Last year, we had the opportunity to attend the Savour the City Supper Club, which included a pop-up dinner at The Waterfall Building in Granville Island, and a test drive of the 2014 Lincoln MKZ. This year, Lincoln Canada hosted the event at West Restaurant, only this time the focus was on the all-new 2015 Lincoln MKC compact premium crossover. Priced starting at $39,940, it faces stiff competition in a crowded vehicle class which includes the Acura RDX, BMW X3, Infiniti EX, Lexus NX, Mercedes-Benz GLK, and the Audi Q5 (which we recently reviewed here).
As a new entry into Lincoln’s luxury lineup, the MKC is built off the same platform used on the Ford Escape (which we reviewed here in 2012). There are two available engines which include a 2.0-liter four cylinder EcoBoost gasoline engine (240 horsepower and 270 lb-ft of torque), and a bigger 2.3-liter four cylinder turbocharged EcoBoost gasoline engine (285 horsepower and 305 lb-ft), which is actually shared by the 2015 Ford Mustang. The vehicle we tested had the more powerful engine and it offered plenty of kick and had decent acceleration. Having driven the Audi Q5, I would say the Lincoln MKC’s level of interior refinement is on par with the Audi, which is due for a refresh as it’s nearing the end of its model lifecycle. What I didn’t like in the MKZ sedan were the climate controls, which utilized a touch-sensitive slider. I was happy to see that they’ve replaced that with standard climate control buttons in the MKC. The seats (with heating and cooling features) were comfortable, the 14-speaker THX audio system was powerful and clear, cabin sound was minimal, and the ride was smooth. The highlight for me was the huge panoramic sunroof, which opens up the roof for both the front and back seats. On the exterior, although I’m not a huge fan of the signature split-wing grille, I really liked how they made the lines flow seamlessly into the headlight housing which holds HID lamps with stylish LED accents. It’s worthy to note that it looks nothing like the Ford Escape, as it’s just sleeker and sexier from bumper to bumper, both inside and out. From the back, the full-width taillights really make the car stand out, and the foot-activated hands-free tailgate is a class-leading and practical feature as well.
Overall, I was pleasantly surprised by this vehicle, and I think Ford/Lincoln has done a fantastic job with the MKC. If you’re in the market for a premium compact crossover with a reasonable price tag, you might not want to overlook this vehicle.
Alright, enough about cars, let’s talk about dinner. For over 14 years now, West has been an institution for fine dining in the South Granville neighbourhood, and has received numerous awards and accolades along the way. Quang Dang is the Executive Chef at West, and has established a great reputation for himself through the years. Can you believe that we’d never eaten here before? So you can probably guess we were eager to see what he had in store for us that evening.
Left: Kale ‘Caesar’ – with double smoked bacon, anchovy, brioche croutons. You can never go wrong adding bacon to a salad, and I really enjoyed this one. Right: Biodynamic Risotto – with side stripe prawn, summer squash, roasted peppers. Risotto dishes generally tend to be quite heavy, but this one was pleasantly light and the foam on top was a unique touch.
Left: Double Stuffed Ravioli – with roasted corn, ricotta, Walla Walla onion fondue. The sauce was creamy and the corn added a really nice bite and texture to the dish; Right: Wild Point Grey Sockeye Salmon – with salt baked beetroot, grilled octopus, horseradish dill sauce. This salmon was moist and cooked to perfection.
For dessert, we had the Oat Pana Cotta with Poached Peaches (background), and the Chocolate Maple Pecan Charlotte with orange coulis, chocolate sorbet (foreground). It was the perfect way to cap off a great meal and evening.
Lincoln continues to dazzle people with both their automobiles and their swanky events. They’ve obviously turned the page with their brand and are trying to appeal to a younger demographic as well. And from the looks of things, I’d say their efforts are paying off quite well.
Disclaimer: We were invited to this event and the meal was complementary, however the opinions of the food and vehicle are our own and we were not paid for this post.