Last month, Stake launched their all-new dynamic dinner menu to the public, focusing on seasonal, local, and top quality ingredients. We were introduced to six courses (two appetizers, three mains and a dessert), along with wine pairings for each dish. The restaurant is attached to the new Hard Rock Casino in Coquitlam, and is accessible from their main parking lot. Late last year, Boulevard Casino was rebranded as Hard Rock Casino. Click here to read about our media tour of the property right before opening day.
Stake’s Executive Chef Matthew Richmond was born and raised in Coquitlam, and draws his inspiration from French cooking. After attending Vancouver Community College, he was part of the opening team at Fairmont Pacific Rim in downtown Vancouver, and then cycled through several hotel restaurants before joining the Hard Rock Casino family. What’s unique about this establishment is the learning environment it provides for eager students wishing to work in the restaurant industry. Richmond and his team introduces them to high kitchen standards and various levels of training. Their mission is to deliver a downtown-level dining experience in Coquitlam. The large kitchen space is conducive to learning, and allows for staff to master techniques and graduate to work in one of the 7 different food and beverage establishments located inside the casino. Below is a summary of what we experienced from this team of promising chefs.
Beet Trio Salad (Blueberry goat cheese mousse, pea greens, slightly pickled candy cane beets, walnut wafer, with golden beet dressing). Paired with Sandhill 2012 White Label Rosé.
Signature Smoked Crispy Pork Belly (green pea puree, butter braised white asparagus, tomato confit, apple bourbon jus). This dish showcases several of the cooking techniques taught to the staff. Served with Sandhill Voignier.
Oceanwise Pacific Halibut (king oyster mushrooms braised in abalone sauce, preserved olive, green beans, eggplant saute, with wilted pea greens). Paired with Red Rooster 2011 Pinot Blanc. This multicultural dish is one of the best sellers at the restaurant.
Pan-seared Truffle Polenta (leek fondue, ratatouille, thyme glazed portobello, garlic cream, micro chard). The polenta has a nice crispy exterior, with a soft textured interior, balanced by the creaminess of the leek fondue. The leeks are melted down in butter, and then added to a garlic cream sauce. This dish is tasty enough to win over a meat lover. Paired with Spierhead 2012 Pinot Noir.
6oz. seared Beef Tenderloin (Golden Ears Emmental fondant potato, glazed beets, crisp leek, truffle foam, jus). This certified Angus Beef tenderloin goes to show how important it is to work with quality ingredients even within a learning environment. Accompanied by Burrowing Owl 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon.
Chocolate Marquise (Irish cream anglaise, chocolate pearls, raspberry coulis). House-made chocolate bailey’s raspberry coulis. Paired with Sandhill 2011 Vintage Merlot.
We enjoyed the menu tasting, and although we’re rarely in Coquitlam, we’ll be sure to check them out again the next time we’re in the neighbourhood. And if you happen to be gambling at the Hard Rock Casino, what better way to celebrate your winnings (or mourn your losses) than with a delicious meal?
Disclaimer: The meal was complimentary. Our opinions are our own and we were not paid for this post.