spicy Italian sausage were well distributed, and the noodles were a perfect al dente texture.  Pesto is absolutely delicious and it coats the noodles beautifully.  It lends a nice basil taste and compliments the kick you get out of the spicy sausage.

...pesto ala linguini...

I decided to get only the lunch-sized version of the Tortellini Pesto tonight because I was adamant that I’d have room left for dessert.  And thank goodness I did because I ended up having to pack some of it away in a to-go box.  Not from lack of trying mind you, as the dish was delicious.  It had the same pesto cream sauce and it coats cheese-filled bite-sized tortellini.  Mushrooms and bits of bacon give it a different taste profile from Mr O’s dinner and whole pine nuts garnished the entire thing.

...pesto ala tortellini...

But like I said, I was insistent that there’d be dessert and I’m pretty sure I read somewhere that the desserts were all homemade.  Up for offer are whipped cheesecake, tiramisu, and afternoon delight, which sounded like a chocolate-y layered dessert.  I’m all about the tiramisu (it’s practically the only thing Italian that I yearn for) and Mr O didn’t even need to think twice about the cheesecake.

And what a cheesecake!  It was ultra-smooth, fluffy, and melt-in-your-mouth good.  You get a choice out of three fruity toppings and ours came with strawberries.  My tiramisu was equally good although the lady fingers had soaked up more of the coffee than I would’ve preferred.  Still, that didn’t stop me from plowing through the velvety layers of mascarpone and moist sponge cake.  However I still managed to maintain the decorum of a proper lady and didn’t try to lick the bits of chocolate off of my plate.  Momma would be so proud.

...cheesy cake...

...tiramisu heaven...

Vidas on Urbanspoon

4671 Kitwanga Dr
108 Mile House, BC  V0K 2Z0

250-791-6680

July 3rd, 2011

Coming home from the Coast at the end of the Canada long weekend brought us to 108 Mile House just in time for dinner.  Just beyond the Heritage Site as you drive north is a quaint ‘lil log house which is home to Vidas Restaurant.  It seemed like everyone and their Grandmother had been recommending this place to me, so there wasn’t any doubt that I was going to have my dinner here when the opportunity presented itself.

We arrived on the early side and the place didn’t look terribly busy at first glance.  As it turned out, reservations are highly recommended here, but we were lucky enough to snag the second to last un-reserved table.  As we were led to our table we noticed that everyone inside was wearing rather nice clothes, while Mr O and I both had on shorts and flip-flops.  Oops… definitely feeling a bit under-dressed but they were still happy to seat us so we must not have broken any dress codes.

Large scenic windows adorned one side of the building which overlooked 108 Lake and let in a lot of natural light.  The view was spectacular.  I noticed that there were patio seats available outside, but they didn’t seem to be seating anyone there tonight as people were starting to be turned away at the door.  The walls were made of gigantic smooth logs and local artwork, available for purchase, decorated throughout the interior.  The tables were pretty intimate and the overall environment makes Vidas the perfect place for a romantic meal.

The menu is a simple one and offers dishes which included seafood, pasta and steaks.  We decided to try the crab cakes as a starter, and Mr O ordered tonight’s special which happened to be a grilled chicken breast topped with prawns.  My dinner was a half-order of their seafood risotto.

Our crab cakes arrived; two golden brown patties on the plate which was garnished with a bed of baby spinach, julienned carrots, drizzled balsamic reduction and a rosy chipotle aioli.  The cakes had very little, if any, filler in them.  It was mostly made up of nice sized chunks of crab, seasoned with chopped red peppers and green onions.  The sauce packed a punch… a really heaty punch!  And I found this out the hard way, naively spreading chipotle all over my crab cake before trying it out first.  Can we say ‘greenhorn’?  But spiciness aside, I can appreciate the smokiness of the aioli and it complimented the crab cakes very nicely.

...crab cakes...

