It's a year since chef Andrea Carlson opened up Burdock & Co on Main Street in Mount Pleasant and so it's time to take a look back at what the reaction has been from critics and online commentators.
Both the Vancouver Sun and the Globe and Mail were full of praise, Mia Stainsby raved, "the dishes could sit comfortably on most fine dining menus and they're tastier than many haute dishes I've had in high-priced spots. The food looks fresh and vibrant and lively and skilfully presented." Alexandra Gill over at the Globe and Mail declares "if there were to be a restaurant that best represented Vancouver, Burdock & Co. would be the hands-down winner.a shining reflection of progressive local tastes" swooning over food that is "...so green, fresh and luxuriantly creamy." Writing for Eat Magazine, Anya Levykh says, "The menu overall is one of balance, with an emphasis on clean, crisp flavours and not too many ingredients on plate. Roasted green farro ($10) is made extraordinary with the addition of fermented black garlic, an ingredient I am tempted to knock back like bar nuts."
The Georgia Straight opened with giddy praise, "Great chefs can take you on great adventures, and Andrea Carlson does just that at her newly opened Burdock & Co. She guides diners on a Super, Natural British Columbia trip with stops at inner-city gardens along the way." but found a few gripes on the trip: "Even though they (wooden benches)have cushions on them, I had not one but two big slivers pierce through my leggings." and "Service was good, but surprisingly, given Carlson's fine-dining experience, not outstanding. Even though the menu's focus is on share plates, we had to ask for serving utensils. "
Vancouver Magazine touches on an issue that's bought up endlessly on Yelp et al: portion size, "This is a place that'll be happily enjoyed by keen foodies and mum-and-daughter dates. Five hungry guys? Move along."
Over on the food blogs Followmefoodie was less enthusiastic, "I tried almost the whole menu and although I wasn't quite blown away, I wasn't disappointed. It is a bit simple and granola for my tastes, but I would still go back and appreciate it. It is pricey for tapas and an everyday restaurant, but it is nice without being swank or showy."
VancouverSlop praised unstintingly, "the dishes remind me of high-end Scandanavian; nature takes centre stage thanks to precise and organically inspired plating. High-quality ingredients shine through a soft yet creative touch, nothing is over-marinated or flavoured, the quality and treatment stand for themselves. Also? I had the most beautiful cocktail I've ever seen."
More delights over at John Sloan's Reviews: There are times when reading over my restaurant reviews I worry that I'm looking for something that doesn't exist, a near-perfect dining experience. No worries, this is it....Andrea Carlson deserves a bigger and classier venue to thrill her lucky customers. And we hope and believe she will get it."
Dennis the Foodie enjoyed brunch - with a few reservations: Silverware looks vintage. I think they need a trip through the dishwasher. They felt kinda reactive/tinny in my mouth. Usually we'd be hesitant to order faux-Asian dishes in non-Asian restaurants but they really made a kick-ass dish.
Over at Urban Spoon, there is less praise and more snarking about portion size and price: JCA grumps: The portions are WAY too small. THREE oysters for $15? A quarter cup of farro for $11? I get that this food is done by the people who ran Bishop's. Heads up though - this is Mount Pleasant. Dread Dentist rages: "the salmon was dry and bland (and at $18 for a credit card-sized piece of fish, I sat there wondering where the rest of the plate was hiding)" but Pamela was more appreciative: "I'm coming back with my friends, this is a new favourite! I notice there is a greater percentage of women in the kitchen, which makes for a refreshing change."
Yelpers are similarly split, Foodmuse writes, "I have no problem paying money for something tasty and satisfying but this was ridiculous. Also the food is all brown and green" while Harps S says, "I also thought that the portions were perfect and we left feeling very satisfied, while having the chance to try a few different things."
· Burdock & Co [Official Site]
· All previous Burdock & Co coverage [EVAN]