I hadn't been to Sage in many years.
The first impression was quite obvious: All of the Reserved signs on the tables. Whether inside or out, the tables were dominated by them. I rolled in early without one, but was not here to lounge, just eat some food and get back to work, so they slid me in at a sweet table on the edge of the patio that faced the mountains and lake. Pretty kind view for sure.
The reserved signs told a story of more than what their plate said. They told of the high demand of the establishment. That is a good sign.
It was nice to have the golden hour sun shining down on my back. They have some blinds on the end of the patio for the tables on the edge that get swallowed up in the sun's blinding shininess. That's a nice little considerate touch, for sure.
I liked their menus. They were leather-bound with their name inscribed into them: Sage Tapas. That gave way to thoughts of a standard that yielded expectation.
Flipping through the menu, it is immediately evident that this is the place for wine. Sadly, according to many, I only drink water with my meals for the most part. If wine is your thing though, this is the place.
It didn't take me long to figure out what I wanted. As a matter of fact, it took me seconds to get that sorted in my mind...
I didn't really read what it came with. I wasn't overly concerned with that. I only look at the star of the dish, and then start putting the pieces together when my plate arrives. Pretty simple.
I'll eat pretty much anything when out at restaurants as I feel a proper chef can make anything taste pleasing if they understand balancing of flavours; so I don't overly concern myself with the accompaniment to the headlining act of the dish. I take it as it comes. If the main dish is created well, then the chef should be able to accent it as an equal parallel so that all of the flavours meld in together to combine into a symphony of wonderment.
I quite enjoyed the faint breeze brushing up against my back. It was a nice touch for a depth of golden hour dimension. As I was sitting feeling the direct sun on my back with the little breeze, my intrigue was continually growing.
When I am at a new place, or ordering something I have never had before, I really love the time between ordering and the food arriving at the table. That gap in the middle levies me into thought of anticipation of what this meal is about to be.
How will it look?
How will it smell?
How will it taste?
Will its flavours work in harmony?
Will it be cooked properly?
I enjoy rolling through that in my mind so much as I look around aimlessly, staring into my thoughts as I observe the surroundings around me, until my meal arrives. I even love watching the faces of others light up as they lock onto the delivery of their meals. So great!
My halibut was a gorgeous presentation. As soon as my server walked out the door, it caught the attention of other tables as I heard people asking what it was after she placed it on the table and started going inside.
"Yup. Not bad!"
The aroma was so beautifully potent, that it whupped the breeze's ass all up over the place, and charged its way to my nose with wondrous vengeance.
The sauce and seasoning were fantastic. Perfectly gorgeous! I almost didn't want to squeeze the fresh lemon on it, but I had to because fresh squeezed lemon is the way to Narnia, I swear.
The potatoes and roasted beets gave a contrasting rootiness. How can you go wrong with those when they work so well together?? Pretty simple...
The cauliflower was perfectly cooked as well, delivering a nice crunch, while still being cooked through. I loved the creaminess of the sauce. I'd probably swim in it if I ever had the chance. OK, there's no, 'probably,' I would swim in that with no hesitation. Ooooh man, would I ever! I made sure to get at least a little of that sauce on everything...smearing across the plate if needed. The lingering question I had revolving so dominantly in my mind...
"Is it unrefined to lick the plate?"
The halibut made me think of my amazing friend, Brian. That guy loves seafood like no one I have ever come across.
"You don't even know!"
The halibut had that lightness of flavouring that can act like a blank canvass to an extent for the sauce and seasoning to bring together. Simply fantastic.
Even though satisfyingly in content, I feel like I could have eaten two more orders of it. It was that good! I even ate strategically to make sure my last couple bites had some of the halibut and the sauce to drench it through its creamy goodness.
**In the time since I have had this meal, it has become the dish I think of more than any from modern time restaurants in Nelson. I still miss the Pad Thai from The Rice Bowl, and the Burger-Rings-Shake combo from The Best Western, but those were both swallowed up in the days of old. In today's climate of restaurant goodness, The Halibut at Sage Tapas is definitely the one dish that I think about all the time. It just pops in there quite randomly because it was just that good. I didn't want it to end, and was actually kinda bitter about it.
Sage Tapas and Wine Bar
(Reservations are highly recommended!)
705 Vernon Street
Hours: 4:00pm til Late
Phone: (250) 352-5140