Mr O’s chicken was moist and the succulent prawns on top were dressed with a creamy herbed sauce.  Roasted new potatoes, carrots, green beans and yellow squash finished off the plate, along with a baked tomato topped with seasoned breadcrumbs.  There was a minor glitch to the meal though… delicious as they were, Mr O had asked for the quinoa to come with his dinner instead of the potatoes.

...chicken and shrimp together at last...

...veggies for company...

My seafood risotto came with a yeasty rosemary bread twist.  There were generous amount of baby scallops in it and the prawns, though few in number, were very large and tender.  The funny thing about risotto is that it’s very humble in nature, but I believe it’s deceptively hard to execute properly.  There’s a fine line, literal minutes in fact, that separates perfect risotto from a plate of mush.  Vidas’ risotto had the perfect al dente texture, rich and creamy but still with a bit of resistance when you bite into it.  It’s so good and I’m always impressed with a restaurant that can serve me perfect risotto.  Overall, it was a tremendous dinner and made up for the slow service we were experiencing.

...creamy risotto, yummy!...

It might’ve been due to the fact that they were serving a full house, but it was tricky trying to flag down the waitresses.  If you do manage to get them to come to your table, they were always very friendly and eager to please, so it was hard to get too upset with them.  But seriously, we must’ve waited about 10 minutes before we were able to get our waitress’ attention because we wanted to know what was available for dessert.  Apologetic, she recited the menu to us and we chose to have the pecan pie and white chocolate tiramisu cheesecake.

...pecan pie madness...

...tirimisu cheesecake...

The pecan pie was moist and rich, with a great combination of nutty pecans and dark chocolate.  The cheesecake was amazing and had a nice and luscious texture.  It was an impressive way to end dinner and, despite the delay in service, Vidas ranked as one of the best meals I’ve had in a long time.

72 Oliver Street
Williams Lake, BC   V2G 1L7

778-412-5282

M-W: 7a-6p, Th/F: 7a-9p, Sa: 8a-9p (closed Sundays and Holidays, Live Music when available)

New World Coffee and Tea House on Urbanspoon

January 7, 2010

It was gonna be a quickie but we made it happened… Miss B and I finally had a firm lunch date with Miss M!  Our dear friend had returned awhile ago from her voyage through Peru, but due to other out-of-town trips we weren’t able to catch up with her until today.  I had exactly only *ONE* hour to do this, which is really not anywhere near enough time to try to hear about someone’s 6 week long journey!  But it was better than nothing and we made the New World Coffee and Tea House our meeting place.  (Beside that, this would be my first time at NWCaTH so there’s nothing like killing two birds with one stone!)

We seated ourselves at one of the round bistro-style tables and an employee was quick to greet us with menus and the daily special.  Miss B and I had a few minutes to decide what we wanted to eat while we waited for Miss M to arrive.  As it was, the both of us had rung in the new year with a self-enforced diet and I was trying very hard not to notice the freshly baked apple and pumpkin pies that were sitting in the cooler, right below the slices of various cheesecakes…. *gulp!*

...chai latte anyone?

Today’s special happened to be quiches!  Healthy, diet approved quiches… what luck!  The three of us ordered variations of the same meal which meant the Turkey and Veggie soup, a garden salad, and a slice of quiche.  Miss B and Miss M asked for the spinach, peppers and parmesan version and I had the dill and shrimp one.   Miss M indulged herself and also got herself a chai latte, whereas Miss B and I stuck with lemon water.

...soup's on!...

There really wasn’t much to say about the soup other than it was very hot and included actual chunks of real turkey meat.  It was nice, but I wasn’t particularly wowed by the flavour.  Luckily, the quiche was a whole other story… it was so good!  The crust with flakey and very light – I barely realised that there was even a crust – and hence, I did not feel guilty at all for eating carbs!  And the filling was very savoury, flavourful and smooth like silken tofu.  In the past quiches had been synonymous to me with rubbery egg dishes… who knew that it could be so light and wonderful?

...oh how quiche!...

...sooo silky...

