I decided to have my birthday dinner with a small group of my best girlfriends at The Botanist located in the Fairmont Pacific Rim Hotel. I’d heard many good things and I was eager to try the elaborate cocktails that I had seen on social media. I was the first to arrive from my party and I was greeted by a friendly host who wished me a happy birthday, hung my coat, then handed me a card before escorting me to my table. I sat and waited for my friends and opened up the card. It was a birthday card signed by the employees. How nice! I’ve never had a restaurant do anything like this before and I loved it. I took in the atmosphere while I waited – this restaurant is beautiful. The “botanist” theme is definitely throughout the entire space with beautiful bright greenery and a floral touch. Another great feature are these stools next to the seats for your purse. I hate having to leave my purse on my lap or awkwardly having it hit my knees as its hanging from a hook at the edge of the table. It may be a minor thing, but its something that I really appreciated.
I was excited to order one the whimsical over-the-top beverages I’d seen online, but I was disappointed to learn that you could only order these drinks at the bar. Our waiter did offer for us to start our evening off at the bar and come back to the table later so I could still have one, but at this point it was 8 p.m. and I was starving. They do have a separate cocktail menu for the dining room though so I took a look and went with the “Poetry in Motion” cocktail. My friends began to arrive one at a time and our waiter was so on top of it – greeting each of them as they joined the group and taking their drink orders. He was awesome. We all got our drinks and after taking my first sip I was a happy girl. The Poetry in Motion was citrus-y, light and bubbly. I kept em coming for the rest of the night. We had different cocktail choices all around the table and not one person was unhappy with their choice. We dipped into their in house baked bread while we waited for our mains. The bread was very delightful and different. They were shaped like leaves. We received our meals and all i can say is wow. I ordered the butter poached lobster. It was described on the menu as “trumpet mushrooms, crispy risotto, lobster bisque, butter poached lobster”, but all I saw in front of me was pure art. Our server poured the bisque onto my plate and it was so visually stunning. Almost too pretty to eat. I was starving though, so I didn’t let it stop me. My first bite was heavenly. I have nothing negative to say. They knocked it out of the park. There was a hush that went over the table. That’s usually a good sign that everyone is enjoying their meals. Every one of us cleared up our plates completely. My friends all agreed that their meals were amazing and no one felt the heaviness that comes after some dinners out. We decided to order a dessert to share, but none of us were that impressed by the choices on the dessert menu. We chose an option anyhow and went with the banana mousse with candied hazelnut, milk chocolate whip, frozen latte foam and espresso reduction. Not a favorite. I think they need to update their dessert menu.
All in all it was a extraordinary night. Although prices can be thought of as high, you are getting what you pay for. Dinner exceeded my expectations and the cocktails were delicious. The ambiance is lovely and I will be coming back to try those cocktails at the bar. I can easily see how The Botanist was voted one of Canada’s 100 Best Restaurants.