›› Lauren Gaultier

If you are anything like me, this pandemic has put a real damper on your culinary experiences. Dining out has become equally as rare as it is intimidating. In an uncertain fall where BC’s cases are ­continuing to rise and new lockdown measures were looming, I decided to take advantage of Grandma’s offer to babysit and convince my spouse to go out on a Fernwood date night not knowing if it would be the last for a while…

In case you haven’t heard, last summer, Stage Wine Bar changed ownership and their menu has been evolving ever since, so we decided to go and check out the current offerings. We weren’t able to participate in their prix fixe three course dining ­adventure offered Thursday to Saturday with a 7pm seating, so we opted for their a la carte menu instead.

With almost everything on the menu listed for $6, it was a pretty exciting to ­proclaim to the server, “We’ll have one of everything please.” It was a bit of an ­adventure as their simplistic menu labels had us intrigued to find out how things would be prepared and flavoured. Another ­adventure was ordering beverages to ­accompany our dishes. Gone are the days of typical wine lists and cocktail menus and instead the staff at Stage encourage you to tell them what you’d like and allow their capable bar staff to ­suggest and/or prepare something for you.

Our meal consisted of pickles, olives, cheese, bread, frisée, chicken egg, bavette, foie gras, cabbage, bone marrow, and ­chocolate for dessert. If you find yourself needing a taste of normalcy in your life and want to try out Stage, my top selections from the menu (if still available) are the frisée salad, bone marrow (with bread), and the chocolate mousse.

Check them out at @stage.fernwood or stagewinebar.com.