I even enjoyed the salad.  My opinion of salad is you eat it out of necessity.  I’m an adult… I’m *supposed* to like eating salads.  And so I always eat them plain with no dressing… why ruin the nutrients I’m supposed to be ingesting by drenching it with fat and sugar?  But curious to know what the pink stuff sitting inside the tin cup was, I dipped my fork in to taste it, and before I knew it I was drizzling the stuff right over my greens.  (Not much, mind you… I do know how to practice restraint at times ;) )  The dressing was very yummy and is definitely something I can envision wanting more of as soon as my wedding date is over.

Now the neatest thing of all occurred when Miss M took the tea bag out of her chai.  The bag was simply enormous and we all had a good laugh about it (though heaven only knew why).  Turns out that it was a cloth bag that they stuffed with their own loose leaves, which they washed and re-used for the next tea.  That is so green and I love it!

...reusable tea bag...

...ready for more...

3075 Highway 97
150 Mile House, BC   V0K 2G0

250-296-4235

Opened 7 days a week for breakfast and lunch, closed for the winter.

Thyme For Tea on Urbanspoon

December 20, 2009

It was an impulsive all-girls day at the tea house!  The girls from the clinic: Miss B, Miss D, Miss J, Doc Kay, Doc Bee, and myself decided to spend a lovely Sunday afternoon at Thyme For Tea (it shares its space with the Yellow Umbrella which happens to be a really nice gift store).  Since Doc Ar is a boy, we decided to invite his wife instead, Lady Ar.

This was my first time here, or in any tea house for that matter.  It was soooo cozy and just the perfect way to spend hours at a time with a group of girlfriends.  Because it was so close to the holidays, there were Christmas decorations and gift ideas everywhere you looked.  There were a few essential oils that I was tempted to buy and a really nice necklace that caught my eye but couldn’t justify buying… so I instead took enjoyment in window shopping.

There was an enormous amount of teas to choose from, all categorised.  Since I wasn’t really familiar with “western-type” teas, I stuck with a simple Green Tea (unadventurous, I know…)  The pots came encased in cute little cozies and everyone had a different style of china cup.  Our table was really starting to look like a tea party!

 

...I'm a little tea pot...

...more tea please!...

High Tea was available for $40 and consisted of tea and assorted sandwiches and pastries for 2 people, but it was much past lunch time and most of us were famished (yours truly included) so we opted to order from the actual menu.  I had the chicken salad sandwich, which had chunks of chicken, shredded almonds and dried cranberries on whole grain bread.

...soooo warm...

...chicken salad sandwich...

Overall I found it pretty tasty, but slightly on the bland side.  It came with a bowl of tomato pasta soup that really warmed me up, considering it was probably about -20C that afternoon.  (In fact, I think everyone also opted for the soup with their meals.)  Miss D ordered the garden sandwich, which was literally a salad stacked between slices of bread and she really enjoyed it.  Lady Ar and Miss B had the cucumber sandwich, Doc Bee ordered a quiche, Miss J got the egg salad sandwich, and Doc Kay (who actually already had lunch prior to arrival) ordered the scone, which came with butter, jam and devonshire cream.  (I’m soooo getting the scone the next time I’m there!)

...scone and jam...

For dessert I had the Christmas Platter, which turned out to be a plate of assorted goodies including a brownie, nanaimo bar, sugar cookies, a raspberry tart and a square of carrot cake.

...Christmas Platter...

Miss D had a slice of the Triple Layer Chocolate Cake, and Doc Bee split a slice of the Cranberry Cheesecake with Lady Ar.

...Cranberry Cheesecake...

In the end, I ended up falling in love with the chocolate cake and my plate of goodies was actually more in line with what Miss D felt like eating, so we ended up swapping desserts.  Oooh come to me!  So dense and cocoa-y, and not overwhelming with the frosting at all!

...Triple Layer Chocolatey goodness!...

I’m definitely coming back for that High Tea, even if I have to drag Mr O with me!