Whenever the topic of favourite restaurants came up, two of my good friends would always ask me if I had been to the Pear Tree yet, they listed it as in their top three in the Lower Mainland. The Pear Tree is a bit off the beaten path, on East Hastings, Burnaby side, just past Boundary Road….if you don't know to look for it, you may very well drive by it. But once you've been, you'll feel like you've found one of those hidden restaurant gems. The restaurant decor is fresh and modern, yet intimate and relaxed; black, white, wood and warm tones accented by fabric panelled walls, soft lighting, a wall sized wine cabinet, comfortable chairs and fresh flowers…and not too crowded, maybe nine or ten tables; a great spot for a date.

With the menu open, my menu considerations are always whether to go with a shared appetizer and a main course, or the two appetizer alternative. Then, there's always the dessert factor. Sometimes I ask to see the dessert menu before I order. There are many times when I will end up getting all three. My friend wasn't as hungry as me, so I opted for two appetizers and a dessert. I ordered the feature appetizer of Sautéed Mushrooms and Crisp Bacon on Toasted Brioche ($16) and a menu staple, the Orange Caramelized Scallops with Double Smoked Bacon Risotto (also $16). My friend with the scallops as well, and was able to get them as a main course, with double the scallops ($30). I love when restaurants are open to suggest to you these types of options, even without you asking…says a lot about how the restaurant is run.

We started with some brioche and butter…heavenly. [Speaking of, I have been trying to buy brioche and have gone everywhere to find it (Whole Foods, Meinhardt's, Urban Fare, Choices, Safeway, Thrifty's, etc.)…does anyone know if they sell it anywhere? Or is it something that I'll have to bake?]. Our meals came and everything was presented beautifully. I cannot even begin to tell you how much mmmmm-ing there was. It was one of those dining experiences where you cut everything into little bites so that you could enjoy it for longer. Although a bit on the small side, the mushroom bacon brioche was quite tasty; the bacon was perfectly crisp without being too crispy; the mushrooms, in their tasty sauce, were sautéed to flavour perfection; and all atop the toasted brioche, yum. The scallops were amazing, soft, yet firm, the caramelization process adding a nice sweet (and not overly orangey) texture; paired with the melt in your mouth risotto, the smoky bacon flavour complementing the sweet caramelized flavour oh so very nicely. Deliciousness. We ended our meal by each ordering the Fresh Lemon Tart - Caramelized and Served with Crack Sugar and Black Pepper Ice Cream ($11). Lemon tart is pretty much my favourite dessert ever, if it is on the menu, I will order it. And this one did not disappoint; not too lemony, creamy texture, tasty crust, the black pepper ice cream a surprisingly great accompaniment.

Although the portions were a bit on the small side and the menu a bit on the pricier side, I will definitely be back to enjoy more of their menu items. The food was great and the service attentive and friendly (the chef bid us farewell and asked how our meal was on the way out). Next time, I'll have to try a main, and some more scallops…and well, probably the lemon tart!


The Pear Tree
4120 East Hastings Street
Burnaby, BC, Canada

Pear Tree on Urbanspoon


Anonymous said... @ January 19, 2010 at 10:09 AM

Brioche can be found at Patisserie Lebeau in Vancouver.

D said... @ January 19, 2010 at 5:25 PM

Thank you, I'll definitely be going there!

Jessica604 said... @ January 21, 2010 at 11:38 AM

I love Pear Tree! If it were not so expensive I'd enjoy them more often. We could not get enough of their risotto - it was perfect!

Dooda said... @ January 22, 2010 at 7:44 AM

you can also special order loaves of brioche from Brioche in gastown. 8.95 a loaf.

slif said... @ January 25, 2010 at 11:23 PM

As Anonymous mentioned, Patisserie Lebeau on Granville Island is the only place in town i've found brioche loaf, and they also carry brioche buns/popovers.

Notte's Bon Ton on Broadway also has brioche popovers.

If you're willing to make the drive though, Macrina Bakery in Seattle/Belltown has a brioche load that is so soft, fluffy and buttery heaven that I drive 3 hours down there just to buy it. The Whole Foods in Belltown also carries the Macrina brioche loaf (albeit for $1 more).

Foodfortwoo said... @ January 26, 2010 at 2:01 PM

I love going to the Pear Tree. Did you ever ask if they'll sell it to you? The last time I was there for my birthday and they gave me a loaf to take home for breakfast the next day. Came with a cute little gift bag too.

D said... @ February 8, 2010 at 9:33 PM

I went to Patisserie Lebeau and their brioche is great! Not to mention their waffles…!! I had a sample bite of the milk chocolate covered one, paid for my brioche, went to my car, and had to turn around to buy a whole waffle.

And next time I'm in Seattle, it sounds like a stop at Macrina Bakery is mandatory.

Thanks for the replies!

Anonymous said... @ January 30, 2011 at 3:45 PM

Keis Bakery on Burrard sells several brioche pieces and also does a great brioche loaf on preorders.

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