House Guest took over the space where McLean’s used to be in Gastown. This space has become a 140-seats, super-trendy new casual supper club. Their cuisine is mostly American comfort food with a twist. They change their menus often, so most of the stuff you see featured here today, might not be available.
The space is fabulous, great vibe and decor. Vintage and retro accents with lots of wood. House Guest is well known for their Sunday brunch menu.
I really recommend you make reservations for this place. We showed up without them and we barely got in. We were told we had a time limit we had to be out of there by. Now this being the new trendy restaurant it is, I will let it pass. But the hostess was a bit rude and honestly, they have to get on their customer service if they expect not to go the way of the dodo.
We started with a couple of appetizers: The Pimento Mac ‘n’ Cheese Croquettes ($9) These little tatter tots were my favourites. So full of flavour, they came with lots of cheese and pimento and they were accompanied with red eye ketchup. Apparently this dish is big in the South of the US. For $9 you get a decent portion and they were excellent to share.
We were treated to an order of their Short Rib Poutine. I couldn’t find this dish on their online menu, so I don’t even know if they’re offering anymore. It was an interesting appetizer. Instead of cheese curds they use Halloumi cheese, and instead of gravy, red eye ketchup. A definitely new take on poutine. I found that the cheese was very strong and it took away of the flavour of the short rib which were really, really good.
For our mains I ordered the Shepherd’s Pie ($18). Now again, I must remind myself that you’re paying not only for the food, but for the ambience. I found my portion to be a tad small for almost $20. I would’ve been more forgiving if the flavour was there, but it was good. Just good. Not exceptional. Not “wow, I don’t care that I spent $20 on this dish, this is amazing!”. Again, this dish was not featured on their online menu anymore.
Sean ordered the “Cheese” Burger. (Notice the quotation marks, very, very important). Turns out this dish consists of a vegetarian burger made of a root vegetable, baba ganoush and grilled haloumi amongst other things. There were four of us on the table and four of us misread the menu. Sean was looking forwards to his meat, so he was a tad disappointed. I think it’s excellent that a restaurant takes creative license on a dish, but please, pretty please with cherry on top… make sure that your creative license is perfectly clear on your menu? Again, not sure if they offer this dish anymore.
For dessert we ordered the 3 dessert platter for $12. We opted to have the Smores (vanilla bean marshmallow, basil ganache, banana and graham cracker crumbs), The Frost “Hot” Chocolate (chocolate ice parfait, vanilla bean marshmallow, ginger crystals), and the Cheese cake. We also had a complimentary order of Churros. The churros were pretty tasty, lots of sugar, (ok, maybe a tad too much sugar) the way the make them on the streets of Mexico City! They also came with dulce de leche and red velvet sauce.
This restaurant is a fantastic place to have a drink and relax with friends, I wouldn’t mind coming back to check out their brunch menu, which I heard is delightful. Hmmmm… chicken and waffles….
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