Love it or loathe it, it’s Dine Out Vancouver time!
I fall somewhere in the middle of the love/loathe continuum. I somewhat loathe the slide service takes in some of my favourite places while they struggle to deal with the glut of bargain-seekers. But I do like it for trying out new restaurants, especially those that fully embrace Dine Out, and have orchestrated their service and offerings around making Dine Out a good experience.
An ideal candidate for that, for us, was Watermark at Kits Beach. I’ve heard far too many negative reviews to want to spend time and money there on their regular menu (fearing one of Colene’s Food Mulligan experiences). But when we were invited to join some friends there for Dine Out, I figured the $28 menu is a price I’m willing to pay to come to my own conclusions about the place.
And overall, it was pretty good.
The service was friendly and attentive. When we ordered our drinks (Hendrick’s Gin & Tonic with cucumber – my latest go-to cocktail) our server was honest in that he wasn’t sure he could get us the cucumber. We were okay with that, and it made it all the more impressive that when our drinks arrived, they did so complete with the requested garnish.
They also gave us the option of ordering from the regular menu if the Dine Out offerings weren’t our cup of tea, and didn’t balk when 3 of us ordered Dine Out, and one had a regular menu dish. I’ve found a lot of restaurants force Dine Out as an “all or nothing” option for the entire table.
Finally (literally), they didn’t boot us out after 90 minutes, as so many places attempt to do for the discount crowd. We lingered into the evening and still had to ask for our bill when we were ready to go (it wasn’t unceremoniously dumped on our table, glaring at us to just pay and leave already, geez).
And while all of that made the experience a nice one, and the food was fine, it was just that – fine.
It wasn’t outstanding, impressive, or memorable in any way. If not for the obvious lack of ditsy servers delivering less “service” than “facefull of cleavage” we could’ve been in any Earlstone’s Club in the city. It was “just nice.” And there are too many great restaurants in the city for me to spend my time and money on “just nice”.
I can say that if you’ve got people in from out of town, for whom the beach is an amazing sight, they appreciate a nice meal (but aren’t ultra-picky food critics) and it happens to be a sunny day where English Bay and the North Shore Mountains are all shiny and sparkly, then a seat by the window at Watermark would be a nice treat, and you probably (hopefully) won’t feel ripped off by what you pay for your meal, even though their is a bit of a “view tax.”
But if you’re looking for more than “just nice,” you might want to stop by Capers to grab some picnic fixins, park yourself on the beach in front of the restaurant, and give Watermark a miss.