by Lauren Mote
The fuel to live or the fuel to indulge further? Both are true. What used to be a kebob hut on 4th st, now stands, and for quite some time, Fuel restaurant. Owned by Chef Robert Belcham and Sommelier Tom Doughty, Fuel restaurant takes our love of pork and foie gras to an entirely new level. Literally.
There are so many items on the menu, having nothing immediately to do with pork or foie gras that look equally as amazing. So, if you have the iron stomach for it, and you want to experience the reality behind Vancouver’s indulgent culinary scene, I urge you to make a reservation.
Fuel boasts an impressive wine list, which is not surprising for this wine dork, as Tom Doughty is a gifted wine enthusiast who really appears to hand pick items from all over the old world. I was especially taken by his Italian wine selections. Selling high quality IGT (just above Italian table wine in status) wines, and a great selection of Super Tuscans, and other “classico” selections that make me daydream.
Before our first course arrived, an amuse emerges from the kitchen – let this “tickle your mouth” – a homemade ravioli of cream, fava bean and buffala mozzarella. How delicious this was with our aperitif of Sumac’s Stellar’s Jay Brut.
First course – Glorious Garnish ‘Celebration’ Salad – house made ricotta, virgin walnut oil ‘the cure’s’ salumi (13); Seared and Tartar of Qualicum Scallop – avocado, cucumber, serrano chili, rocket (17.5); Traditional Brodo –
italian meat broth, hen’s egg, radish, sorrel (12.5) – all were spectacular in their own right, the flavours were fresh and precise.
All Night Braised Beef Collar – dungeness crab, celeriac puree, grains of paradise (28); ‘Sloping Hills’ Organic Pork truffled sausage, garlic scapes, spaetzle, grainy mustard (30.5) – all were wonderfully paired to the 2004 Chianti Classico.
I recall that we had to skip dessert, as the appetizers and main courses were so incredibly filling!
Fuel often finds itself in a position with protesters outside their restaurant – the use of foie gras, the breeding of specific animals from specific locations for their meats – but at the end of the day, for those of us who can look beyond the picketing lines, we can have a great lunch for $25, or a supreme dinner that busts your belt notches. Either way, protesters – just have a bite.
1944 W 4th ave.