Blue Canoe Waterfront Restaurant

by Ed Lau on January 24, 2010

As some of you know from following me on Twitter, this past Tuesday was my 27th birthday (by the way, thank you for all the birthday wishes). Unfortunately at my age, you get to the point where it is difficult to get all your friends together on a weekday due to jobs, kids, and other obstacles so they decided to come out with me on Friday. When asked to pick a restaurant, I decided I was rather bored with the usual establishments so I asked Twitter where I should go for a casual dining experience. After siphoning through several suggestions, including Michael Kwan stating that it doesn’t get any more casual than McDonald’s, I decided the most interesting one was Blue Canoe Waterfront Restaurant as suggested by Rob Viccars. Two reasons: it’s located on pier in Steveston, one of the better locations around for a meal and a look at the menu revealed some interesting dishes and an even better beer list full of brews I’ve never heard of.

We arrived for a 7:30pm reservation and while not at capacity, the place was quite busy. We were seated on the heated patio since it was big enough to seat our table of 14. Unfortunately, when I say heated, I mean it was like Cancun. Apparently, the heater outside only has two settings: on and off. If we turned it off, all the girls were freezing like women usually are. If it was on, we might as well have ordered our food raw and watch it cook in front of us from the heat. Personally, I think one of those space heaters you see at Starbucks would’ve been plenty.

The menu contains what you’d expect from a waterfront place. The usual burgers, pastas and steaks as well as a seafood menu that changes daily according to what’s fresh. Our server explained all the daily specials in detail (twice…since our table was so long), which included a very interesting steak cooked on top of a halved onion.

I had prime cuts of beef twice already that week so I decided to go with the seafood. My starter was the seared ginger soy ahi tuna, served on a bed of seasame slaw with a citrus soy marinade. The dish was well seasoned and cooked perfectly, very rare in the middle. The tuna goes great with the crunchy coleslaw. The tuna with the marinade is a bit on the salty side by itself but in a complete bite with the slaw, it’s great.

My entree was mussels, clams and fries cooked in a classic white wine, garlic and butter combination. The fries are the extremely thin shoestring variety, fried to a crispy golden brown. The clams were great but the mussels were rather small for their shells. They all tasted fresh and the garlic/butter/white wine broth was great for soaking up with the crusty bread and fries. It was good but honestly, I’ve had better.

I mentioned that they have an interesting beer list. My selection was this Tree Brewing Cut Throat pale ale which, aside from the awesome name, is described on the menu as being “absolutely brilliant”. It’s a darker beer than you’d expect from a pale ale with a hint of bitterness but smooth, slightly sweet and not heavy. Great with food.

Here’s some of what my friends ordered. This is the Waterfront burger, which is a flame grilled prime rib burger with aged cheddar.

Grilled sablefish and shellfish linguini.

Skillet tuna steak, seared rare.

This is the steak I mentioned above, cooked on top of half an onion while the other half is made into crispy onion rings.

Service at the Blue Canoe was attentive and friendly. We got our appetizers quickly but we waited for quite a long time for our entrees. I guess I could give them a pass on this since we were a rather large party and they accommodated us well, even turning the heater on and off a few times throughout the night and switching the channel on the nearby TV when some questionable programing (…uh…some MMA guy was getting a…uh…medical checkup…I think) appeared.

They also heard it was my birthday so they treated me to dessert on the house, a bread pudding with a creme anglais I can’t quite remember. It was nice and warm with some tasty cranberries.

Overall, an enjoyable experience with above average food. Maybe in the spring there’d be some better mussels available, which was on the only real criticism I had. The view is great and the atmosphere is warm and inviting. I’d love to try sitting on that patio for a meal without it feeling like a heatwave. If you’re a bit bored of the usual chains around Vancouver, head to Steveston and give Blue Canoe a try.

Blue Canoe Waterfront Restaurant on Urbanspoon

in Food and Fine Dining,Photography

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Michael Kwan January 24, 2010 at 2:19 pm

For the record, I suggested Kam Do, not McDonald’s. :)

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Brett @ bnordin.com January 26, 2010 at 2:59 am

Happy Belated Bday! As always the pictures are making me hungry!

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Chris January 29, 2010 at 8:54 pm

Living in Steveston like I do, but having a strong aversion to seafood (if it comes from the sea, it’s not for me – unless it’s fish ‘n chips – that’s okay), brings me into constant conflict with eating out and staying near to home. That said, I quite like the Blue Canoe, even if I only eat the burger.

Marnie (the fiancee) and I have gone there a few times, both alone and with family, and everyone has been happy with their meals (including me with my burger). The prices are a little on the uppity-up side, but we can’t complain about the service nor the quality of the product on the plate.

Anywho, just my two cents.

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