Tonight my husband, my mother-in-law and I headed over to Papi’s Oyster Bar to enjoy Dine Out Vancouver and have a little belated birthday dinner for me.

I had made reservations online.  The time that I wanted wasn’t available (5:30 p.m.), the first time available online for three people was at 6:15 p.m. which we booked.  We ended up swinging by at around 5:30 anyhow to see if they could take us in.  We were pleasantly surprised to find that they were able to take us in right away and there were available tables in the restaurant.  I’m really glad that we were able to be seated at our preferred time, but I was a bit puzzled as to why there was not more availability on Open Table.

So first I’ll talk about the amazing.  The service here is top notch.  The staff is personable and attentive.  My mother-in-law had presents for us and they gave us plenty of space to do our thing without interrupting.  Our server had a wonderful personality and great energy.  They added a birthday candle to my dessert and sang a nice little rendition of Happy Birthday along with my family.  They were absolutely fantastic.

First course:

  • rockfish croquettes – crispy on the outside with a mixture of mashed potatoes and rockfish on the inside with tartar sauce.  Loved these.  They were delicious.  I also loved the presentation.
  • white wine mussels with a toasted baguette – this dish was divine!  I love mussels and the broth was flavorful with a perfect piece of buttered toasted baguette to soak up all the yumminess.

Second course:

  • braised short ribs with polenta cake and a rosemary red wine reduction – a little disclaimer:  this was my mother-in-law’s main entree and I did not try it.  Her opinion on the dish was that although it was still good, it did not need as much sauce as it was smothered in as the short ribs were the star of the dish and would shine through perfectly on it’s own.
  • prawn and chorizo linguine with herb tomato sauce served with a toasted baguette – this dish was yummy.  I came here looking for seafood and the prawns in the dish were large and cooked to perfection.  My husband also ordered this dish and we both polished off our plates.

Third course:

  • panna cotta – with choice of raspberry or chocolate sauce.  My mother-in-law and I both opted for the chocolate sauce and my husband went with the raspberry.  The panna cotta was creamy and delightful and we all enjoyed it.

I do want to make a note with the third course.  Two out of three of us actually ordered the crème brûlée, but right before dessert to our dismay, we were told that it was unfortunately not available.  We were disappointed as we both had our hearts set on it.  That being said, in the end we did enjoy the panna cotta, but I still imagine that the crème brûlée would have made my night complete as it is one of my favorites.

Lastly, I want to mention how beautiful the far end of the restaurant is.  I almost didn’t notice it at first, until right before we were leaving.  They have a door that goes through to another room which has a beautiful mural on the wall – just gorgeous.

Although our experience wasn’t perfect on this visit, I feel this is a great restaurant.  I’m looking forward to going back to try their Wednesday Seafood Boil and their fish and chips in the future.