This past weekend I celebrated my birthday. I got to wake up rather early in freezing cold temperatures, pack up the camp site and drive home after not showering for 2 days. Sounds terrible but it really it was amazing! We went fishing, hiking and ate lots of junk food. I always am so exhausted by the time I get home so when J said we’d be going out for dinner I was really relieved.
We went to Lava Dining and lounge located at 22590 Dewdney Trunk Road in Maple Ridge. From the outside it’s smaller looking restaurant with an unsuspecting dark exterior. The interior is very quaint with a modern yet sophisticated atmosphere. It’s perfect for a party of 2 or 20 as it has different rooms with lots of different seating options. Our server was friendly and had a good sense of humour.
Once we ordered our meals we were surprised by a sampling of a roasted duck crostini topped with Camembert and diced tomato. You all know how I feel about unexpected free food. LOVE! The duck was cooked perfectly. The fat couldn’t have been rendered off the duck any better leaving the most flavourful moist meat. I loved the creamy Camembert against the acidic tomatoes and then the crunch of the crostini. I could have eaten so many more of these!
Then came a fresh baguette with olive oil and balsamic. J absolutely loves this and said that he could probably live off balsamic and oil if it was at all possible.
For our appetizer we ordered the scallops that included Bay shrimp crust, green pea puree and pickled mushrooms. These were also cooked perfectly with a caramelized exterior and a warm center. The subtleness of the briny scallops tasted exceptional with the earthiness of the mushrooms and sprouts that were on top. The pea puree was subtle but lightened up the dish with its fresh summer flavour. I again, could have eaten many more of these little things.
J ordered the Ahi tuna, which made me a little jealous because part of me also wanted to order this but he was standing firm on his decision and I couldn’t bear to order the same dish. I even tried to explain that it included black olives and asparagus, two things J really doesn’t prefer, but he still wasn’t budging. Don’t be surprised to hear me say this again, but it was cooked perfectly. I can’t stand it when restaurants over cook the tuna and this tuna was amazing. It was topped with a soft poached egg, crisp asparagus and potatoes. I asked J what he thought about the egg on top of the tuna and by the head nodding and mmmming I will take that as a good thing.
The menu has a lot of variety and everything is local, fresh and made seasonally. I was having a really hard time deciding on steak or trout (since tuna was out). I asked our server and he said hands down the trout. It’s being taken off the menu soon as they’re rolling out the fall menu and the fact that it’s still summer means I should enjoy it now. I followed his advice and boy am I glad I did. It was served with a lobster and truffle risotto that made me speechless. The trout was perfectly seasoned and resting on top of the seasonal vegetables that were caramelized beautifully.
We were so very full after all that food that we couldn’t possibly put another morsel of food in our bellies so we passed on dessert. Next time I will have to leave room because I have a feeling their desserts will also be amazing. This is one of the only restaurants in Maple Ridge that isn’t a pub or has some sort of pub like atmosphere and it just what Maple Ridge needs. I also think that even if you don’t live in the ridge it is really worth the drive. The pricing isn’t any more than somewhere like the Keg but the food is so much better. There aren’t a lot of places that use local fresh ingredients and are able to be creative this creative. My experience at Lava was excellent and I cannot wait to go back!