Thanks to my choir conductor and a wonderful person, Dallas Bergen, I learned about a very unusual place – Atlantic restaurant. After I read the interview with the owner, I was sold 100% and made a reservation. Now let me tell you why.
On the outside of the restaurant nothing tells you that you are going to indulge in fresh, local, gourmet food. As you come in, you notice that it is quite a small place, 20-25 people at most, and it is not a surprise since the chef, Nathan Isberg, cooks everything without anybody’s help. When we were there, there were two more staff: a waitress and another person in the kitchen to do prep work and the dishes.
The waitress greeted us and a gave a wine list that didn’t have any prices on it. That was the only so to say menu available, everything else was a mystery. We were asked whether we have food allergies or any other food restrictions, to which we happily answered no.
Every morning the chef goes to the market and buys fresh local produce. There he gets his inspiration as well, hence, no menu. This place is definitely not for control freaks as there is absolutely no way for you to know what you are going to eat. I myself enjoyed letting it go and trusting the chef to serve something outstanding, and was I ever right to do so!
The food that was served was art on a plate. Each dish had many ingredients that worked so well together. Gazpacho with pine nuts and edible flowers, warm salad with asparagus, papadam and Persian spices, British Columbia trout and mustard foam, pana cotta with strawberries. Sounds amazing? Well, it looked amazing and tasted million times better than it sounds.
Payment is also worth mentioning. You pay what you feel the food is worth. What? How is he still in business then? He says that by the end of the day it evens it out: some people pay less, some people pay more. Most customers there appreciate good food, and are more than willing to pay for pretty much personal service of an internationally known chef. He also accepts barter, so if you have a piece of art, or you can offer him some service, he might take that as payment 🙂
We enjoyed it and will go back for sure.