Polenta and pork cheeks

It was really freaking cold on Friday night – so cold that my base instincts kicked in and all I wanted was stew.

Well, I didn’t get stew, but I did get some stick-to-your-ribs food from The Cascade Room. It was reliably busy – and possibly busier than usual due to the fire at Habit – but not so busy that you couldn’t get a table without a reservation.

I think The Cascade makes the best negroni I’ve ever had. Their bartender, Nick Devine, is known for his mixological prowess – and I fully concur. The negroni came in a short glass with lots of ice, with a rosette of orange peel resting on top of the ice. The overall effect is that you taste the drink while getting the full, undiluted aroma of the orange peel. Genius.

I finally tried the polenta fries, which were on Vancouver Magazine’s list of 101 Local Things to Eat Before You Die. I was slightly disappointed, as the fries were giant wedges of flash-fried polenta, and not the delicate things I had pictured in my head. They were also under-seasoned. However, a pinch of salt later, I began to appreciate them for their buttery, corn-y flavour, hints of rosemary, and crispy-outside-squishy-inside texture. The serving is huge, though. It’s probably best shared between four to six people, unless you don’t plan on eating anything else.

I probably should have stopped there, but I had already ordered the tagliatelle with pork cheeks. The tagliatelle is a great delivery vehicle for the spicy tomato-based sauce, and the pork cheeks were amazingly tender. I was so full of polenta that I ended up taking half of the pasta home, but that just means that I have something to look forward to when I get the late-night munchies.

I was so full that I didn’t even look at the dessert menu. That’s pretty much unheard of.

The Cascade Room
2616 Main Street
Vancouver, BC
Cascade Room on Urbanspoon

Published by: Eagranie

7 years as a chemist + 9 months of culinary school + 2 years as a pastry chef & chocolatier + a lifetime of writing = this blog. This blog won't always be about chocolate, but it will almost certainly be about food. The name of the blog is a triple play on words. 1. It's a nod to my training as a classical pianist. Among other fantastic accomplishments, J.S. Bach combined technical prowess with artistic inspiration and penned the 24 preludes & fugues that make up The Well-Tempered Clavier, Books I and II. 2. In order to behave properly, chocolate needs to be tempered. In a nutshell, tempering prompts the chocolate to assume its most stable crystalline form (beta prime, if you're interested) so that it is shiny, snappy, and as stable as it can be. 3. Depending on my mood and how we meet, you might agree that I'm well-tempered. Or not.

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2 thoughts on “Polenta and pork cheeks”

  1. I love the polenta fries and the drinks there.. it’s definitely a fun place to go with a big group if you don’t mind waiting a bit. I was there a few weeks ago and 6 people fit perfectly in a booth, we had calamari and polenta fries and I was SO full by the end.

  2. the first time i went there, i had the exact same meal as you: polenta fries and the tagliatelle. totally tasty! the next time i was there i had the polenta fries and they didn’t quite live up to the first experience. i’m still going to keep going back and trying tho 🙂

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