I almost never order steak.  In fact, I can remember the last time I did, and it was 2006.  I even have a picture of that night, which I think my brother will hate, but sorry Mark, I couldn’t help it.  He and I were travelling together in Europe, and in a small restaurant in a small French village, I ordered a steak.  Steak and frites, to be exact.  The shoestring potatoes were crisp and yellowy-golden, and the steak was magnificent.  Tender, flavourful, and only the size of a deck of cards.  I’m not – nor will I ever be – the type who craves a 20 ouncer.

This weekend I’m stay-cationing at The Hilton Vancouver Airport Hotel, and while perusing their restaurant (Carmichael’s) menu last evening, I came across it again – steak and frites.  Capitalizing on my once-every-half-decade craving, I went for it.

Feeling lush,  I ordered in room service, and even cracked a bottle of wine.

The meal that arrived was different from the one at the French bistro, but you know what?  It was just as good.

Let’s start with the steak.  It was a decent size, though not very thick, and I finished it all.  Just the right amount.  It was topped with a Madeira jus and crispy fried onions, and came with a small salad of grilled tomatoes and pea shoots.

I’m not a person who believes in pure and unadulterated beef; I enjoy my steak with well-made sauces and garnishes, as long as they compliment the beef’s flavour, rather than take away from it.  This steak’s toppings did exactly that; the jus was savoury with a touch of sweetness, and the onions had been fried in a slightly spicy batter, adding an entirely new element to the dish.  The meat was perfectly cooked, exactly the medium-rare (heavier on the rare) I’d asked for, and I loved each and every bite.  I believe I’m now steak-satisfied for a good long while.

The frites (which is just French for ‘fries’) were actually sweet potatoes – a twist on the traditional.  They were crispy and came with a beautifully thick herbed aioli, which tasted strongly of fresh tarragon.  Now that’s French.

If I’m only going to order a classic steak once every half-decade, then this is how I want it to be.  Small, packed with flavour, properly cooked, and served with fries and mayo.  I wonder where I’ll have my next one?

Thank you to The Hilton for hosting me this weekend!

And don’t forget about the Twitter giveaway that’s on now…..

I want to thank you for sticking with me through the last 110+ days.  How am I going to do that?  By sharing 5 of my favourite experiences!

Each day for 5 days (starting yesterday) watch my twitter account @365richmond for a daily question. Retweet with the answer for your chance to win a $25 Gift Card to one of my favourite Richmond experiences.

A few things to note:
*The winner will be chosen by random
*The winner must be following @365richmond and respond to a Direct Message within 96 hours of posting
*Finally, for those of you not in Twitter, there’ll be opportunities for you to win, too!  Keep an eye out for more Richmond eat-opportunities in the very near future.

Good luck!


Carmichael’s Restaurant, The Hilton Vancouver Airport