Lunch At Feenie’s (with Rob Feenie!)

by Ed Lau on April 11, 2007

Not quite…but we did, in fact meet Rob Feenie at his restaurant on West Broadway. I didn’t notice he was there until John Chow told me he was sitting in the corner in a meeting. He was kind enough to come over, say hi and take some photos with us outside. If you don’t know who Rob Feenie is, he’s one of the best chefs in the world, running one of the best restaurants in Vancouver, Lumiere. He is probably best known for defeating Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto (formerly of Nobu but now of Morimoto in Philadelphia and New York) on the popular cooking competition television series.

Unfortunately, Lumiere is not open for lunch but Feenie’s, which is right next door, is. Lumiere is an internationally critically acclaimed restaurant and obviously one of the more expensive in Vancouver. While Feenie’s is more reasonably priced, it does get rather expensive for lunch quickly. John, his lovely wife Sarah and myself decided to split up the menu and order a different type of food each. I tackled the duck dishes while Sarah ordered beef and John the seafood. Let’s start with my dishes.

Roasted Duck Confit Salad

This was my appetizer which featured a rather large roasted duck leg on top of a bed of butter lettuce and radicchio. The duck was extremely tender and could be cut with a knife using gravity alone. The meat itself was a tad dry but with plenty of flavor. The skin was a beautifully roasted crust and was very crispy. The salad also had some bacon, pears and roquefort cheese. I mistakenly took a bite of cheese by itself and was overwhelmed by its power. That’s some strong cheese! I don’t really recommend eating the cheese on its own but with a bit of everything else together, it was delicious.

Peking Duck Clubhouse

I’m always a little scared of trying Asian dishes anywhere but Asian restaurants since often, they’re not done the way they should be but the peking duck in this sandwich was great! The duck was very tender and the skin was very crispy without being oily. It was made with pancetta, which is a sort of Italian bacon, and served with spicy mayo on a fruit and nut bread. The sweetness of the hoisin sauce on the duck along with the sweetness of the bread go with the duck very well and tasted much like peking duck should, but in sandwich form! It was probably one of the healthier items on the menu and came with a salad rather than fries.

Beef Tartare

Vegetarians beware! Sarah’s appetizers was a beef tartare is topped with a raw quail egg yolk, which kind of holds the ingredients together. This was definitely the best of our appetizers as the beef was amazingly flavorful.

Rob’s Very Own Beef Dip

I love beef dip sandwiches. This particular beef dip was no exception with generous portions of swiss cheese, dijon mustard and caramelized onions on top of the braised short rib. The ribs were amazingly tender and the sandwich held up nicely dipped in the jus. The fries the sandwich is served with, however, aren’t spectacular. I prefer my fries crispier, really.

Rob’s ‘Swedish Touch’ Salmon

This was John’s appetizer. I’m not sure how it relates to the…”massage parlor” downtown but…I’m not sure I really want to know. Anyways, the marinated salmon is covered with onions cooked in red wine, served on toasted bread and served with a dijon and coffee sauce. Not really much to say about it. The salmon was very fresh tasting and not overwhelmed by the sauce, which was actually surprisingly light.

Feenie’s Famous Calamari Sandwich

John tells me this was a signature Feenie dish which originated on his Food Network TV show. It was a tad oily for my taste but probably only because it was served on a sesame seed bun, which soaked some of the oil from the calamari. Apparently the original was served on sourdough, which would’ve been much better because sourdough holds up better with oils. However, the calamari itself was very tasty.

Feenie’s is located at 2563 West Broadway in Vancouver. Appetizers are $8-14 and entrees start at $8 (for the Feenie’s Weenie!) and go up to about $25. All of our appetizers and entrees were $14 each and we were stuffed! You could probably get by with just one of the entrees as portions are generous but I hadn’t eaten all day so I was starving. At those prices, it’s a better deal than going to…say…White Spot or Milestone’s. Service was excellent as our appies arrived within 10 minutes of ordering and my water glass was never more than half empty. There was always a waiter available and fellas, the hostess on this particular day was smokin’. We did come on a surprisingly slow day with very few occupied tables. On a more regular day, you might need reservations.

in Food and Fine Dining

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

msdanielle April 11, 2007 at 3:59 pm

wow that food looks delish! :D i can’t imagine splitting that much food between three people…oh wait, yes i can. ;) just not for lunch! and i agree about the fries. can’t have limp fries… if i went there, i’d prob get the peking duck clubhouse. that looks HELLA good!


KellyCho April 12, 2007 at 5:27 pm

Too bad the restaurant’s so far away from us =(


Thor Schrock April 14, 2007 at 2:27 pm

What is it with you and John taking pictures of your meals? I am trying to lose weight here and temptation is not appreciated. :-)

Nice pics though, and it looks delicious!


Leo April 15, 2007 at 10:30 pm

I gotta try this place out.


Laura Feenie January 8, 2008 at 7:44 am

My husband, Rob Feenie, is Rob’s older cousin. Their fathers, Lionel and Laurie, were brothers. Lionel passed away in 1987, Laurie is still living. Anyway, my husband, my 16- year-old son, and I went to Feenies restaurant two summers ago while in Vancouver. We live in GR, MI. We were seated outside, and my husband had not seen his cousin in many years since his fathers funeral, the chef’s uncles funeral. We saw Rob enter the restaurant, but my husband decided to wait until we payed our bill before asking to say hi to Rob. Our server, after seeing my husband credit card, laughed and said “wow, same name as our chef,” I’ll go see if he can come out. The server comes back and informs us that Rob is in Toronto. We were shocked and didn’t know what to say. My husband always got along with that side of the family, so I guess we were not important enough to bother with !!!

Our son learned a very valuable lesson that day and says when he is in the NHL he will acknowledge everyone, especially the “little” people. Shame on you Rob Feenie, the restaurant guy.


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