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Our lovely anniversary weekend and Cincin review

July 14, 2009
   This weekend Jeff and I were celebrating our wedding anniversary, and thought we would treat ourselves to a real special celebration.  For us that involves spending an afternoon at the Vancouver Art Gallery, dinner out at Cincin and then a cozy hotel room in town.
  The Vancouver Art Gallery currently has a very special exhibition, Vemeer, Rembrandt and the Golden Age of Dutch Art Masterpieces from the Rijksmuseum.  It highlights absolutely incredible pieces of art from 17th century Netherlands, and is on exclusive North American tour to Vancouver.  The paintings are simply stunning to look at, and since I studied many of these pieces in art class it was a real eye opener to see the originals.  Looking at a print in a textbook is nowhere near what the original conveys, and I haven’t seen something that gripping since we went to Italy and saw masterpieces from other times there.  The art from the pinaccle age of the Netherland culture is unparalleled and set the stage for artwork throughout history.  Rembrandt was known for dramatic lighting in his paintings of scenes and portraits.  It was fascinating to look at the paintings up close to see how he used brush strokes and colour to complete the picture.  What was also interesting to learn was that how some of the paintings we saw were changed through history to make them more appealing and acceptable to the social mores of the time, and then restored.  My favorites from the show were the still life paintings of flowers and the silverwork. 
   My advice is to see it for yourself if you can.
  After the museum we just had enough time to stroll back to the hotel, freshen up and change for dinner.  It was a lovely evening and by the time we got up to our room on the seventeenth floor at the Coast Hotel we were really walked out, so after changing and putting away our goodies we picked up along the way we decided to take a cab to the restaurant.  Then all we had to do was to walk up the stairs to Cincin on the second floor just off of the busy Robson stroll.
  Cincin is our favorite romantic restaurant in Vancouver.  It has Italian cuisine and an alder grill which makes food super yummy.  We had mostly decided before we sat down that we would have their tasting menu which is a preset menu of 8 courses.  One glance at the menu and we were set, we also chose to have the wine pairings that are chosen to perfectly accompany the dishes.  This time the two choices were "land" and "sea" menus, so Jeff picked one and I ordered the other.  Here is the menu for both;
     Land                                                                             Sea
  Amuse Bouche –                                                               Amuse Bouche –   
                     Marinated beets with soft mozzarella cheese         
  Carpaccio of AAA Beef Tenderloin –                               House Cured Swordfish –
Tonnato Dressing, baby watercress                                 Meyer Lemon and Green Pistachio Oil
    Batasiolo, Barbera D’Alba 06                                           Allegrini, Corte Giara Pinot Grigio 07
  1 Year Aged Biodynamic Risotto –                                    Mushroom Ravioli –
  Artichokes and Truffle oil                                               Gorgonzola Sauce
    Antinori, Sata Cristina 06                                                  Tariquet, Sauvignon Blanc 07
  Wood fire grilled Veal Piccata –                                      Wood oven grilled Wild Salmon
  Eggplant Capontata, fingerling potatoes                          Baby artichokes with young radish,
    Banfi, Rosso Di Montalcino 06                                            farro wheat and basil
                                                                                             Burrowing Owl Pinot Gris 07
  Lamb Osso Bucco –                                                           Poached Half Lobster –
  Organic sungold tomato and faglioli,                               Spinach and Ricotta Gnocchi,
   horse radish gremolata                                                    porchini and fava beans
         Brancaia, Tre 06                                                     Mission Hill ‘Perpetua’, Chardonnay 06
  BC Camembert –                                                               Corsicans Sheep’s Milk Cheese –
  Arugula, nut bread                                                           Arugula, nut bread
    Joie Farm, A Noble Blend 07                                          Allegrini, Palazzo Della Torre 06
  Brulee –                                                                              Strawberry Sable –
  Local berries, Vanilla gelato                                               Shortbread, Strawberry sorbetto
    Chiarlo, Moscato D Asti                                                       La Frenz Tawny Port
  Petit Fours                                                                           Petit Fours
   Limoncello                                                                             Limoncello
  The highlights for me were many.  The Swordfish was light and tasty, and I couldn’t help taking a bit of bread to soak up the oil.  I loved the Mushroom Ravioli, it was best described as sexy.  The wine accompanying the salmon declared that the salmon was on the way, it was such a perfect pairing.  I also loved the Strawberry Sorbetto and the Port with it that tasted almost like strawberries itself. 
  Jeff says his highlight was sitting across from me and looking at the smile on my face, the same look that I had for our wedding.  He is such a romantic. 
  A Cozy Night in Town
  I must admit that all the wine and stuffed with good food that took hours to consume made me quite full and giddy.  It felt like I was walking on marshmallows for a while, so we thought it wise to walk off some of our copious consumption.  Jeff had an amusing moment when on the way back to the hotel we came across a raccoon mama and her four babies and I decided to say hello.  Mama raccoon didn’t think I was fit to talk to her family and chittered a low warning back, so we moved along.
  We stayed at The Coast Hotel and Suites in a "comfort suite" which included a kitchen.  Our room was on the 17th floor and looked out onto Comox street, and a few blocks over we could see English Bay.  In the morning we slept in and then Jeff made us a little breakfast of eggs, toaster waffles and sausage.  It wrapped up a very nice weekend before we did a little downtown shopping and headed home.  I didn’t need to eat much anymore for that day I was still so full. 
  All in all the weekend was filled with remembrance of the good times we had getting married, and we relived the happy feeling of being together and enjoying ourselves.  We also remembered how tired we felt the next day as we did feel a bit tired after such a full weekend of pleasures.
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