Promenade Tapas and Wine Bar

If you have ever been to Walnut Beach Resort, it definitely has some curb appeal but when you take a good look around, it definitely has some odd design features.  We had a friend staying at the resort so we decided to try the Promenade Tapas and Wine Bar that has a funky outdoor kitchen over looking the pool and lake.

A very picturesque setting, especially when the sun is setting and your cloud watching up the valley.  One look at the menu and I was pleased to see items like duck, octopus, bison, and rabbit amongst other items.  Unfortunately thats where the excitement ended.

Lets start with what I did like.  The bison ribs were very tender and moist and with such a lean meat I was very impressed with the ribs.

This was the HALF order of duck nachos??  They used ground duck and spiced it with something like chill powder?  It could have been ground beef for the fact that there was no duck flavour to be found anywhere.  We were expecting something gourmet and instead we had a dry rendition of pub food. To use duck confit or even roasted duck hand shredded would have been very impressive.

Hands down when I see octopus on the menu, I order it.  I am a huge fan and love its versatility, textures, and ability to take flavours – not to mention its local.  It was braised octopus salad and the server mentioned that it was super tender.  I will admit it was tender, but the flavour was almost off putting.  It was either an old batch and starting to take on some fishiness or they stewed it so long it lost all sense of texture.  By the colour I  assume they braised it in red wine after some old greek recipe but the flavours just weren’t fresh and didn’t play with the rest of salad being half an avocado and some fresh baby zucchini strips.  The dish simply didn’t work, and to go from this monstrous 1/2 order of nachos to this tiny little salad was quite the juxtaposition as well.

You don’t see much rabbit on menus and I was happy to see them push the Okanagan boundaries by offering this dish.  Very nice presentation, my only comment is “let the rabbit speak”.  Don’t bury it in herbs and spices till it becomes a neutral meatball with cheese inside.  Rabbit isn’t that gamey and keeping your meatball mixture clean and simple would show off the meat itself.

The highlight of this meal for me was the 2009 Cab Franc from Tinhorn Creek.  I love this wine, its earthy, savoury, medium bodied, soft fruits, its a solid Cab Franc without all the muscle.  If you haven’t tried this wine yet, order a case of it on Canada Day, you get 10% off and they will ship it anywhere in Canada for you for FREE.

My last comment is about the caesar salad, it was noted as being “with a twist”.  The twist is, they use spinach instead of romaine lettuce?  I am starring at this great setup of BBQ’s and thinking they are going to offer up some grilled romaine as something almost unique.  Instead, I get a spinach salad with caesar dressing??  Simplemente no lo entiendo?

Overall the meal just didn’t work.  There were some highlights and great idea’s and I applaud them going after ingredients not many other restaurants are using in the Okanagan, but the execution just wasn’t there.  Better luck next time.

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